There are a few rituals I love on a daily basis.

One is tidying the house before I go to bed. Arranging the tea towel so it hangs straight, wiping down the kitchen bench of any remaining crumbs from the day, lining the jars of tea against the wall, arranging the cushions on the couch so they’re ‘just right, and filling the kettle with filtered water, so it’s ready for that most treasured cuppa first thing in the morning.

I’m a pretty tidy person. If you’d come to our home three weeks ago it wouldn’t have appeared out of order or in disarray.

But between Christmas and New Years a book was calling to me. I’d seen Marie Forleo mention it on social media and then Denise Duffield-Thomas mentioned it on her blog. Coming from two women I love, I was ever, ever so curious.

The book?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

the-life-changing-magic-of-tidyingInitially, I ordered it from Amazon (more about that in a minute) but I couldn’t bare to wait so I bought the Kindle version a week later. And then devoured it in one day.

Marie Kondo is ever so sweet, cheerful and non-judgmental in her tone. She’s all encouragement, possibility and practicality too, which I love. Her method is clear and concise so anyone can follow, and she says all her clients never fall off the bandwagon and go back to cluttered living again.

Before I knew it, I was taking all the clothes out of my cupboard and asking “Do you spark joy?” of each one and discarding about two-thirds of my wardrobe. Many clothes no longer fit (since my post-married body shape seems to have settled in for good, two sizes larger!), while others felt uncomfortable, were damaged or my tastes had changed over the years.

You’d think that with two-thirds less the clothes, you’d feel less satisfied with your wardrobe, wouldn’t you? Instead, I actually look forward to getting up and getting dressed in the morning, knowing I only have things that delight me to assemble an outfit from.

I felt so spurred on by the transformation in my wardrobe, I began using Marie Kondo’s method around the rest of the house; Andrew’s wardrobe (with his help, I’m not throwing out things he loves without his consent, don’t worry); the guest room cupboard; then our books; the bathroom and yesterday I tackled the kitchen.

Having less stuff around, and not just that, but only keeping the things we use, enjoy and appreciate has made life so much more pleasurable!

I’ve been taken by surprise at just how much it’s influenced my day-to-day satisfaction and well-being.

My bookshelf now fits inside my wardrobe next to my bed, so I can read all the books that I adore and know they’re just at arm’s length away. (I would never have believed I could condense my two large bookshelves into one small narrow one, AND actually, fit it into what was my once crammed up wardrobe).

Preparing food is simpler, more enjoyable and inspiring.

And Andrew has even built me a laundry upstairs so now doing the washing is, dare I say it, a pleasure.

I’ve been graduating into a domestic, not goddess, I wouldn’t go so far as that, but, at least, someone who is able to do a load of towels and sheets separately from the clothes because I’m no longer kneeling on the dirty concrete under the house wanting the whole process to be over.

These small changes have done an enormous amount for nurturing my creative heart.

nicola-newman-studio

How, you may ask?

Having less stuff to fight with in my environment has opened the space for greater awareness of what I really want to spend my time doing, (which happens to be writing, walking, reading, painting & having adventures).

Our brains can only make so many decisions a day. I often think of how Steve Jobs and Seinfeld basically wear (or wore) the same outfit every day so they don’t (didn’t) have to use their energy deciding what to wear.

Not being a fashionista, the idea of a basic daily uniform actually somewhat appeals to me! Having fewer clothes (and only ones I love) means I make fewer decisions in the apparel department, and leaves me with more decision-making power for my creative dreams.

On a side note, yesterday we went birthday present shopping (it’s actually my birthday this week 🙂 thank you very much for the well wishes, I usually keep my birthday pretty low key online) and when I spotted a book “Camping Guide to Queensland” I knew it was the perfect gift for my adventure-craving side.

Yet, I truly feel that if I hadn’t gone through all my books, I wouldn’t have ended a decade-long relationship I’ve had with one particular book on Australian National Parks. It was a book I felt compelled to keep, but never actually used. Why? Because I love to camp with Lacey Jane and dogs aren’t welcome in national parks.

Tidying up and going through all of my books brought me into the present and allowed me to see what actually would serve our life as it is now.

I felt more connected to my desires and my creativity in this moment, instead of feeling locked into a past way of thinking.

Free Book Giveaway!!!!

As I mentioned, I ended up reading (& loving) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on my Kindle, and now the originally ordered hardcover copy has arrived. In keeping with my new uncluttered living space, I’m delighted to give it away to one lucky reader!

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What effect has it had in your life? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below. And if you’d love to win the gift copy of the book, please simply leave a comment sharing why tidying is calling to your heart in 2016. I’d love to share this book with you.

I’ll announce the winner in our next newsletter, so stay tuned.

And, if you don’t win, don’t let that stop you. Grab yourself a copy anyway! The Kindle version is ever so affordable (around $3!) and as the title says, it really might just change your life.

Have a wonderful & gentle day.

With love,

Nicola pink x