Written by: April Vargo
A couple weeks ago I watched "The Art of Tidying Up" with Marie Kondo. My Facebook newsfeed was completely blowing up with how amazing this show is and how it's completely changed the way they look at what they have, what they really need, and how they stay organized. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I found the show incredibly interesting as Marie's perspectives on organization and tidiness are very logical but also stemmed from her own cultural background. I listened to one of the families talk about how they feel overwhelmed, they fight all the time, they're exhausted and they just don't know where to begin. I think the hardest thing to do is begin something.
Whether you like it or not, you get accustomed to the life you live, even if you want it to be different. Sometimes the act of changing can be so overwhelming that you accept where you are in life and try to be happy or at least content.
It was really interesting to see this family after they finished Marie's process, how their whole persona changed, they weren't fighting anymore, their stress levels were completely down and they had time for the things that really mattered to them. At this point, they went through the process, they changed, and they could finally live the life they were after.
I have personally found my mindset changing over the last few months. Since January, I would say I have become incredibly neat. I like to keep the house clean and organized, everything has a place and should go back into that place once you're done with it. I have found that if I keep up with it a little every day I don't have to dedicate a whole day to just deep cleaning everything. Honestly, I don't really have the energy to clean for a whole day. It has made my life so much easier, I'm constantly moving - which is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, and I'm getting a piece of mind that I live in a clean and organized space.
It was funny because I started seeing blogs from other people and their perspectives on what they find acceptable and not in their own houses. One comment that came up centered around shoes in a house. I've never liked people wearing shoes in my house, but after years of asking people to take them off and some people never doing it I just gave up. However, I read this post from Cassey Ho the creator of Blogilates about how she grew up in an Asian house and was always expected to take her shoes off when entering, think about it, you wear your shoes in a public bathroom. That was pretty much game over for me, I thought about how gross most female public bathrooms are and that junk is now in my carpets. No way, so I got over the fear of asking people to take off their shoes and now just tell them at the door, or sometimes text before.
Shoes may seem like a small item, and truly it is. However, the point is, a house is your space, it's your place to feel comfortable, and you're the one who has to maintain it. Why can't you ask for what you want? I tend to look at this as part of time management. I'm going to have to clean more after a get together than before, that eats into time I could be doing other things.
This concept extends beyond your home and personal space. Asking for what you want, organizing your life, your time, and your priorities are key.
After the new year I have been teaching a lot of group classes, and it's interesting to see the type of people who sign up for the classes. You can always tell the difference between those who want to be there and those whose parents signed them up. I have some students who are so motivated and driven.....homework is done every week on time or even early, very thorough, and they are prepared for the following class. While I have other students who have never turned in an assignment, are falling behind because they aren't doing the work, and have nothing but excuses.
The biggest excuse I hear is, "I had a busy week." The kid who got all their work done always has a little smile on their face...why...because they too have had a busy week but found time to get their assignments done. I always respond to the child as this is your class, you will get out what you put into it. The class says you must be an independent learner, I am not going to be on top of you asking you to get your work done, if you can't do it on your own this class may have been too advanced for you.
I just read a quote by M. Scott Peck that I found incredibly interesting. "Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
I find that people love to use the excuse, "I simply don't have time." If we are all honest with ourselves, we can make time for things that are really important. The truth of the matter is, we don't want to make the time for certain things, so we use the lack of time as our excuse. No one ever questions this, so we get away with it and move on doing what we've been doing.
It's okay to not want to do certain things, but then admit that to yourself. "I don't want to do this" versus "I don't have time for it." Once you stop using time as your excuse it's so much easier to prioritize what's important and what isn't. Our time is valuable, so use it wisely.
Time management and staying organized is crucial to being happy and productive. When you don't feel stressed and like you have a million and one things hanging over your head, but instead, do a little at a time, life is so much easier to live. It absolutely takes a complete shift in mindset and in some cases a completely new way of living your life. However, you will absolutely be happier in the end.