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A Spring of Change

Blog (EN)

A Spring of Change

Diana Rovanio

Dear readers,

First of all, I am sorry that I haven't been writing here for awhile. A lot has happened since my last post, and I have been trying to find some balance, not only in regards to life, work and blogging but also in a lot of aspects in my life. I would also like to thank you for sticking with me.

Today, I would like to talk about change.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to completely overhaul your life and your habits? I am talking about experiencing a FUNDAMENTAL change, especially with your living habits. This thirst for change, especially in the way that I live my life, has been manifesting itself these past few months. Maybe it's the Spring, or maybe it's all the other changes that had happened in my life (new job, celebrating my 32nd birthday, etc.) that incited this yearning not only as a thought but also in action. 

I especially would like to talk about 'tidying up' our space and our lives. Being a creative for most of my life, I can't say that I am the neatest person in the world when it comes to my living space. When I worked as a freelance graphic designer, my living space in the time building up to a deadline could attain a degree of titanic mess. Though creative people are often associated with and stereotyped for their certain degree of messiness as even referenced by this article, The Psychology Behind Messy Rooms. I can't say that I was content with this condition. I often wonder and marvel at the women that look so put together and appear to have a perpetually pristine living space. (Did they have a huge hiding room where they shove all the mess?) I yearn to be a woman who lives her life elegantly. To have a beautiful living space free of mess; both stylish and filled with objects that I love. Sadly, despite the different methods I used (tidying in rotation, discarding things I no longer need, discarding the same number of items from my closet with the same number of new items that I bought, etc.), the change has never truly lasted, and soon enough the mess is back.

Consumed by clutter... 

When a room becomes cluttered, the cause is more than just physical. Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder. The act of cluttering is really an instinctive reflex that draws our attention away from the heart of an issue. When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.
— Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Life has its own funny ways. I believe that when you are ready for a change and truly want it, the path will come to you. So, around 2 weeks ago, I was on the phone with my friend Thea Nalls, she was tidying up her place and she mentioned that she is trying a Japanese technique from the book "The life-changing magic of Tidying up" by Marie Kondo. After the phone conversation, my curiosity took over and I googled Marie Kondo.

When I saw one of her talks online before reading the book, I was not sure of how her "spark joy" method works. I was in the middle of cleaning my house and sorting my laundry, when she explained that our body has a natural reaction to touching the things we own. I suddenly noticed that I was sighing as I held the piece of T-shirt on my hands. It was an A-ha moment that prompted me to start reading the book. I then downloaded the book and ended up buying it and reading it in one go as I feel that a lot of her words resonate with me.

© Urban Outfitters

© Urban Outfitters

When I first read the book I was slightly skeptical but curious. I quickly found comfort in the fact that she said, tidying is a learned skill and not personality based. Imagine never having built a house before and being asked to create a skyscraper with all the furnishings and calculations with no guides whatsoever. Feeling kind of hopeless already? 

Our parents demanded that we cleanup our rooms, but they too , had never been trained in how to do that. When it comes to tidying, we are all self-taught.
— Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Well, the tidying aptitude in its essence is a learned skill not a natural talent. Of course, some people might navigate these murky waters better than others. But nevertheless, it never hurts to keep learning, especially from someone who is a world renowned expert in tidying ;). And for a tidying amateur such as I, there is a mountain of things to conquer and a long way to go to tidydom.

© pinterest

© pinterest

As I read further, I began to see things with fresh eyes. It's truly endearing to see our belongings as more than mere objects. Instead, to see them as friends whom we choose to accompany us in our daily lives.

Just as we regarded the people in our lives, we don't see each person and think "Hmm...which one am I discarding next?", but we value their presence and we guard the ones who are precious close to us - this should be the same when it comes to our things.

In our saga of owning things, the reverse is also true.

When we look into the surplus of things we have in our lives, often we don't comprehend  the burden of things we cannot let go. This burden actually weighs on us until we finally make the decision to face it and follow through with action. Everything that comes into our lives serves a purpose, and not everyone / everything is meant to stay with us forever. 

Easier said than done... right? 







                                                                           Things ?


But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.
— Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The process of discarding has a deeper meaning, it is not merely an act of throwing away, but an act of evaluation of the signification of this object in your life. Does it create a better life for you?  Or  has it outlived its purpose? At the end of the day, to acknowledge this, not only frees up more space, but it also gives you more energy to cherish the ones that are dear to your heart.

To me, her method of keeping only things that "spark joy" serves as a training in following our intuitive feelings and to listen to our heart in our daily lives. To follow your inner compass in deciding on what you would like to keep in your life and building your life in such a way that you are surrounded by the things and experiences that speak to your heart. 

Though simple, the entire process is quite tiring physically and mentally as it asks you to truly evaluate each one of your belongings by category and to decide or come face to face with your past decisions. Only YOU can know what makes you happy. The parameter of what brings you happiness lies in your hands and the same is true for objects and any decision in your daily life.

I won't go into too much detail of how to do this technique as I think the how-to is already well explained in her book. (I recommend you to read it thoroughly) there are not a lot of rules involved, but it is crucial to follow the little that does exist.

since starting this process three weeks ago, I can say that I feel the immediate effect. My wardrobe has lasted for three weeks without clutter and my jewelry is now displayed beautifully. Every time I open my closet I feel happy and proud.

From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order
— Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing


I truly hope that by the end of this process I will leave my space free of clutter


and my mind with a little bit of clarity.

I would love to hear your thoughts! Have you struggled with the same issue too? Feel Free to comment below!

To Tidydom and Beyond ;)


Bisous! Cium Sayang! Kisses!

Words by Diana Rovanio


Book : "The life-changing magic of Tidying up"

Special Thanks to Nadia Bengali for the advice and support! <3