Is it April 15th Already?!?

Happy Tax Day! I know, I know that level of enthusiasm is not one most people would associate with April 15th… but still. Consider this your Public Service Announcement…Cross your T’s, dot your I’s. Be sure to double check your paperwork as the new tax laws and changes could directly impact you. That being said, this post… it actually has nothing to do with taxes (well almost nothing). Just consider these last few lines your friendly reminder that if you have not already finished… today’s the day.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Spring has officially made itself known in most of the country. Keeping in mind that the Midwest suffered some heavy snowfalls in the recent week, most regions are seeing higher temps and sunnier weather. Spring brings with it thoughts of fresh starts and considerations for out with the old and in with the new. We start to look around at things we’ve accumulated and question if we need them or should we replace them.

Unless you have been on an extended sabbatical from social media or hiding under a rock there is little chance you have not at least heard of the clean sweep de-clutter mojo behind the KonMari method sparking joy in homes near and far. Marie Kondo, isn’t actually new to some as she has been quietly and effectively spreading her methodology for years. From books to talks and even a Netflix series, Marie Kondo and her signature idea of sparking joy have become water cooler talk and dinner conversation.

The idea is simple, you go through your home… room by room and everything, I mean everything is taken a look at. Clothes, shoes, utensils, photos, books, holiday decorations, the collection of keys you’ve been haphazardly saving since you were a kid, everything gets a once over. You are looking for the things in your home that spark joy and Kondo says, you’ll know it when you feel it. Items that spark joy for you are kept and those that don’t are thanked and then discarded. That’s the overall gist. No this isn’t rocket science, it’s not some totally new concept by any stretch. So why has it taken off so in 2019? The premiere of the Netflix series on January 1st when people are turning over new leaves and looking for projects to kick off their new year I’m sure had something to do with the buzz. But I also think there is something more to the bye in that KonMari has seen.

Personally I have loved the thankfulness aspect to her work. If you watch an episode of Tidying Up (and honestly I suggest starting with episode two!), one of the first things Marie does is thank the family home. How many of us have ever thought to thank our home? I hadn’t! But your house, apartment, condo it keeps you safe, provides you shelter and safeguards memories. Yes it’s a physically a thing… but it’s also part of your family. Next the simple act of gathering together all of one thing that you own to really look at what it is you have. Clothes, dishes, books. Often things are scattered a bit piece-meal around our homes. But Marie asks participants to gather all of the one thing they are going to go through.

Looking over the stacks of novels, the piles of clothes or even the boxes of photos makes you stop and think. Not just back to when you purchased those items but also the things attached to them. The date that you wore the shirt to that led to the relationship that turned into a marriage that resulted in the family you have now. The meal you cooked for your neighbor or friend when they were sick or going thru a tough time. The photos of the trips to Boston or LA or Ireland. You get to take stock and see some of what you have to be thankful for. The things and experiences and places that your possessions have seen you through. Then for even those things you are ready to part with you thank them for the role they’ve played in your life.

Now could you do all of this without the KonMari method, of course. But do many of us do it… not likely. This spring as you are gearing up for spring cleaning you can give Marie Kondo’s ideas a try…. But if you take nothing else from her soft spoken instructions take away that you want to surround yourself with things that Spark Joy and more importantly to be continually thankful for all that we have.

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