Nice & Tidy


Thank you for joining me on the discussion of decluttering and organizing.  Now is the time! 2019 is a brand new, clean slate and perfect time for inviting order into our lives.  Granted, it’s not the most exciting topic to write about but I was recently invigorated about the idea after watching Marie Kondo’s television show Tidying Up on Netflix.  Her secret ingredient in the decluttering process is her end game: to renew, restore and reconnect your life (not her words, but mine).  That’s the mantra used at Serenity Matagorda Isle, my small event venue.  Who knew the same philosophy could apply to laundry, housekeeping and storage?  Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, is a global phenomenon! Admittedly, I am way behind in discovering Kondo’s technique considering her book was published in 2014; however, watching her in action showcasing real families living in clutter, I could identify and witness the philosophy of renewal, restoration and reconnection.   Below are some decluttering tips from Kondo:

Honoring Your Home: The first action Kondo takes is finding a space in the client’s home to connect with the house’s/apartment’s spirit.  By doing so, it acknowledges the home as a sacred space that should be honored and cared for. (It’s certainly a different take on chores from when I was growing up.)

Tackle Categories:  Instead of tackling each room in the house, Kondo suggests beginning with clothing (no matter where it resides in the house).  As an example, she has each of her clients make a pile of their own clothing in the middle of a room and has them slowing go through each piece, grateful for their use, but keeping only those pieces that bring them joy while holding them.  She has a laundry folding process that each family member must mindfully participate in.  (I know what you’re thinking—but I saw it with my own eyes.) Showing respect and appreciation for your clothing shifts the whole dynamic in the decluttering process. Kondo moves from the bedrooms on to item throughout their home and garage.

Embracing Nostalgia:  We hang on to so many “cherished” items that the items get lost in the clutter.  Placing a pile of these items in the middle of a room brings to light the enormity of this pile.  Once again, she asks that you go through each item to prioritize the most significant pieces you want to keep.  Seeing the pile really puts it into perspective. 

Purging Breaks the Chains of Clutter:  Watching the client’s facial expressions change from stressful to peaceful as they moved through their home decluttering and organizing over a period of several weeks was eye-opening.  Along with dozens of 33 gallon bags of trash and donations being removed from the home, viewers witnessed the emotional baggage removed from the house as well.  There was something about the whole family participating in the process that made it sacred.  Each took on their individual responsibility of restoring order in their part of the home and assisting in the restoration of the common areas. This is where the reconnection comes in.  Kondo’s clients reconnected with each other and shared in the celebration of their home’s restoration.

Crossing through the threshold of 2019, take time to consider a decluttering makeover for your home.  I suggest you pick up Marie Kondo’s book or watch her Netflix series for tips on how to proceed.  Cleaning never sounded so appealing!


– Karen Restivo is a Life & Communication Coach and owner of SerenityMatagorda Isle. You can learn more about Karen by visiting her online at or emailing her at

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