Where I was in March 2018:
I’ll start with a little back story before I write on and share pictures, at the very beginning my bedroom and creative space were together in the same room. It was useful as everything was in the same place, though it easily got cluttered and people commented it was like an office art space that had a bed placed in the centre of it. True, I could see where they were coming from on that. Another room became free so I split one into a bed room the other into a creative space with desk to work at. My fiancé (now husband) came round one day and we painted two rooms in 24 hours! Both with white walls and a pink feature wall, baby pink and fuchsia pink, you can’t go wrong with that!
While this was happening I was in the in-between stages of tasks, I had ripped up the carpet showing the bare glossed floor boards I used to know, I had moved an old bed frame out, replaced it with new and ordered a double bed for my new room. I slept on mattress for weeks till it arrived, very grounding but nearing the end of the month I felt I was inhaling dust, floor level stuff. Bit by bit I removed items and bought new ones, it was starting to come together. I’d do things in spare time before or after work, I couldn’t shake off a feeling, or visualisation that a chaise lounge or something was needed and I could read books at it. I also kept getting nudges from family that it would become a bedroom again when I left, that left me feeling crushed as all the time and space to make it a creative space, that my Dad could use would be wasted.
My bedroom was now only a bedroom, bed, clothes, toiletries and sheep skin to sit at and meditate in the mornings. I also had a the tops of units as mini alters with trinkets on to ground me to my Sikhi spiritual practice.
Fast forward to September 2018:
I was still using both rooms when I felt the need to really tidy things up, I found out I was pregnant and moving out the same year, I had a creative room full of stuff some of it I loved, though to others if they were tidying up (a) it would be a lot of work for them and (b) they wouldn’t know what I wanted to keep and what to throw, with a mixed media set up anything was possible!
I’d heard about the Marie Kondo method years ago and read blog posts but hadn’t gone fully into it, now felt like the right time. By the end of it I had 10 big bags of stuff to throw and 4 charity bags of clothes. I saw those words written in peoples stories in the book but I couldn’t believe that at the start – really Marie nearly every person has 10 bags of rubbish? Yep, true for me. At this time I was not big enough for baby weight to be an issue though I started ‘nesting’ early, it powered me through the tidy up mission.
What I got out of the Kon Marie Method
1. Does this spark joy for me now? The basis of decision making, it was sometimes easy other times harder to let go of items. Some went back to past relationships and single times, I thanked items for serving me then threw them away. It was surprising what I held onto out of expectation to – a necklace bought for me on holiday, a holiday that brought up mixed feelings gone! Christmas presents I didn’t open or read gone! Jewellery I kept in draws again out of some sort of obligation (people never used to buy the sort I liked to wear) gone! Do you see the trend? I was working through past feelings of sadness, expectation and obligation and clearing them all!
2. A few really handy tools of hers is to make one special day (or several over month) to dedicate to tidying, I did that at first selecting one day to tidy and a week later another. Then I slipped up and used an odd hour here and there. There was a huge difference, the days I dedicated I not only got a lot done but I felt more focused and connected to what I wanted out of the room. I could clearly see what I was doing and what was next, I had a single focus. The other times I felt like I was tidying more and getting no results. Dedicate a day.
3. Dress up was a new instruction! So often in the past I’ve associated tidying with wearing old clothes or overly casual incase I get messy but why? If you set out to do an important task, on a special day, why wear rags? Each time I set out on my special day I wore a blue and orange dress given to me by a friend, I was showing more and it was super comfy. I felt like I was working with a bigger purpose.
4. It allowed me to follow through on some big changes, it related to the vision I had at the start where I was reading at a lounge. I got a day bed that allowed me to read and nap on and turned into a single to double bed for anyone that wanted to stay over, I created a bedroom people were talking about too. I finished the day bed with pink covers, cushions and soft blanket, I now read there by the window.
5. Putting things on the floor or bed in front of me in plain sight to see wasn’t something I had ever done! It really shows you how much stuff you have, you can’t escape it, you sort through it piece by piece. I did this with clothes, books, papers and most surprisingly colouring pencils, I saw how many duplicates I had of single colours that I just did not need! They weren’t expensive artist style either just standard pencils you can get anywhere so why was I holding onto 4 of the same shade of purple? I sorted through one of each colour I wanted to keep and it maximised my space.
6. I went on to use the skills from the book to tidy other parts of the house, in the kitchen I used hard cardboard boxes to organise packets of food. The future room I’m to move into first I brought a rubbish bag to the room as a boundary set right away – Here’s one bag but by the end there may be three! There was. You will have to do some self work to navigate yourself, you notice your patterns and habits of family members growing up or childhood memories of tidying. Focus on the feeling you want when walking into the room, let it carry you through.
The interesting thing about all that tidying was that it opened a space for new things to come to me, money. I had an unexpected insurance refund for £65, £60 in my bank rewards and a cheque for £110 (though if I had tidied it early I could of cashed it before it expired). Amazing what opportunities can come through!
In the here and now of January 2019
I’m still using Marie Kondo’s ways, she even has a Netflix show now! However I do have one more special day to go, as I’m moving out so are my creative supplies and books and I want to maximise the potential of a chill out lounge and creative space for my Dad.
I’m going to take my beloved supplies out, put a fresh desktop on and get soft lighting too. I have included a before and after picture at the end of this post! All ready for the next person to create in!