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Osouji – Japan’s Year-End Cleanup

Osouji – Japan’s Year-End Cleanup

Here in the United States, the New Year is seen as a welcome opportunity to make a fresh start. To help you get ahead on your resolution to get organized, The Container Store holds its annual sale on elfa® shelves. In fact, you’ll find plenty of organization tools (as well as yoga mats) on sale in January. But why wait? Put your affairs in order now so you can enjoy life in the new year. Wouldn’t you be able to get an even fresher fresh start by tidying and cleaning your home before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve?

In Japan, the end of December is the time of year to clean the home. It’s called Osouji, (pronounced OH-SOH-jee, and spelled in English in creative ways including oosouji and osoji). Osouji means “Big Cleaning,” and it is similar to…

Great Room Closet, Before And After

Great Room Closet, Before And After

Closet Before: A jumbled space (look at the far right and notice the storage unit that we moved into the closet) Here is a “before” look at the storage unit. A unique aspect of the KonMari Method involves moving furniture used for storage into your […]

I Kondoed My Hair, and I Couldn’t Believe What Happened!

I Kondoed My Hair, and I Couldn’t Believe What Happened!

My hair before the cut! Photo credit: Cori Nations Photography

 

Her name is a verb.  According to wiktionary.org, the transitive verb Kondo means “To tidy up using the methods advocated by Marie Kondo, especially keeping only those things that tokimeku (spark joy).”  You can “Kondo” your clothes, your books, your house, and even your boyfriend!

 

In her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, tidying guru Marie Kondo writes with certainty, “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.”  Kondo has had the pleasure of witnessing the physical and interior transformations of many of her clients.  As Kondo’s followers (a.k.a. “Konverts”) work through the Method, they may also lose weight, take better care of their appearance, and generally move toward a joy-filled lifestyle.

 

After I completed the KonMari Method on my home, that physical and interior transformation began to manifest itself.  As I prepared to attend the KonMari consultant training this past April in Chicago, I took an honest look at myself and concluded that my hair did not spark joy!  So… I Kondoed my hair.  (Yes, Kondoed is the correct past tense and past participle of Kondo.  Another new-to-English verb I’ve heard and read to describe the same act is “KonMaried,” which may be shortened to KM’d.)

 

I walked into a salon and asked for my hair to be cut short in layers (usually I get it cut straight across).  To my surprise, the resulting cut showcased my hair’s hidden capability.  See, I’m pretty sure I’ve had curly hair my whole life, and I didn’t even know it.  I knew it was curly in places, like underneath.  I knew I had managed to wear it curly when I was 4 and when I was 19, but when I walked into the salon that morning, it was mostly straight.  And when I walked out, boy was it curly!

 

By trimming away the dead ends, I uncovered a fresh, beauty-enhancing appearance that was there all along.  In the same way, cutting clutter from my home helped me showcase its beauty.  

 

Honoring yourself and your space are a couple of the resulting benefits of the KonMari Method.  In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo admits, “I occasionally check in with graduates of my courses to see how they are doing.  In almost every case, not only is their home or office still in order, but they are continuing to improve their space.”  In my home, I continue to hone the tidy habits I developed while completing the KonMari Method and upgrade the tidy spaces to effuse more joy.  The transformation is not surprising.

 

I find myself embracing a lifestyle of joy that pervades not only my home, but also my appearance.  The real me is curly and reflects my true self.  Real looks good on me.  Real looks good on you too!  What do you need to cut to transform your lifestyle and enhance your joy?

After Kondoing my hair

Photo credit: All Things Simple Photography

My bag is packed (vertically!)…

My bag is packed (vertically!)…

The suitcase is packed (all contents have been placed vertically and are easily visible) and my whole family is coming along to enjoy the great city of Chicago while I attend the KonMari Consultant training conference. I am very excited to gain expertise in the KonMari Method™ and […]