A lifestyle change after tidying up

Through working for KonMari Media for a year and a half, until this past November, I've been constantly thinking about the overall philosophy and how it's about so much more than decluttering one's home.  It's ultimately about creating a life that sparks joy.

When we tidy our homes, we inevitably confront all of our possessions, even the stuff we'd rather ignore.  Once our homes are tidy, and sometimes even before we reach that point, we often can't help but start confronting all of the inner "stuff."

The end of physical tidying led me to look more closely at various aspects of my lifestyle, including my omnivorous diet.  I've always loved trying new restaurants with friends, which was the main way that I stayed in touch with many of them.  Whenever I'd visit somewhere new, I'd arrive with a list of restaurants and the top dishes that I wanted to try.  I used to avoid thinking about where meat came from because it made me uncomfortable and actually quite disgusted.  But about 4 months ago, after extensive talks with my vegetarian boyfriend, several eye-opening documentaries, and more introspection (about why I didn't like to cook meat myself, why I preferred "meat without bones," etc.), I decided to try vegetarianism.

The transition has been surprisingly easy.  I still go out to eat with friends, but I just don't try everything we order.  Facing the truth about meat has made me confident in making this change.  There are still plenty of delicious foods to enjoy, and I can now look at a chicken without feeling queasy.  (I was shocked the first time this happened - I saw wild chickens roaming around in Hawaii and actually thought they were kind of cute!)

One challenge that I've encountered, however, is identifying which items are vegetarian-friendly when shopping, especially for handbags, shoes, and beauty products.  Unless we're buying from a vegan company, identifying what is free of animal-testing and animal-derived components can be time-consuming and confusing.  Online, different sites may provide conflicting information about materials and can fail to mention smaller bits of leather (trim, handles, or zipper tabs, for example) on otherwise vegan items.  In response to this problem, I recently created Hvntress, a site that features vegan options from popular brands.  It's been useful to me as I move towards a closet free of animal-derived products (post-KonMari KonMari-ing!), and I hope it'll spark joy for those who are interested in a cruelty-free lifestyle but still want to enjoy the brands they know and love.

Aside from its obvious value when it comes to home organization, it's pretty amazing how the KonMari Method leads us to take a closer look at all aspects of our lives and then empowers us to make the changes necessary to create our ideal lives.  As Marie Kondo writes in the last sentence of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which is also the first sentence of Spark Joy!), "Life truly begins after you have put your house in order."