Spark Joy Together: Sorting & Sharing our Stuff community events in Natick!, testimonials

- Great discussion about books and paper. Paper will be a challenge for me. Today I learned to consider what paper sparks joy (decorative/collage) and how to tackle less inspiring papers. Thanks! - Aimee D., Natick
A wonderful group - led very well - we could learn, laugh and share. - Kathy B., Natick
Nice group - good intro to concepts. Really enJOYed letting go! - Kate S., Framingham
- Excellent! Very fun and informative. Encouraging and non-judgmental atmosphere. - Aimee D., Natick
Top comment from Spark Joy TogetherBooks Sorting & Swap, 4/13
Above 3 comments from Spark Joy Together: Clothes Sorting & Swap, 3/9



Are you unhappy in your home due to too much "stuff"?
Do you not know where to start to simplify and organize?
Do you need motivation and encouragement?

For years, I have been helping others to simplify and organize to find more joy in their homes and possessions (and doing it in my own home too). While finding joy in our homes, we make more conscious decisions so joy fills other parts of our lives too, in our jobs, actions, and relationships. (I changed jobs, remade my garden, and published a long unfinished book...all possible because of the mindfulness work I did with spark joy simplifying in my home!) As discussed in my first post on this site, this style of home organizing was inspired by the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo.

I want to share this joy with others so I'm offering it to folks at Roots and Wings, Yoga and Healing Arts at 317 N. Main St., Natick, MA, in a community event, eight participants maximum. We will be gathering in the Heartwood Room, on the 2nd floor.

2nd Saturday of March-July from 3-5 pm
3/9, 4/13, 5/11, 6/8, 7/13 
A five-part series (but you can benefit even if you miss some parts)
pre-registration required

Participants will come together to get support, motivation, and encouragement. We will bring possessions from our homes (what you can carry in one load, ie. 2 bags). With support, we will select and make decisions about what to keep or not, based on what sparks joy for us now, not based on past experiences or future desires.

While sorting, we see and hold again what we own, possibly finding and appreciating our things on a different level than previously. We might start to learn more about ourselves if we notice trends in what we choose to keep. It is a gift is to discover what sparks joy for us NOW, and let go of what does not, so someone else can benefit from our things that are no longer beneficial to us, and so we don’t continue to fill our homes with items that don’t benefit us. This is a practice. It gets easier to do as we progress!

* For each event, bring one item that you really appreciate having, that you do not want to part with. We will start by sharing with the group why our special item is special to us. This will be a way to get to know each other and ourselves better. Mindfulness helps us make thoughtful choices, and can help guide us in our sorting decisions.

Some of us find it easier to part with our things if we know someone else will appreciate them…so we are doing Swaps at these events, and donating. A swap is when you take what you want from piles of what another person doesn’t want. I will help by taking anything not wanted at the end of each event to charities (Savers, libraries, prisons) and recycling. In this way, we get to give away what no longer sparks joy for us, but might spark joy for another. It is powerful that others can get joy from what we no longer need, and generous of us to share. This gives our items a new life!

Theme with Date and Preparation Notes:


1. Clothes Sort and Swap, 3/9
Before we meet, go through your clothes and bag up to bring mostly the things you are ready to part with, or questionable things. After our special item-of-clothes share (see * above), we will sort our clothes. If you bring something you aren't sure you want to keep anymore, you can optionally try them on and get our supportive feedback. We will put out the clothes we don't want anymore, and swap! I will discuss helpful clothing storage techniques.

2. Books Sort and Swap, 4/13 
Before we meet, go through your books and bag up ones you aren’t sure why you have them in your home. After our special book share (see * above), we will sort what to keep, and what to pass on. Then we’ll organize the ones we are keeping into categories unique for each of us. We will put out the books we don't want anymore, and swap (with each other and give away the rest)! 

Note after this date: 
Aimee alone was able to join me (from the 4 who had preregistered for this one). We chose to meet outside on such a gorgeous spring day, meeting on a bench on the Natick Common. This sparked joy for us. We had a relaxed talk about our experiences sorting during the last month and discussed plans for the next month. And each of us found books that sparked joy for us from the other's bags that we brought to pass on.

3. Paper Sort, 5/11
Before we meet, go through paper you've been holding onto, for instance files, kids artwork, and documents, and bag up what you aren’t sure why you have been keeping them. After our special item share (see * above, ie. a letter, a list, a document, an award), we will sort into piles to shred, recycle, and keep…and organize the paper we are keeping into labeled file folders.

4. Miscellany Sort and Swap, 6/8
Before we meet, go through miscellaneous things you've been holding onto, for instance kitchen objects, jewelry, and bathroom supplies. Bag up things that you aren’t sure why you have been keeping them. After our special item share (see * above, ie. favorite cooking spoon, bowl, towel), we will sort what to keep and what to pass on. Then we’ll organize the things we are keeping into categories and discuss storage ideas. We will put out the items we don't want anymore, and swap! 

5. Mementos Sort and Swap, 7/13
This might be the hardest category of items to simplify in our homes because they are connected to us emotionally. As mentioned before, sorting is a practice and it gets easier to do as we progress. If you were with us for most of this series, this will be easier to do by the time we get to this.

Before we meet, go through mementos you've been holding onto, for instance photos and collectables, and bag up things that you aren’t sure why you have been keeping them. After our special item share (see * above, ie. a photo, a ring, a shell), we will discuss memories vs. objects, parent collections, expectations, history, and more. Then we will motivate each other as we sort what to keep and what to pass on. We’ll organize the things we are keeping into categories and discuss storage ideas. We will put out the items we don't want anymore, and swap!

***

Please refrain from using, and bringing, scented products.
Please bring no excessively soiled or moldy items.

Price for event participation (3 options):
- $50 for the series (an early bird discount if paid in full by 2/14/19) or
- $100 for the series (a discount if paid in full by 3/4/19) or
- $30 for each event if you pay-as-you-go (all 5 parts = $150)
(You can benefit even if you miss some parts of the five part series.)
Note as of 3/10: if you want to join us now that the event has started, you can prepay for the rest of the events for a discount. Contact me for specifics.

Prepay with a check sent to Roots & Wings, 317 N. Main St., Natick, MA 01760 c/o Debra Griffin (payable to Debra Griffin), or through PayPal (the link will be provided over email after you preregister).

To preregister:
Please provide your name and (cell) phone number and how you will be paying in a email to me. More information might need to be shared in advance so this will give us a way to communicate. sparkjoydeb@gmail.com

Maximum 8 participants, so sign up soon to save your place.
pre-registration required, 4 spots left (as of 3/14)

Explore this site for more details about this work and the in-home support I offer.

Come with a friend or family member; this will be fun and helpful!


Another clothes testimonial:

Debra helped me revisit my clothes this past Saturday. We started by putting all my clothes on the bed. Then she asked me to show her my favorite thing, and explain why it was my favorite. She then said "that's what we're going for, that feeling." I picked up everything, deciding what to keep and what could go. If I debated, she said I should keep it, as it may become clear later. It wasn't too painful!

Then came the folding. It was meditative...folding, "hand ironing," putting energy into the clothes. Today, after doing laundry, as I "hand ironed" and folded, I first thought "well this is taking longer," but then I felt love and appreciation for my clothes. I felt connected to them beyond what they provide.

During the process, I most appreciated discovering what a great collection of socks I have, and I really like having them displayed in a box where I can easily see what I have. Over all, I've been given an intentionality around my clothes that is refreshing.

- Carol G, Brockton, 1/30/19

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