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Choosing Joy – The Marie Kondo Method comes to Fort Erie!

Michelle Kolozetti ,Certified KonMari Consultant, FEO, April 11, 2024, VOL. 5 ISSUE 16

Hello Fort Erie! I’m very excited to introduce myself to you as a regular contributor to The Fort Erie Observer. I’m delighted to have this opportunity and will do my very best to spark a bit of joy with each column.

I moved to Ridgeway last year and am loving life in this beautiful town – enjoying the wildlife in my backyard, starry evening skies, and a simpler pace of life! When I’m not admiring the scenery, I’m working on helping people take charge of their clutter and live more simple lives. I’m a professional organizer; trained and certified in the Marie Kondo methodology.

Marie Kondo is a decluttering and tidying expert, best-selling author of multiple books, and the star of a Netflix series. She started tidying at a very early age and over time, created a system to completely organize the home. The KonMari process tackles tidying by category, not room by room, so that all your belongings are sorted and tidied and you’re not just moving your messes around. Marie Kondo calls this whole home tidy a “Tidying Festival”- a joyful experience where you go through all of your possessions one category at a time and in order: Clothes, Books, Papers, Komono (miscellaneous items) and finally, Sentimental Items. The beauty of the Kondo process is that it doesn’t focus on what to get rid of, but what to keep by asking you to evaluate if it “sparks joy”. If it does, then it stays – it’s that simple! It may seem like an unusual criterion, but think about this…why would you have things in your home that don’t make you happy?  If it doesn’t spark joy, you discard it with gratitude – it has served a purpose in your life and it’s time to respectfully let it go. By being an active participant in the tidying process, people learn the skills necessary to tidy and also learn the processes to keep it up.

I came to the KonMari method a few years ago. I had read her book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, started using her unusual vertical folding and didn’t do much else.  But I hadn’t done a thorough Kondo-style tidy – I’d just been moving my clutter from room to room or putting it into boxes. So, I didn’t find it all that life-changing!  Little did I know that the time wasn’t right for me, I had to wait a few years for it to speak to me.

When the pandemic hit and I spent more and more time at home, the clutter, disorganization and general mess started to get to me. My dining room was unfit for dining or much of anything – piled high with files and paper-work as I had just sold my previous business.  There really was not much that was joyful or organized about how I was living. In an attempt to procrastinate, I picked up the book once again and really, really read it – with intention. This time it spoke to me – maybe it even yelled! I then began my own Tidying Festival in earnest. It took me a solid 3 months of work in between career, family, and life – I realized that the method was completely life-changing. Bags upon bags of things left my house – donated, recycled or repurposed – and I let them all go gratefully.  By completing the process, I realized that I enjoy my spaces more; I find things more quickly; and I don’t buy things I already have. By only keeping things that make me happy, I have fewer in number, but more in joy! 

Imagine my utter surprise and delight when I found out that I could actually do this as a career! I could help people tidy their spaces and tidy their lives with a gentle and simple approach and share The Life-Changing Magic. I took the KonMari Consultant Course, completed the requirements for certification and started my own organizing company – Simple Sanctuary Home Organization. I’m a Silver Level KonMari Consultant and currently the only Certified Consultant in the Niagara Region. It has been amazing to work with clients from all walks of life who are looking to simplify their lives and reclaim the joy in their spaces!

The KonMari method resonates strongly with me as I believe that HELPING people do something is more valuable than doing it FOR them. I love seeing clients come to terms with their possessions, and through the tidying process, gain insight into living a more intentional life. It’s not about staging for beautiful social media photos, it’s working individually with each client to create spaces that reflect their lives, surround them with things that make them happy, and make it as easy as possible to keep tidy for the long term.

I believe that organizing your home is the first step in organizing your life! Once you have decluttered and tidied your possessions, it’s not a big leap to find what sparks joy in the other aspects of your life.  From your finances and relationships to your shopping habits and how you spend your time, organizing your space is the first step to claiming your ideal life.

If you want to learn more about the Marie Kondo method or philosophy, you can read her books or watch her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you would like to know more about my services and how I can help you find your very own Simple Sanctuary, you can reach me through my website, www.simplesanctuaryhomeorganization.com or through Facebook or Instagram @simplesanctuaryhomeorg.  I love chatting about all things tidying and organizing, so message me and we can have a cup of tea and talk about choosing joy!

 Michelle Kolozetti is a professional home organizer, stager and speaker living in beautiful Ridgeway, Ontario.

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