2015 started out as the year to finally get a handle on my domestic duties. The emphasis was placed on simplifying life by finally becoming a domestic diva to reduce anxiety and discontent. I learned quickly that maybe my domestic shortcomings were the reason for my anxiety when I discovered I didn’t feel anxious outside of my home, save for a few specific triggers. It was shortly after making this discovery that I discovered the “Magic” book. The year quickly become the year of finding what truly sparks joy. It has been a wildly successful year.
In August, I completely the Konmari Process on my home. With the help of my children, and the support of my husband, I have successfully pared down my personal belongings and the belongings of my children to contain only joy sparkers.
As I neared the end of sorting and organizing the komono categories of our house, I started getting frustrated that I hadn’t experienced “the click” yet that so many in the Konmari circles speak of. I understood this “click point” to be the point where everything changes. Your brain just clicks with this method. The click point is the point of no return. But I didn’t feel like I’d reached the point of no return yet… so I was getting frustrated.
My house still felt messy despite the removal of an overwhelming amount of stuff. Something still didn’t feel quite right and I was quickly losing steam. I started to get anxious about it because the longer this went on, the more I worried that I’d end up backsliding into the cluttered lifestyle once again. I knew something wasn’t quite right yet. My house was trying to tell me something but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.
Your home speaks to you
I felt like my house was telling me to rearrange the living room so we did. My husband and I rearranged the furniture following the rules of feng shui as best we could given the layout of our home, and while the room felt incredible and I couldn’t help but smile every time I entered the room, there was still something off about the house as whole.
I did a quick run-down of what I still had left to do. My komono list was getting shorter and shorter, but one category was looming and I was not looking forward to it – kid stuff. In addition to kid stuff, I still had the sentimental category to trudge through.
At one point in August, there were two days where I was unable to secure daycare for my children, so I had to take the days off work. These days coincidentally coincided with a weekend, allowing for 4 complete days at home. I knew I could use these days to my advantage and with any luck, I’d feel the click.
Not entire sure what needed to be done to reach the click point, I decided to listen intently to my house. If you listen intently, you’ll find that your house speaks to you as well. Our house had a lot of demands.
The kids and I ran an errand that Saturday morning. When we returned, the house spoke loudly to me that I should really finish the flower bed makeover I’d started a couple of week prior. I had already tilled half the flower bed and filled it with day lilies and remulched, filling in the gaps between plants with some strawberry plants a friend had gifted to me. I still needed to till up the other half and replant it. I spent most of Saturday on that project. It’s quite amazing what finishing this project did for my soul. You’d laugh at me if you knew how many times I walked outside just to look at this.
The green plants in this pic are day lilies. Day lilies are my favorite landscape piece. The whole bed is filled with them. They add such a great pop of color, with a simplicity that can’t be outdone. Also planted here, but not seen, are strawberries. Between each lily, to the front and rear of the bed, are strawberries. They’ve grown quite large since this picture was taken. Some have even started sending out runners. I suspect next summer will be delicious.
I worked very hard cleaning the house on Sunday, at the instruction of my house, starting in the kitchen, followed by the living room, then dining room, then master bedroom. I still had a pile of donation items in the living room, so I moved those to the garage. It looked and felt very good, but the house still didn’t seem happy. I knew in my heart that the house really wanted me to tackle the kids stuff category. I was filled with dread but excited to tackle it all at once.
I was moving along at full steam, so Monday we cleaned my daughter’s room. Since this was our second pass through her room, she didn’t remove very many things. All we really did was put away what she had and vacuum the floor. Her room was beautiful when we finished. She loved it but worked so hard during that hour that she slept for nearly 3 hours on the couch afterward.
Not wanting to lose my motivation, I recruited my son and we moved onto his room. He only got rid of one box of toys, but most of what he kept had a million little pieces (you’ve heard of Legos and Hot Wheels cars, right?). Much to my surprise, we completely straightened and organized his room in 4 short hours. We vacuumed his floor and arranged his joy sparkers in a pleasing to him way. It looked better than it had in a long time. I couldn’t help but be fearful that he’d have it trashed again in short order.
Right in the feels
I put the vacuum away and looked around. The feeling I experienced having my entire house clean at one time was overwhelming. All of a sudden, the world stop spinning so fast. The whirlwind that engulfed my brain stopped. All the swirling debris in my mind fell to the floor and three little men in bib overalls came running out of the darkness with push brooms, swept it all up and disappeared. This was a new sensation.
What was this unfamiliar thing I was feeling? OMG, was it calm? Peace? Relaxation? Appreciation?
All of a sudden, I appreciated my surroundings. I appreciated vacuum lines in the carpet. I appreciated the satin sheen on my kitchen and dining room floors. I appreciated the angles and surfaces in my home. I found the layout in my kitchen wasn’t all that bad, which was an issue I had been struggling with lately.
Imagine the scene in The Sound of Music when Maria Rainer dances among the hills belting out “The Hills are Alive”. That’s how I felt at that very moment. I wanted to run and dance and sing at the top of my lungs for all to hear!
It was at that very moment that I had found my click point. That point where all the planets align in your own little subset of the world. It’s like everything in my world finally came into focus. And it was profoundly amazing.
It was a feeling I wanted to keep feeling. I wanted to feel that way about my home forever.
My home has been so easy to maintain since then. I’ve done a “real” cleaning twice – where I sweep and mop the floors and make it an “event”. I’ve only done it twice because it hasn’t needed it more than that! The house actually maintains itself now! It’s like it’s self-cleaning! Since everything has a home, very few things are left laying about – if they are it’s simply because we’ve been momentarily too lazy to put them away. But that’s short lived because someone will usually pick it up and put it away – and that someone is not always me. Sometimes it’s a child that sees something astray and fixes it. A child! I have actually witnessed this and you could have knocked me over with a feather!
My children have kept their rooms clean. For 5 whole weeks my kids’ rooms have been spotless! I can go in at a moment’s notice and vacuum the floor and not spend any amount of time putting toys away first. My son even vacuumed his own floor after making a small mess one day! For reals, yo! My 8 year old son took it upon himself to get out the vacuum cleaner and clean up a mess he made in his space. There’s only one word to describe this: mind-blowing! (or is that two words?)
Finding your own click point
Each person’s click point will be triggered by something specific to them. Maybe your click point will be a certain number of items in your home. Maybe it’ll be a certain level of cleanliness like mine was. Only your heart and your home know where the click point lies for you.
If you’ve started your own Konmari journey, I encourage you to keep going. Thing will get tough, you’ll feel like there’s no end in sight, but I promise you, if you keep pushing through, you’ll reach the point of no return soon enough. Keep the vision of what you want your home to be like in the forefront of your mine. Eye on the prize, as they say. Keep pushing forward and it’ll happen. Your happiness awaits!