When I discovered $300 worth of new-with-tag clothes in my closet I knew I uncovered something much bigger than a bad shopping habit.

While I’ll never claim to live in a constant state of domicile perfection, there’s one thing I know for sure – I’ve always loved order and tidiness. Tidying came naturally to me as a way to reboot when life inevitably got messy. I established an annual purge-donate-repeat cycle. I even helped my friends discard half of the stuff in their apartments during summer breaks, which never felt like a daunting or arduous task (and was often my idea in the first place). So, where did things go wrong?

Where was the mess?

As I continued to work through the KonMari categories I found the answer – I was emotionally stuck, and no amount of cyclical purging was going to get me out. I was stuck under unfinished projects, mindless purchases, unhealthy habits, and unfulfilled career aspirations, recycled year-after-year. I used the act of acquiring more as a way to bury the guilt, anxiety, and fear associated with my inability to achieve true joy and happiness in major areas of my life.

Trapped under life’s “stuff,” I got too comfortable to grow.

Wedded to the idea of always taking the “safe” route, I spent ten years flirting with the idea of entrepreneurship, feeling like it was a goal too big to obtain. While tidying my book collection, I found The Ultimate Guide for Professional Organizers collecting dust.

Something clicked.

I immediately let go of everything that was holding me back to focus on moving KonMari organizing from side-hustle to main squeeze. I respectfully held a ceremony to release most of the objects from previous degrees (engineering, interior design), career tracks (program management, hospitality, art, design), and unfinished projects, to make emotional and physical space for growth. Taking a huge leap of faith, I seamlessly relocated to Chicago (a city where I wanted to live “someday”), applying the KonMari MethodTM to either side of the move. I instantly attracted new opportunities, relationships, and projects that align with the person I was becoming.

Freeing myself from the unnecessary brought other areas of my life into focus beyond my apartment’s four walls.

Post-KonMari, life simply got lighter, efficient, and intentional. Now that I’ve comprehensively tidied my home once and for all, I’m not worried about my surroundings. When I shifted the focus to myself, I significantly improved my buying habits, pruned relationships that no longer positively supported my life, and put self-care and health first with fierce passion and joy.

The Bonus: Through KonMari I found a career that allows me to serve and make a difference.

I get to teach old friends and new clients how to let go of clutter once and for all to live a truly abundant life!

P.S. Wondering what happened to the tagged clothes? I took all $300 worth back to the store for credit, which I used to purchase THE perfect bag. I carry it daily, it sparks so much joy, and it reminds me of this major milestone in my life.

Ready to let go to be free? Let’s chat.

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Kristyn Ivey

Kristyn Ivey

For the Love of Tidy founder Kristyn Ivey is Chicago's first certified KonMari Tidying Consult.
Kristyn Ivey

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