Tidy for Joy

One of my go-to activities when too tired and uninspired to do anything else, is tidying. Tidying my surroundings is deeply relaxing and satisfying to me. It gives me peace of mind, knowing that things are in their right place. – And that I put them there!

Especially after a stressful day at work, coming home and putting my shoes, purse and work-clothes back in their designated places feels like a great accomplishment. It gives me a small confidence boost, knowing that although work didn’t go as planned, I still accomplished something.

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I am well aware that not everyone enjoys tidying (my boyfriend included) as much as I do. And if you don’t mind living in mess, there is really no reason for tidying. Except if you have an obnoxious girlfriend like me, of course, who forces you to close the kitchen cabinets and reuse your glas, instead of taking a new glas every time you get thirsty – leaving a million glasses scattered around the apartment… sorry, I almost got carried away there for a minute!

Unlike my boyfriend, however, it seems like many people despise mess. They just don’t know how to get rid of it properly. Enter my new hero: Marie Kondo, a “Japanese organizing consultant” nonetheless, according to wikipedia!

The KonMari method describes tidying as a logical and structured process, which should leave your home clutter free – for good! What is unique to the method is the focus on tidying as a means for transforming your life. In an interview with Arianna Huffington, Marie Kondo explains: “Central to the KonMari Method is envisioning one’s ideal life prior to tidying. This establishes a goal for tidying and sets the practice into motion.” As such, the method is rooted in a single question: Does the item spark joy? 

Here are my main take-aways from the process of tidying described in the book:

  1. Collect every item of a group (e.g. shirts / cosmetics / books) in a big pile
  2. Go through every item in the pile, and toss everything that doesn’t spark joy
  3. Once you have gone through the pile… go through it again!
  4. Decide on a designated place for the remaining items (meaning only the items that spark true joy) in the group (e.g. all shirts to be located in the top drawer)
  5. Place all joyful items in their designated place

Once you get into the habit of returning your joyful items to their designated place, your home will always be clutter-free and tidy. How neat? (ba-dum-bum-chiii)

Happy tidying, guys!

It’s Aliiivee

Isn’t it funny how you can go from being obsessed with something, to completely forget its existence? At least this is what it’s been like for me with this blog for the past couple of weeks. I have completely forgotten its existence.

Well, almost. I guess I have been feeling kinda bad for not writing. “Fortunately” it’s been easy to shake off the feeling of guilt, considering my rather insignificant (sorry, Mom and Dad) group of followers..

To tell you the truth, this whole blogging thing is pretty difficult for me. It’s not just something I happily and easily sit down and do. It takes time, requires inspiration and thinking (ugh).

Work has been extra challenging lately, leaving me in a baked potato state at the end of the day.  So, instead of blogging, I have retreated to some easy activities in my freetime. You know: watching an embarrassing amount of Grey’s Anatomy, consuming easily read books, and tidying my apartment.

Although these activities kill tired hours and provide a sense of accomplishment*, they often leave me feeling depressed at the end of the day. I hate wasting good time (although I do appreciate all the good memories I have with Meredith Grey).

Blogging, on the other hand, leaves me with a satisfying feeling of legitimate  achievement. Especially when I see the final post published online. Not only does blogging challenge me, it also matures my mind, makes me grow, and sparks joy.

The concept of sparking joy is something I came over in one of my easy-read books: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Although quickly read, the concepts in this book had a transformative impact on the way I consider and think about tidying. HOW?? you ask? Well, if you will allow me to ease back into the world of blogging, I will tell you all about it in my next post.

And if you can’t wait, well, then read Marie Kondo’s book. It shouldn’t take you long – however, the subsequent tidying might!

* How does Grey’s anatomy provide a sense of accomplishment, you might think? Well, I don’t mean to brag, but I have actually managed to complete the entire show – all 14 seasons, from start to finish. It took me about a year, and I really do feel like I should get a medal, or at least a certificate that I can hang on the wall in my study among my fancy university diplomas…  Not that I have a study… Or fancy university diplomas… But you (and hopefully Shonda Rhimes) get the picture.

Watch Out

Most people, especially highly gifted people, do not really know where they belong until they are well past their mid-twenties.” – in Managing Oneself, by Peter F. Drucker

Were you as relieved as me, when you read the above quote by “the founder of modern management” Peter Drucker? Not only does he legitimize career uncertainty, he even acknowledges that it can be a sign of brightness. Oh, happy day!

It’s not exactly like I don’t know what I want to do in life. It’s just that I sometimes question whether I am in the right place to do “it”… Oh, and whether I want to keep doing “it” for the rest of my life… Although life is long, it is also very short! Especially with the decades of education we have to go through nowadays. Good thing modern medicine seems to be prolonging our lives with an equal amount of years, I guess.

This uncertainty is one of the many reasons that I am so grateful for the coaches in my life. As previously mentioned, my coaches help me confront and discuss questions about my career, motivations, values, etc., which are crucial aspects when defining my desired future.

At the moment, my coach and I are working on defining my strengths, to subsequently utilize them to achieve my goals. As Peter Drucker states: “a person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses…

In his article “Managing Oneself”, he further raises some of the questions, I am discussing with my coach:

  • Am I a reader or a listener?
  • How do I learn?
  • Do I work well with people, or am I a loner?
  • How do I produce results, as a decision maker or as an advisor?
  • Do I perform well under stress, or do I need a structured and predictable environment?
  • Do I work best in a big organization or a small one?
  • What are my values?

Come on, now, have a go at the above questions yourself! And if you are interested in learning more about Managing Oneself, read Peter Drucker’s article 🙂