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An Alternative to Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy” Approach

PRE-ORDER LISTFUL LIVING: If you’re inclined to buy a copy of my new journal book, Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You,” please do it now.

The book will be out in the fall of 2019 but pre-orders are a big deal for authors and it would help me out tremendously.

Pre-orders tell the publisher and the media that this book is going to be a big deal. And I’m offering some great pre-order bonuses that you’ll be eligible to receive. All you have to do is send a copy of your receipt to my assistant at Tabitha@paularizzo.com and when they are unveiled you’ll get them! Thank you!  

Clutter – thanks to Marie Kondo is the in thing right now.

Everyone is trying to reduce their amount of stuff and live more minimally.

But living by her ‘spark joy’ principle doesn’t always work for everyone. So how do you finally clear clutter once and for all?

Tracy McCubbin has the answers for you and I interviewed her via video recently.  
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Marie Kondo Sparks Joy on Netflix

It was over three years ago that I first fell in love with Marie Kondo and her bestselling book,  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

After reading and listening to the audio version of her book,I went on a cleaning rampage.

I got rid of 7 bags of clothing and 2 boxes of books. There was so much more space in my cozy New York City apartment.

Since then I have not only met Marie Kondo, but I’ve also tried to spread the KonMari method to all my friends and family.

It wasn’t, however, until recently that Marie Kondo entered the mainstream. Netflix released a TV show centered around the premise of her book.

She goes into people’s homes and helps them declutter. The show has been a big hit and people have been going cleaning crazy, not unlike myself a few years ago.

Thrift stores have been seeing a huge influx recently thanks to Marie’s method.

The show follows a simple pattern with a family in over their heads in clutter. Marie comes in like a fairy godmother and teaches them her various methods for folding clothes and tidying up.

But most importantly she asks them what ‘sparks joy’ – this is to help people hold on to the important things in their life and cut the fat!

I’m so excited to see Marie fever sweeping the nation having been caught up in it myself!

Following her rules makes getting rid of items so much less overwhelming. Marie encourages you to show gratitude to your items daily, so I started leaving the closet door open so my clothes could get some fresh air and sunlight and my friend and colleague Terri massaged her sweaters.

I think Marie really resonates with people, not just because she’s so sweet, but also because her method is less of a chore and more of a ideology.

Give her method a try or at least watch the Netflix show to give yourself a little inspiration. When I watched the first episode it ended about 10:30pm and I was debating pulling all my clothes out of the closet and starting to tidy! But then I came to my senses and decided I’d pick another day to start.

You can tackle one category at a time – not by room. This is probably very different than you’ve ever done but it’s a very effective way of cleaning.

The one thing I didn’t love about the Netflix show is that it’s a bit repetitive. It’s the same formula over and over again but if you aren’t familiar with the method it’s good to see it done with multiple families.

Did the Netflix show spark you to start cleaning?

Happy 4th Birthday Listful Thinking!

It’s hard to believe that four years ago I release my first book Listful Thinking. The book tour that followed was the first time I got to meet many of the regular followers of this blog ListProducer.com.

One of my favorite parts of meeting list makers in person was getting to see your lists! That was always so fun. And being able to debate the pros and cons of using technology with lists or keeping it old school. So much fun!
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The Case for Becoming A Minimalist

Since my book Listful Thinking has been published in 12  different languages I have been able to connect with list makers across the globe. In particular I often receive messages from people in China and Japan who want to talk about their love of lists.

It’s become clear to me that while  we may have different approaches and styles, being more productive without overworking ourselves is a common human goal. In fact, in my search for a more minimalist lifestyle, I have often been inspired by ideas from the other side of the world.

As you may know I am a huge fan of Marie Kondo, who brings a simplicity to clearing clutter. She has you ask a simple question as you hold items from you home in your hand, “Does it spark joy?” It makes you really think about the stuff you  choose to keep, not just in your closets, but in your life in general.

I’m not the only one who has been inspired by eastern minimalism. Raymond Tang felt overwhelmed by his fast paced technology driven lifestyle and sought change elsewhere. He was inspired by the classic poems of by Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher. These poems are thousands of years old, but as Raymond explains in his TED talk they offer advice that we can embrace today.

Lao Tzu encouraged people to act more like water, which fills the shape of its container. t doesn’t fight against the obstacle in anyway. In the same way, all of us can be more open to opportunities and rather then force ourselves to be a certain version of success, we can just go with the flow.

It’s easier said than done, of course and I struggle with this on a daily basis. I really like order and structure and when I’m in a chaotic situation it makes me anxious. But I’m trying to be more open to chance and circumstance.

Minimalism is big  in Japan as well, where  young people are trying to own fewer and fewer things. Inspired by traditional Zen Buddhism, they have reduced the amount of physical things in their life to free up time spent cleaning or decluttering to be used elsewhere. When explaining the difference between Eastern and Western styles one person said, “In the west, making a space complete means placing something there. But with tea ceremonies, or Zen, things are left incomplete on purpose to let the person’s imagination make that space complete.”

In that same article one Japanese man explained that he only four pairs of pants, three shirts and four pairs of socks. If that makes you nervous, it shouldn’t! There’s something really freeing about having less stuff.

When you think about you probably use the same clothes over and over again anyway. So why are you holding onto it?

4 Ways to Organize Your Closet With Ease

I am a huge Marie Kondo fan, I love how she know how to make decluttering look so simple. In reality though I sometimes find decluttering and ongoing and tiresome task. Besides what exactly do you do with your wardrobe once it’s decluttered? How do you make it work for you?

Monisha Kapur is a stylist and wardrobe consultant – so I figured why should I try to tell you how to organize your closet when I can just defer to her expertise. Plus she was a student of mine in my online course teaching experts how to get media attention.

In my latest video interview, Monisha reveals her favorite app for organizing your closet. You can watch it here!

Here are some of Monisha’s top tips: Read more