I didn’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up but I did watch all of the Netflix series episodes and fell in love with Marie, just as so many others have. The difference for me is, 6 months before the show premiered, I had downsized from a five bedroom, 2 bathroom home (on an acre) to a 2 bed-2 bath apartment without much storage – the short version is that we were able to sell a large number of marital possessions to buy new post-divorce furniture. And I used the KonMari Method™ before I even knew what it was.
After watching the show, I now can fold my shirts better and my drawers look organized – now if I could only get my son to follow along. 😉
I really like the idea of learning to find what brings joy in your life and with your possessions after divorce. I know I’ve learned many lessons from appreciating the little we have after the luxuries in marriage. And clearing out the negative to make room for the positive.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:12
What sparks joy? What do you need to get rid of?
This can continue the process of healing during and after divorce while moving on to a thriving life. This often involves leaving unnecessary baggage behind. Just embracing things that give you joy while ridding your life of things that you don’t.
It starts with the people you are around all the time. Do they bring joy or give you a headache or heartache? Relationships shouldn’t involve pain, criticism, judgment, or shame. You shouldn’t have to beg people to treat you right. Thinking about spending time with someone or asking them for what you need shouldn’t stress you out or steal your peace.
The same is true for the possessions in your life. Do you still hold onto items from your marriage? His clothes or the love letters he sent you?
I think this is an important practice after divorce… to mourn and let go of what keeps you stuck in a healing phase. If something or even someone doesn’t spark joy in your life, it’s time to get rid of it, at least put it away and take a break for a time. Until that time you feel joy again.
Difficult life-giving things that bring you joy.
Eight months ago I decided that I needed a gym membership. I had a hard time setting a route and keeping up with my stretching and core strengthening – after physical therapy. I wasn’t even sure I had the money to pay for it. But when I looked at where my money was going, mostly to eating out or things I didn’t need, I saw the things I could give up.
Keeping a budget also brings me joy. Without it, I’m very stressed about money – how much I have, how much I need to make, and of course, any spending.
I wouldn’t say wanting to go to the gym brings me joy. No, not at all! But I feel so much better after going. After I’ve done the hard work. I know it’s what is best for the pain and swelling in my joints and muscles (caused by Lupus) that used to keep me in bed most of the day. Any day with less pain helps me to find joy in other things in life.
What does your life need even if it’s something you don’t want to do?
Create space in your life.
Life can be crazy, hectic! Many of us are overextended and exhausted. But we can make choices that create white space to rest. When my three children were little they were only allowed to do one activity at a time. My life lacked peace and joy because I was running all over town for multiple events each week. I’m really not sure how we made it through. I could not do that now. I value the quiet of the day, even on a busy day. The space to just rest. Time for self-care. To find those things that give me joy.
That’s why I give myself plenty of time to be where I need to be so I’m not rushed, not stressed.
We can’t create time but we can create space and an environment to find joy. Are you creating space for YOU?
[socialrocket-tweet quote=”We can’t create time but we can create space and an environment to find joy.” tweet=”We can’t create time but we can create space and an environment to find joy.”]
Tidy up your mind.
The biggest benefit I noticed about finding joy in life is the need to establish and renew the mindset. To appreciate what you have, what you decide to keep, instead of what was lost or you needed to get rid of.
I appreciate the new Ikea couch I sit on in my small apartment living room, which cost more than half the price of the sofa bed purchased while married. I appreciate the new dishes, the new silverware, and sheets that I sleep on at night. Ridding myself of the items that were tied to my marriage – not all at once, but piece by piece, a little at a time.
Clearing that stuff, cleared out my mind. Made space for a new thought process. To not just use items but appreciate them.
[socialrocket-tweet quote=”Let’s not just use items and people in our lives but really learn to appreciate them.” tweet=”Let’s not just use items and people in our lives but really learn to appreciate them.”]
I no longer have to see the stuff we once used as a family – feeling it’s negative energy. My mind is clear of all that negative energy and I’m able to fill it with many new positives. A brighter and peaceful future. A thriving life. And I’m thankful for what I have and who I have in my life.
A clean and decluttered home, life… and mind!
Are you learning the art of tidying up?
