In the Fall of 2014, I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz and had no idea that this one small book would launch me on a year-long reading and re-thinking journey from cluttered confusion to calm profitability.
Profit First turned the traditional method of accounting on its ear (more about that here) and although I struggled with the idea at first, it made a HUGE amount of sense to me!
Next, while ice bound, in February of 2015, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. (Ask any Texan how many seasons we have, and they will say two – Summer and ice. When ice storms hit, they make driving almost impossible, so we do our best to stay off the roads.) The weather that caused me to stay home for two days gave me a unique opportunity to focus on this small, hardcover book and its process.
The book addressed challenges I had faced my entire life:
- Accumulating “stuff”
- Binge shopping
- Buying items and then not knowing what to do with them.
I had an inability to make decisions about where to put things, and it stressed me out more than I realized. Marie Kondo’s methods and philosophy of doing one large purge and tidying up in your home and life rang true in my mind. This was the answer to the question I didn’t realize I had been asking:
“How can I simplify my life?”
I decided now was the right time. I followed Marie’s advice and picked up each item in my home, touching the material and asking her one critical question:
“Does this spark joy in my life?”
As I started the tidy up process around my house, I noticed I felt less stressed and more calm.
One of my huge “aha moments” while implementing the Marie Kondo tidying method was that once I rid myself of things that did not bring me joy, I couldn’t buy any NEW items that didn’t bring me joy!
I admit to you that I still struggle a bit with how to find that joy in the store as I’m shopping. Much of that challenge probably has to do with the fact that I do a lot of online shopping. I can’t touch the item when I’m browsing online to see if it brings me joy. However, I can order it, touch it when it arrives at my house. If it doesn’t bring me joy I can ship it back, thanks to my ever-patient daughter, Marissa, who takes packages back to the post office.
Be sure to read next week’s blog post on how finances were the next stop on my personal journey of tidying my life.