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I had no idea that I was holding on to things out of guilt or fear. I was going to my acupuncturist for a while now, and she told me about the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and it’s changing my world. 


I didn’t realize how much bad energy, clutter, and chaos I had been holding on to until I started reading this book. Marie Kondo is fantastic. She teaches you how to only keep possessions that “Spark Joy” and that are necessary as well. It’s amazing how old possessions can harbor bad memories or sad emotions. She teaches you how to let go. She shows you how to give thanks. She teaches you how to set yourself free from possessions, and it’s life-changing. 


She breaks things down into categories to show you how much stuff you really have. For instance, you put all of your clothing in one gigantic pile on the floor. This is scary, so brace yourself for this step. She helps you visualize what you have by putting it all in one heaping pile of stuff. Do you need all of this? Do you use all of this? Do these things, “Spark Joy”?


I highly recommend her books, and it’s helped me get on this Organization Challenge to create a home that Sparks Joy and is my Dream Home. You can make any home your dream home as far as how you organize and decorate it. Whether it’s a tiny home, a mobile home, or a log cabin—make it unapologetically yours.



Declutter with the Exchange Method


You don’t have to keep the same items for the rest of your life. We all change as well as our taste in clothing, decor, etc. However, to keep you from cluttering up your new organized space, you can utilize the “exchange method” to prevent a backslide.


The Exchange Method is where you exchange a new item for an old one. For instance, you buy a gorgeous new cocktail dress-in exchange; you get rid of one of your dresses from your wardrobe. You will have the same amount of items and it will prevent you from hoarding clothing or items. 



Declutter Giveaways & Prevent More


Ugh—my family may mean well by giving me their hand me down items, but honestly, most of the time, I don’t have the room or need. It’s like we feel guilty for saying no. It’s not ungrateful if you politely decline if it’s something you TRULY need then have at it. 


But, if your home is riddled with knick-knacks, old clothing, kitchenware, and whatever else just got thrown into a box and shoved at you-get rid of it. It’s okay—give yourself permission to declutter your home from things you don’t need or use.


The next time someone tries to give away their clutter to you, tell them you really appreciate the gesture, but you are simplifying and downsizing your space. It’s not ungrateful if you don’t need it. Let them give it to someone that does.


Declutter Everything that Doesn’t Spark Joy


When you get to the point that you are decluttering your items, Marie Kondo asks, “Does it spark joy?” What emotion do you get when you hold the item? Is it joy? Is it pain? Is it anger? By asking this simple question to yourself as you hold your items, it is much easier to figure out what you should keep and discard.


After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I purged seven garbage bags of clothing from my closet. Yes—you read that right. I had sizes 2-18 and all in between, and it was ridiculous. My thought process now is that when I find my happy weight, I will reward myself with a new wardrobe-not hang on to the same one I’ve had since I was 18.


As you go through your things, you will find that your home is physically lighter and emotionally lighter…trust me. 



Spark Joy with Your Home


I binge-watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix Series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” If you need some visual inspiration, I highly recommend watching this show. Warning-do it during the day, or you will be trying to jump out of bed and start purging at midnight. 


You may be surprised at how much lighter you will feel emotionally when you tidy up your home. Marie also has you do exercises to help you visualize and achieve your dream home. If you love tropical scenery, then surround yourself with tropical decor. Paint your home with colors that bring you joy. When you think of your dream home, what does it look like, smell like, and feel like? 


Using these tips and tricks can help you figure out the best way to “Spark Joy” in your home. It’s incredible that my desire to be Tidy & Organized has been suppressed all these years. I’ve been buried beneath guilt and holding on to the past.


By doing this, I haven’t had a home that has ever truly made me happy. I can’t wait to see what comes from this Organization Challenge. Join me and finally have a home that “Sparks Joy.”