Kondo-ing with Lisa Dyer

By February 12, 2019 April 1st, 2019 Yalecrest Features

Lisa Dyer shares her experience implementing Marie Kondo’s, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

Lisa Dyer graciously welcomes us into her two-story Tudor on a snowy Friday morning. Her home is clean and airy with light streaming in from alll four sides of the house. A variety of cheerful, well-manicured houseplants dot the view of the kitchen, dining and family room. Quite a contrast to the ice-boughed branches whipping in the wind outside.

“The funny thing is,” she admits as we settle into our conversation, “I really wasn’t able to keep a plant alive in our old house. It was probably the light, or maybe I’ve just figured out how to keep them happy. But you know what they say about plants. They are like tattoos; once you have one…”

Lisa has spent quite a bit of time figuring out systems that bring happiness to her family. Two years ago, we helped the Dyer family move two blocks west from their abode on the corner of Michigan and 19th. It was an emotional time. Not only did it happen fast, but it forced them to confront their sentimental collections.

“I had read the Marie Kondo book and had already done one purge [when we moved]. Then I did a second purge after we moved, and then once we were settled, I did a third.”

 

Lisa Dyer’s Kondo-ed drawers and craft cupboard.

It wasn’t until her third purge, that Lisa felt like she could move into the details of the KonMari method. She and her daughter are pleased to show us their efficiently stacked craft drawer and neatly kondo-ed drawers with t-shirts and pants lined up like soldiers. A favorite touch of Lisa’s is a gold filigree tray that sits on her bathroom counter.

 

A gold tray in the bathroom keeps things tidy and adds a spot of joy.

“I change the products out every few days, and when I use them it makes me feel like I’m doing something luxurious for myself.”

It’s a stark contrast, she says, to how things used to be. There was a time in her life when she couldn’t keep up with the clutter or the housework. She felt like a slave to her house: every nook, cranny and corner with something she didn’t know what to do with.

Now, having less means she spends her time cleaning instead of sorting. “Before, I would spend hours putting things away before the cleaning ladies came. Now, things are put away and I do my own cleaning. I haven’t had cleaning ladies in months…and it’s much easier to have people over. Someone can pop by, and I don’t have to apologize for the mess.”

 

Folding has become something to look forward to rather than dread.

Laundry, which used to be a chore, even feels more like self care now. “I’m not the type of person to meditate, but the act of folding laundry has become like a meditation for me. It feels really good to connect and be grateful for what you have; to thank your house and things for what they give you.”

“Joy,” Lisa shares, “is not having an immaculate house. It’s having a comfortable house. The idea of sparking joy, and what sparks joy, is so personal. But it’s worth [finding], because home really is everything.”

LISA DYER’S TIPS FOR KONDO-ING

  1. It may take 2-3 purges to get you where you need to be. And just because something has survived two purges, doesn’t make it worth keeping. By the third time around, you should know what sparks joy and honor that feeling.
  2. You really must take everything out! It doesn’t work unless you follow this KonMari step precisely.
  3. Once you’ve finished, keep a donation bag handy. This is especially important with children quickly outgrowing clothes and toys.
  4. Careful what you bring back into the house. Only buy items that spark joy. Don’t be afraid to think about things for a while. Ask yourself, “Do I really need that?”
  5. Store bags in bags. This simple tactic makes such a difference in closets!

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your home’s transformation with us. You are as beautiful as you are kind; it is a joy to have your family in our neighborhood. We wish you luck in your continued quest to find and spark joy!

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