If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, what bed have you been hiding under? The super popular organizational expert’s mission to “spark joy” through tidying set off a plethora of purgers who learned how to say goodbye to the clutter and clothes that didn’t spark joy. In fact, thrift stores are bulging at the beams with donations, and some have even stopped accepting temporarily donations.
But before you say goodbye to that item that doesn’t spark tingly, emotional excitement, there’s one question your belongings and I are begging you to ask. If you’re being true to yourself when answering, it may set off a spiritual sparkle too:
Sit still, take some deep breaths and ask, “How does this room (or space) make me feel?” Do you feel swallowed by stuff? Or if you’re a minimalist and want some warmth in a room, take a moment to feel the feeling — instead of thinking about it.
Before you do anything, it’s important to understand the kind of person you are. Are you “warm” or “cool”? Act accordingly. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, author of my favorite design books, “Apartment Therapy,” believes these two types best describe people’s approaches to their living environment.
He explains, “You typically hear about warm people. These are the ones who worry about clutter and organizing and who tend to obsess much more about their homes. They are often gregarious, friendly and generous. Warm people are good hosts but are bad with cleaning and clutter. They are challenged by excessiveness and attachment to people and things.
“Cool people use their homes less and often find them an inconvenience. They want them to be comfortable but keep them as low-maintenance as possible. Efficient by nature, cool people are often sharp, smart and independent. Cool people are good guests, but they are not great at making things comfortable. Cool people are great at avoiding clutter. At home, they are not do-it-yourselfers, and they feel clumsy. They are challenged by not feeling attached enough to people and things.”
If you’re “warm,” consider purging. If you’re “cool,” consider carefully selecting one or a few things that bring warmth to your home.
Whether you’re warm or cool, I’m not going lie, parting with or adding on things for your home can be equally difficult. Get back up. Seek input from a friend. If you’re a cool person, get a warm person to help pick out a rug or throw that makes your place a little more cozy.
Happy purging or purchasing! I’d love to know what your initial gut instinct is when you walk into each room in your home. Now the big question is, what will you do to change your place so you feel lifted and shifted by this change? Remember, when you change your physical space, you also change your internal place.
If there are questions or design solutions that I could help you with, hit me up on social and please share with your design and design-challenged friends.