Calhoun Magazine

January - February 2017

Dalton Daily CItizen, Calhoun Magazine

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34 | Calhoun Magazine | January/February 2017 "Be brave," I whispered to myself the succinct mantra LOOXVWUDWHGRQDEHDXWLIXOIUDPHZLWKUHÀHFWLYHPLUURUVRQ each side and gilded with gold leaf on the seams. When I'm worried about trying something new or facing a challenging project, I remind myself to "be brave." The frame is one of my newest decor items in my "woman cave" at home. It's there because it sparks joy every time I look at it. There's nothing quite like surrounding yourself with only the things that spark joy in your most personal spaces. My "be brave" frame sits on my desk near my sonic screwdriver (a replica from the Doctor Who television series—another favorite), and my instant camera that pops out tiny "polaroids." Coloring books, planners, and magazines about health and mindfulness are organized from tallest to shortest adding to the organized aesthetic. A year ago, I had a huge pile of books and old magazines VWDFNHGRQWKHÀRRUSHQVKLGLQJLQDOONLQGVRIFRQWDLQHUV SDMDPDSDQWVPLVVLQJWKHLUWRSVVWUHZQLQ¿YHGLIIHUHQW drawers mixed with last year's beat up handbags—not to mention lots of art supplies, like acrylic paint that may or may not be dried out, laid out with no clear storage space of their own. I thought messy was okay, after all it's a sign of creative genius—right? All that changed when I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (www.konmari.com). After hearing about it on a podcast, and then later seeing an article about it online, I decided to give it a try. The book is a compact guide to removing the unnecessary things in your OLIHDQGNHHSLQJRQO\WKRVHWKLQJVWKDWVSDUNMR\$W¿UVW glance it offers the promise of organization, but I found it to go much deeper than that. Just like the phrase "be brave," the phrase "spark joy" can EHOLIHFKDQJLQJ:KHQ,¿UVWKHDUGDERXWWKHSURPLVHRI tidying just once and never having to declutter again, I was intrigued. Could it really be possible to get so organized that you would be happy every time you enter into your home? +RZZRXOGLWIHHOLI\RXOLYHGLQDKRPH¿OOHGZLWKRQO\WKH things you love? Would it be peaceful, a source of joy, an oasis from the hectic work day? I decided to follow the guideline set by Marie Kondo, affectionately called KonMari, and try the method for myself. Over the course of several weeks, I decluttered my home and got rid of excess stuff that my family and I really GLGQ¶WQHHGWRNHHSDURXQGLQWKH¿UVWSODFH%XW,IRXQGWKDW when it comes to decluttering a space, it's not enough to just donate or throw away a handful of items with no real rhyme or reason. When you don't set any boundaries regarding the stuff you allow into your home, you have the perfect storm for a relapse. Before you know it, one magazine multiplies into ten staged in a disheveled stack on the coffee table. Suddenly you realize that the bathroom counter is cluttered with half-empty tubes of products you don't even remember Be Brave. Spark Joy. by Elizabeth Swafford

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