May God bless your healing journey,
Monica N. says
I am learning the art of decluttering as well. I have gotten rid of several large pieces of furniture that I never wanted to begin with. I have gotten rid of most of the junk that he left behind for me to deal with because he is just too lazy to do it himself. I have also found time to go through old paperwork that I was never afforded time to sort through because he had to monopolize all my time – if he wasn’t the center of my attention I didn’t love him like I should. (Another control mechanism.) Then I was blamed for not keeping a clean enough house (Yet, another control mechanism.) Now I am working (slowly) through the whole house clearing out, cleaning out, throwing away, donating, passing down to my children and grandchildren, and just general tidying up and organizing. He is still jumping up and down, but I believe more now because he realizes he’s lost control over me and my life, wanting this or that from the house. I told him finally that if I find anything else that I can identify was from one of his parents or grandparents I would get those family heirlooms to him, but anything else is just too bad. He knew he was plotting his “escape” for more than 6 months, if the items in the house were so precious to him, he should have been prepared to leave with them the day he walked out. He expected me to pack everything up to help him leave me and help him break his vows to me, and help him set up his new life with his girlfriend and when I didn’t he was enraged. I have found so much healing in the few short months since he left with packing a box marked “to go” to deliver to the local Christian organization that accepts in kind donations for the needy. I have found so much healing in burning old paperwork that needed to be gotten rid of for years. I have found so much relief in being rid of things that were just in the house to take up space but served no real purpose. I have found so much joy in having space to put my daughter’s things when she came home from college and her entire dorm room had to have a place to be stored – that couldn’t have happened 6 months ago. Clearing things out paves the way to have some much needed repairs done in preparation for putting the house on the market to get it sold so I can leave all the bad memories and ghosts behind me. Those demons are not welcome to move with me to my new house. I don’t where I’ll move to, but I know it will be filled with peace, joy, and love!
Jen Grice says
That’s wonderful Monica, such great progress you’re making. So glad you are creating joy in your new life! 🙂
Love watching tidying up. I received marriage home through the divorce, but with no alimony. I had mixed feelings about coming back here but now see it as God’s provision as my mtg is less than what I paid on my apartment for the last 2 years. It’s an adjustment but he’s ( my x) is not here and I can’t wait to paint it and change it up. ?
Jen Grice says
That’s a great outlook, Shelly. Thanks for sharing! Maybe if you could change the decor and small things little by little to make it only your home with your stuff? I had sunflowers in the kitchen of my marital home. Now I have farmhouse and barn type decor. When I look around I don’t see any of the items I had while I was married. I just see peace and joy! 🙂
Cynthia S. says
Being Happy and Courageous, I would like to do a “shout out” to you Jen for creating a space of joy, hope and forgiveness. This is my first time ever commenting on a post and I just want to say, thank you for allowing God to use you in a miraculous way to bring healing and wholeness to the many brave souls of women. I am toward the finish line of being a divorcee after 28 years of marriage. I served as a pastor’s wife and now pastoring. Your words of encouragement have caused me to focus on personal soul care and remain steadfast and unmovable in the faith as I discover “me” and on this journey of new beginnings. I have truly found joy in my apartment and I am constantly rearranging my decor to create a spa atmosphere…burning as many candles as I want…pillows and fleece blankets to soften every room…abstract wall art that invites the unimaginable…and music, music, music. I even play it when I am gone from the apartment so when I enter into the atmosphere of praise and worship – I can join right in.
Happy and Courageous
Jen Grice says
What a great idea to leave music playing while away to come home to a nice atmosphere. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community!
This is very timely for me…and I didn’t know this show was on Netflix! Thank you for mentioning this as I am getting settled in my own home purchased not 2 months ago. I watched a couple of episodes, and this has helped me formulate and solidify a plan as I tackle the settling in process.
Before I was divorced and in talking with my therapist about moving on, she emphasized so much of what you have written in this blog, and even though I have had to move 3 times since the divorce almost 2 1/2 years ago, I let go of more and more, and have slowly formulated what I want my space to feel like and bring to my life. It is a process, and since one of the things my ex loved to do was “move” and keep me off-balanced; moving has been paralyzing and a sort of trigger for me. I had to focus on moving to what I wanted, not “just moving again.”
I will employ a few of the techniques I saw in the episodes, and I am looking forward to the less stressful environment (heck, it is already less stressful to me)! I have switched to a color palette that will bring a more soothing feel and it is already become the best part of my journey. After almost 32 years of marriage, I finally feel like this is all mine, and I don’t have to give anything up that I want to keep. It is true that only things that give you joy and bring a smile to your face should stay in your home. I am also thinking that I don’t want to possess anything that would be a burden for someone to “go through” after I’m gone, so I organize with that in the back of my head also, but then I’m in my mid-60’s so I’m in a different stage of my life than many others who are raising kids, etc. Perfect, timing, Jen! Thank you!
Jen Grice says
You’re welcome. That is such great advice and encouragement, Becky. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you found how to create peace and joy after divorce.