Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Decluttering

How to Spend Less, Save More, and Reclaim Your Joy

Year of Less by Cait Flanders

Cait Flanders radically simplified her life in the space of 12 months and recounts the process in her recently released memoir, The Year of Less:  How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered that Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store.

By living on an average of 51% of her income, Flanders saved $17,000 and used another $10,000 for personal travel during the year.  She also purged 70% of her belongings.  Impressive, don’t you think?

But The Year of Less is about so much more than simple living.  It’s about facing yourself and your demons, and in so doing finding the courage to create a healthier and happier life.

During her self-imposed shopping ban, which allowed her to buy consumables and replacements only, Flanders came face-to-face with her addictions, especially during periods when her life suddenly turned upside down.

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The Best Way to Declutter So You Feel Happy at Home {KonMari Style}

Simplify + declutter with the KonMari method.

I know, without a doubt, that my energy feels uplifted after tidying up or de-cluttering.  I believe that clutter and chaos depresses the spirit in an invisible way that you may never notice until after a good cleaning and clearing session like I do.

I didn’t develop a healthy habit of tidying up as a child or as a teen, as my mother did all the housework.  I tended to disorderliness, a sign I think of not having or wanting to have my feet firmly planted on this earth.

As long as it’s not noisy, I can work in a physically chaotic environment due to my enhanced ability to focus.  But it doesn’t feel optimal.  Also, I notice an immediate feeling of aversion whenever I encounter a messy house or space.  I see this as a sign that disorder is not conducive for my own well-being.  I suspect this is true across the board for almost all of us.  How is it for you?

During my one-week spring break, I went into active cleaning, decluttering, and organizing mode. It felt so good to clean out under the sinks, reorganize my closet, and reduce my archive file box to a few inches of folders from its previous bursting at the seems appearance.  During this time, I decided to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo to keep the positive momentum going.

To be honest, I find most books on decluttering boring.  But this book is unique, perhaps due to its roots in Japanese culture.  It’s been wildly popular, selling more than 2 million copies.  Kondo’s book confirmed my intuitive claims by asserting that putting your house in order can positively effect all other areas of your life.  She even suggests that your life will change dramatically when you finish the process.

There are two phases to the tidying up process using the KonMari method:

  • Discarding
  • Finding a place for everything that remains

Here are ten of the most important tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and my commentary on what I found useful or not.

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