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 over-extended 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?
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.
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,