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Kehler Counseling Blog

Start the New Year with "Life Changing Tidying" !

 I’m going to try to present Marie Kondo’s process in the way that I experienced it.  I did not video tape any of it – probably should’ve – but took plenty of before and after photos so you can see what it looks like and capture how it’s done.

The first step is NOT clothing!   Many think it is.  The first step is actually a more quiet, reflective step.  I did it by spending hours on the site: Houzz - http://www.houzz.com/ but you can also try out Pinterest
and their subcategories: Joss & Main, Modern, Birch Lane & Studio,  Crate & Barrel http://www.crateandbarrel.com/?a=786&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Brand+Core+Exact&utm_term=crate_and_barrel
any site or magazine that resonates with YOU.    
Just enjoy searching for what works for YOU . . .
1-    Purchase a Journal or “Artist Sketch book” and pocket file– so you have a place to keep photos -  a visual of what you want your home –space – office area to look and feel like when you are done.
2-    Clip, save, paste, post, pin, and savor every photo that resonates with you – HOME.  This is the first step of moving closer to your truth.    When you browse websites, stores, TV shows, houses of friends and relatives, tour homes or hear and see others homes – what speaks to your soul??   I mean it. 
a.    Are you capturing a specific style or look – over and over – a repeated pattern?    Are you gravitating towards glamour? Traditional? Country? Sparse? Minimal? Casual? Elegant?  Use Houzz – check out each ‘style’ in the top left corner and review each type – some will grab you immediately –others you will reject quickly – look for patterns/repeated items that you just love. . .
b.   What is inviting to Minimal? Casual? Elegant?
c.    What is inviting to you?
d.   If you could create a perfect setting for yourself – what elements would it have to have?
                                  i.    Pay attention to:
1.    Colors – what colors help change your mood?  What colors irritate?
2.    Patterns – which calm? Settle? Invigorate? Stimulate?
3.    Textures – are you someone who loves the touch of fabrics, fur, fuzzy, pets, shine, bling?
4.    Quiet vs. noisy – what calms you?  Nature?  Water? Sunlight?  Music?
5.    Furniture – antiques, shabby, neat, modern, leather, simple, tufted. . . woods- oak, cherry, dark or light?
6.    Distraction vs. Attention – what stresses you vs. what calms you?  For some loud music is irritating for others it speaks for their soul. 
7.    Activities – does your home – environment house the activities that help boost your creativity? Fitness? Intellect? Cooking? Crafts? Pets? Kids? Traditions?    DO you talk about doing some of these things but don’t get around to actually doing them because you don’t have the room? Time? Place? Stuff?   Is the wrong clutter in your home rather than the right stuff in the right place? 
Throughout entire process keep in mind that you will be creating a home that reflects the NOW YOU – not what is ‘impressive’ for magazines, friends, the ‘in’ décor, or what ‘everyone’ else wants. . . This process is about you creating an environment that reflects YOU, YOUR Style, YOUR life – and I kept in mind throughout – it will reflect your NOW life.   To me the word ‘NOW’ became even more important than ‘Joy’ – as it really helped ‘edit’ out what no longer reflected what I felt important now.   I can’t repeat this enough – it is what I found so personal about the process – and helped with every single decision, aside from ‘sparking JOY’ – if you have evolved in your life at all – you know that many of your items reflect ‘old’ life but not your now life. . .   
This step is NOT ABOUT MONEY.  It is NOT about spending a lot on furnishing, décor, drapes, rugs, ‘stuff’ – that comes afterwards – and you will learn WHY as you go through the various categories and their decisions!   This step is about finding what appeals specifically to you.  What you enjoy viewing. What you determine is ‘right’ for you.  Thousands of moment by moment decisions on what is TRUE TO YOU . . .  take your time – this step is just as important as all of those that follow. 
Spend several hours, days even a week or two:
·         Researching – browsing – watching – reading – any source of home style magazine that attracts YOU – and YOU specifically.  NOT what your spouse, parents, or friends might like – only what YOU want. 
·         Get used to writing out more specifically what it is that you see in repeated patterns of your choices.  This is where journaling is very useful. 
·         Get used to spending time alone.  This entire process is to be done alone!  That’s why it will take months and done for only a few hours at a time.  You may need to work out schedules in advance to care out time to make this happen.  Once it is done you can go back to participating with others but you will find your improved sense of self will define that even better! 
·         Think about how you want to feel in each room – what elements would your ‘perfect’ would have – type of furniture, arrangement,  
·         Try out different types of music without lyrics.  During the entire process you will need to turn off phones, TV and radio – and stay from music that distracts you with lyrics or heavy memories – find instrumental, spa, or nature sounds to use while to actually sort through categories. 
·         Put on your shopping list – a carton of heavy duty black garbage bags -35+, “Banker’s Boxes” – found in Office supplies – I went through dozens – and gave away 24 when I was done!  You can buy large plastic totes if you don’t have any – but what I found is that you only need them temporarily – you will NOT be ‘saving’ or ‘organizing’ – you will be EDITING.    Wait until you are done to invest in the best organizers you can afford – as they will also need to reflect ‘joy’!!
·         Have fun with a ‘vision board’ –Poster board – many of your selections of the previous steps to get your brain involved with the final result.   You can also create an album or folder on your computer or phone – I did! 
·         Schedule 5-6 months of time to spend on each ‘category’ – I did it on Saturdays and used Sundays to ‘get rid of’ the results – it is VERY important to plan ahead where to take the edited items!  You do NOT want them accumulating or ‘holding’ in your home.  You want to ‘let them go’ into the universe where someone else can find JOY in them. . .   
·         Investigate your local charity agencies – who can take what – do they pick up? What don’t they handle?  When and where is recycling?  What can you do with large items? Electronics?  TV’s? Furniture?   Some love the stuff you want to free yourself from – others have rules and limits.  Some boroughs/counties also have 2x a year ‘clean up’ days – schedule them on calendar accordingly!   They were PRICELESS for the stuff I had!  
·         Do not worry about EVERYONE in your home getting on board with the process – you will focusing ONLY ON YOUR ITEMS at first – and believe me – as you go through – it is CONTAGIOUS!!  The VISUAL change of organization and having a specific PLACE for each category – not just ‘thing’ is inspiring, and notably less stressful  Once you incorporate it – it is so easy to stay in place that you will wonder how you did it before!    The secret will be revealed as you approach the actual process of editing.  You do NOT do this with your daughter’s, siblings, friends, parents or spouses!!  They will influence you to keep – save-fix- or toss what is important to THEM not you!! 
·         TAKE BEFORE PHOTOS!  Seriously – do NOT forget this step!  Take a ton of photos of every drawer, closet, shelf, nook, corner, under beds, places throughout your home before you get started.  In the later steps you will be completely emptying areas so it will be motivating to see the radical changes.  
Before starting the next step – please read the entire book through once or watch the book on YouTube, watch videos of those who have gone through it – then start scheduling around a section of each weekend to attack a specific category.  If one of your categories is larger than ‘normal’ save 2 days or break it down into smaller categories within the major one.    Make a calendar/list to help list the specific categories.  It is also important that you do them in order – you DO NOT do the process by room or ‘place’ – it is done by category so in some cases many rooms may be ‘edited’ for the category.   Once you get an understanding of why it’s done the way she instructs – you will see why it’s so important. 
If you followed me this far – please share with us your own progress and alternative places to take items!   Many of you belong to churches, volunteer for charities and know agencies who help those with needs – please pass it on where/who they are!!
Next week it will be organizing –editing – enjoying your clothing . . .

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