Inside: We were overwhelmed and so far from living our ideal life when we happened upon Marie Kondo. I had no idea that her book would be the path to finding joy in life again. This guest post by Helen of helenyoun.com contains affiliate links.
Before I became a parent I had all these big plans. I was going to take care of myself and not lose my own identity so I can be a better parent to my child. I was going to eat healthy and cook all my child’s food from scratch. I was going to continue to exercise regularly and go out for walks.
Parenting was going to be a piece of cake, right?
After my son Emerson was born, it instantly became survival mode. I didn’t know how other moms were doing it and why it seemed like everyone else had an easier time adjusting to motherhood. I was completely overwhelmed.
I was overwhelmed and needed help finding joy in life again.
I was so overwhelmed with my life as a new mom that going out of the house felt like a huge production that required more time in preparation than the actual activity itself so we mostly stayed in.
Our home started filling up with all the things that we bought for the baby. We’d buy anything that promised to make this all a little bit easier and manageable. Our 1,000 sq ft condo that already felt small now felt even more crammed. I had a baby that was soon turning one and I was just coming out of my postpartum depression.
At the same time my husband was also struggling with mental health issues and was on stress leave from work.
It was around this time I started hearing friends talking about this book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I had no idea how much I needed it despite of our home life.
We were just getting by, let alone living our ideal life.
The reason why I didn’t think we needed it was because we had downsized drastically a few years prior when we moved across the country from Toronto to Calgary. In my mind, we didn’t need to declutter.
There are many paths or components to finding joy in life and creating a calm and tidy environment is one simple but potentially powerful way to get started.
(If you’re looking for calm and balanced living you might also enjoy the lovely books: Ikigai or Lagom)
I downloaded the book on a whim on my phone while I was nursing and, being in the overwhelmed state that I was in, I asked my husband to read it and summarize it for me. How can I possibly read a book now? I don’t have time!
My husband started reading and I could tell he was hooked. He said this wasn’t exactly the type of book you could summarize so I started reading it as well and we realized this might be exactly what we needed. We started right away.
Marie Kondo said in the book if you do this right, you only have to do this once. I was skeptical as I’ve been a disorganized person my whole life and have had many attempts trying to get organized.
Following the steps of the KonMari Method, our tidying festival was a lot more emotional and difficult than I expected. I remember wishing Marie Kondo could come over and help me but I eventually got through it.
After getting our home in order, I found myself thinking about every other aspect of my life just like Marie Kondo said I would.
It’s amazing how simplifying and decluttering our home became the impetus for finding joy in life again.
(If you’re looking for a free self-guided way to add more calm to your home and life, start with my 30 Days to CALM mini-course or Surviving To Thriving PDF)
I was tidy for the first time in my life and my home became a space I could truly relax in. Once my home started to spark so much joy for me, I started tackling all the other things I wanted in my ideal life.
I wanted to cook and entertain again; to have hobbies other than watching tv or shopping; to take classes and workshops; to put more energy into cultivating friendships and relationships. At one point, both my husband and I even realized neither of our corporate jobs sparked joy.
Fast forward a year and half later and our home was still organized. I started telling everyone about this magical book. One day I went online and saw that registration was open for a KonMari Consultant Seminar hosted by Marie Kondo herself! I signed up immediately to attend the San Francisco seminar in December 2016 not know what to expect.
Around 2 weeks before my trip both my husband and I lost our jobs within a week of each other but we never felt more excited about the future.
We were the happiest unemployed people you’ve ever met and felt like the universe was sending us a message.
Today, three and a half years after the start of this journey, I absolutely love what I do as a Konmari Consultant. My husband found a whole new career as a photographer and art curator. This method is so much more than helping people organize their homes.
To be able to inspire people to choose joy everyday and live the life they want is why I love what I do and why it changes lives.
After experiencing the life-changing magic of tidying up firsthand, Helen Youn was inspired to go through extensive training with Marie Kondo in 2016 to become the first and only Certified KonMari Consultant in the Prairies and subsequently became a KonMari Seminar Lecturer. Helen offers a holistic approach to decluttering and organizing using the principles of the KonMari Method™ to guide and support people throughout this transformation process to make their ideal lives a reality and to live joyfully and mindfully. Connect with her at Helenyoun.com, on Instagram or on Facebook
Photograph by Michelle Johnson at @mjay.photography
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