Wearing what brings you joy
One of the Style Prompts this month is to wear what makes us happy, or elicits joy.
The rationale is that if we start to identify those pieces that bring out that joy/happiness, not only will we feel good; we will start to recognize some patterns which can become the foundation for discovering our authentic style.
It felt very fortuitous that I happened to schedule a meeting with professional organizer Randeep St. Jacques this month. During our chat, I realized she had a lot to offer in terms of this prompt, therefore, I am thrilled that she agreed to answer some questions!
Lori: I loved Marie Kondo's book "The Magic of Tidying Up" as well as the Netflix series and I know that there has been such a movement that followed. I was so impressed to learn you are the only KonMari certified professional organizer on the Northshore! Can you tell us a little bit about your training or what particular elements you infuse in your work with your clients?
Randeep: When I read the book, over 3 years ago, it was such a novel idea about focusing on what brings you joy versus what you don’t use/want. That is the internal shift I infuse with every client. When they say, “I guess I'll get rid of it because I haven’t worn in in 6 months”, I say “NO”. I ask how they feel about the item. Often, when our lives are so full we haven’t worn something more because we didn’t know where it was rather than we don’t like it. If it makes you happy, aka brings you joy, keep it and organize it in a way that allows you to see it.
Lori: What do you LOVE most about helping people organize their space?
Randeep: Helping people with their clutter and getting organized is very “life-changing”, I love watching people’s perspectives change on how they relate to their belongings. Watching their intent on what they keep and how they organize it based on the ideal life they want to create. They feel empowered rather than bogged down.
Lori: We both spend a lot of time in people's closets. I have gone into several homes where people proudly show me how they have folded all their clothing in the KonMari style! Can you shed a little light on your process when it comes to helping your clients sort through their clothing?
Randeep: The first step to going through clothing is to gather it all in one space. This gives the visual confirmation of how much we are going through. Once gathered, we revisit the ideal vision they have about the space - we do this while we stand in the empty closet.
Next we work through each item, asking if it sparks joy. Those that do are kept, and those that are not are thanked and discarded.
Once completed, we put things back: hanging things that are tailored (suits, blouses, etc.) or things that flow in the wind (dresses, etc.) and we fold most everything else. The general rule is to fold so you see everything when you open a drawer - so vertically versus one on top of the other.
Lori: I've shared before that one of the first things I do when working with a client during an edit is recommend uniform hangers. Do you have any favourite closet organization accessories or strategies for creating a functional/joyful space?
Randeep: I like the felt covered hangers, the anti-slip is so important. But my go-to will always be to fold. I love using MUJI bins or IKEA drawer organizers to create small categories for each bin. Makes it easier to find and store. The key, regardless of the method is to only fill to 70% so you can see it all.
Lori: I'm loving that "70%" tip as it is so important to see what you have! In regards to Marie Kondo's philosophy, we have heard a lot about the notion of "what brings us joy" and pieces that serve us well. Can you tell us a little more about this and how it can also apply to more basic things in the home (ie: function over glitz...)?
Randeep: Joy is just another way if saying happy. Some things have obvious feelings of happiness (or joy), while with others it is the function of a object that brings joy. A can opener may not spark joy, but when it opens up your favourite soup it definitely sparks joy!
With clothing, some people love clothes and it all sparks joy, while others get frustrated with the chore of deciding what to wear. These people like the functionality of capsule closets or uniforms - the ease of their closet creates joy for them.
Lori: Absolutely - I have worked with clients in both scenarios, some who LOVE clothing, and others who just feel happy once we can streamline the process to make it easier!
One of my Style Prompts for February is to wear what makes us happy or brings us joy. How do you think this impacts our overall well-being and ultimately sense of self/style?
Randeep: Imagine waking up every morning and walking into your closet or opening a drawer and smiling. When your closet is filled with items that bring you joy/make you happy it starts your day with a positive feeling. That feeling is carried through because you are wearing something that is joyful and it builds your confidence. All this is related to our well-being.
Lori: I completely agree with that sentiment!
How can people reach you if they need some organizational support?
Randeep: Email me at ClutterLessLivingNow@gmail.com or call 604-356-0959.
Finding an organizer that you connect with is important - there are different styles and focuses. Professional Organizers in Canada is a great resource to find an organizer anywhere in Canada!
Lori: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Randeep!
Be sure to check out Randeep's website "Clutterless Living" for more info on her process and services.
And, don't forget to keep working on those style prompts - especially wearing what makes you happy!