“Are you pregnant?” My husband, Stuart, was shocked when he walked into our house to find me reorganizing our entire kitchen.
For the record, I’m not pregnant. What he thought was nesting was simply me going all Marie Kondo on the kitchen.
Maybe you’ve recently encountered Marie Kondo. She is an organizational mastermind who authored The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. Plus, Netflix has created a new original show around her tidying method.
Her “KonMari method” is the process of gathering up all of your belongings and deciding what to keep or toss out. The key, Marie says, is deciding whether or not an item “sparks joy.” She has influenced people all over the world to create organized homes. Which, in return, has given people a fresh outlook on life and impacted their relationships.
Just like it did in our home.
We’re so different!
I should probably give you some background on why my husband thought I was pregnant instead of just tidying up. Simply put: I am not a very organized person. I enjoy being organized, I just don’t enjoy organizing.
When we got married almost seven years ago, we knew we were different. But it wasn’t until we said, “I do,” and started living together that we realized the depth of our opposite personalities.
- Stuart likes to go, I like to be.
- Stuart is task-oriented. I am people-oriented.
- Stuart is introverted. I am extroverted. (Although I’ve become way more introverted over the years.)
- Stuart needs help resting, I need help getting motivated.
- Stuart is tidy. I am messy.
You get the point. And one of our biggest, ongoing areas of tension is the organization and tidiness of our home.
The degree to which clutter starts to bother us is vastly different. Stuart is much better than I am at cleaning as he goes and leaving little clutter. Clutter doesn’t start to bother me until it’s pretty overwhelming, and I have no choice but to clean it up.
Not to mention the fact that we have two young sons, ages 4 and 2. So you can imagine that the amount of clutter has almost quadrupled with the addition of our little Energizer bunnies.
We’re working through our differences
Over the past year, Stuart and I have been going to counseling to work through how to love each other better through our differences. (To hear more about my breakdown that led us to counseling, you can read my blog post.) One of the areas that we have focused on in counseling is clutter and how it creates anxiety for him.
I’ve realized that in order to love my husband better, I need to try really hard at keeping a more organized home. And he has learned that, with my laid-back personality and the two little terrors (who we love with all our hearts) running around like Tasmanian devils all day, his capacity for grace and clutter needs to increase.
And now, thanks to a very tiny and wonderfully perky Japanese woman who loves to help people address their messes, I’m able to tackle organization with an entirely new outlook.
I was reluctant to watch her show. I didn’t want to just jump on another bandwagon, but Marie Kondo is the real deal.
Tidying up our marriage
After watching only two episodes, I went all-in with her folding method. In one day, I refolded and organized all my clothes. Yes, I even went through them all and figured out which pieces “sparked joy” and which did not.
And you know what? In what I thought was a process to simply love my husband better, I myself have become so much happier!
I still have a long way to go in completely “Marie Kondo-ing” my entire house, but I already feel like it’s been a breath of fresh air. This has brought so much peace to our high-energy home. And my husband has never been happier.
He has always told me that it’s attractive to him when I clean and organize our home, and I’ve always found that humorous. But in the first episode of Marie’s show, the husband said, “The whole cleaning thing is sexy.” So I guess it’s not just my husband who finds cleaning sexy.
Who knew Marie Kondo was not only an organizational expert but also a happenstance marriage counselor!
Copyright © 2019 Jenn Grandlienard. All rights reserved.
Jenn Grandlienard grew up an East Coast Philly girl, but now loves calling the Midwest her home. She lives in Xenia, Ohio with her husband, Stuart, two sons, Knox and Zeke, and pup, Stella. Jenn and her husband work with Athletes in Action, a ministry of Cru that teaches college athletes what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. She loves to read, work out, laugh really hard with friends, and spend time with her husband and boys. You can check out her blog about all these things and more at OurGrandLife.com. Find her on Instagram at @mrsjenngrand and on Facebook.