About eighteen months ago, I began to KonMari my house based on the principles in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The experience took several months, and I learned a lot about myself during that time. I figured I was about due for a refresher when we moved into this new house. Obviously, in moving, everything I’d done in terms of storage and knowing where everything was at no longer applied. I didn’t know where anything was, and of course, a person changes over time, and I figured it was time to go through the KonMari stages once more.
Except…as it turned out, I didn’t need to. In her book, Marie Kondo talks about never needing to tidy again. She says that she herself goes through her house twice a year just to refresh things, but that it takes only a tiny amount of time because she already knows exactly what she does and doesn’t love. As it turned out, the same applied to me, even after a cross-country move!
Now, I won’t even begin to claim that my entire house falls under the KonMari rules. I live with four other people who have their own way of interacting with the world. While I generally know where everything is in our kitchen, that’s mainly Jason’s domain. The same applies to my boys’ bedrooms, and things like tools that I don’t really do anything with. However, when it comes to the living room, my bedroom, and the office (mostly), I know exactly where everything is, and I’ve created my own personal sanctuary in those places.
My bedroom is my own. Every single thing here brings me joy. Sure, there are some pieces of clothes that I need to donate and some things I don’t use as often, but they are so few and far between that I feel no compunction to weed them all out immediately. They’ll wait. This is where I do my yoga in the mornings, lights off, sun coming in through the window. It’s perfect.
The living room, of course, doesn’t just belong to me. The movies, books, and decorations belong to us all. Yet, I make sure this room stays a refuge. The shelves are organized and lovely. I keep the floor clear and the couch cushions straight. We finally got curtains for the room, light gauzy things that help with the room’s airy feel. This is my second sanctuary.
The office is a work in progress. Some of the furniture in it is cobbled together and needs to be replaced with pieces that aren’t falling apart. Everything is not quite settled into its resting place. The walls are mostly bare, and the room needs repainting. However, the curtains are of the same light gauzy kind as the living room, and the sun shines through to me when I work on my blog in the morning. I have all my little sentimental pieces in sight, and I’m excited about how the walls will eventually look. The world map has pinned all the non-US places I’ve visited, and will eventually have strings leading from the pins to photos from those trips. On the adjoining wall, I plan to put up a US map for the same purpose in the future. Eventually, the office will become a third sanctuary.
And while the rest of the house is more communal space than personal sanctuary, I did add one more touch to make me feel at home. As I sit at our dining room table, I face a wall of photos above a lovely piano that my husband and son like to play. The dining room – with three teen boys – is often a messy, haphazard kind of place, but that wall is my own personal little retreat, bringing a bit of calm and happiness into a chaotic world.
I’m really grateful that I first heard about Marie Kondo’s book back in 2015. It’s amazing to see her words come true, that when you keep the things that bring you joy, you remember where everything is, and it’s no trouble to keep your space tidy.