On Q With Tidy Upper Expert Kristyn Ivey

KonMari Tidying Consult Kristyn Ivey

It’s safe to say that For The Love Of Tidy founder Kristyn Ivey has found her niche and tapped into an underserved market.

With an educational background in both engineering and interior design, Kristyn applies project management and creativity to transform homes by using the famed KonMari Method. As Chicago’s first certified KonMari Tidying Consult, Kristyn is dedicated to teaching others how to let go to attract and live a truly abundant life.

N’DIGO recently sat down with Ivey to learn more about her company and the techniques she uses to help clients declutter their way to becoming graduates of Tidy and masters of life.

N’DIGO: Tell us about For the Love of Tidy and how you came up with the idea for the company?
Kristyn Ivey: For the Love of Tidy is Chicago’s first professional organizing consultancy specializing in the KonMari Method of tidying up. We help clients put their home, mind, and life in order by taking a closer look at the possessions they choose to surround themselves with.

Viewed as a permanent solution to creating and maintaining a clutter free living environment, our in-home KonMari Tidying Lessons address clothing, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental items that make up a special, one-time Tidying Series, executed over a six month period.

I made the decision to become a certified KonMari Consult after applying the KonMari Method to my own home and belongings. I’ve always loved order and tidiness, but found myself dwelling on emotional clutter that was preventing me from realizing my passion and vision of my ideal life.

After I found the courage to actually confront the physical clutter in my home, I uncovered clues about what drives me and became very self-aware and assured. Soon after my personal decluttering event, I immediately shared the joy of the process with close friends and family by helping them KonMari their homes.

Once the opportunity to become a certified KonMari Consultant became available, I signed up for the second training class ever offered in the U.S. to initiate the process and soon after, For the Love of Tidy was born.

The exercise of tidying helps improve our ability to take action NOW and make time for things and experiences that really matter.

What exactly is the KonMari Method?
It is a revolutionary professional organizing technique made popular by Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The method focuses on what you choose to keep – does it “spark joy?” – rather than what or how much you discard, donate, or sell. The goal is to create harmony between you, your possessions, and the boundaries your home presents you.

Similar to a detox diet, fitness training program, or aggressive savings plan, the KonMari Method encourages flash focus and intensity to reset and break the cycle of intermittent tidying little-by-little, while compulsively consuming goods.

The method is designed to be a special, one-time series of activities executed “quickly,” or within six months. By making the commitment to address everything at once, you also avoid the need to have an organizing professional return to your home multiple times to address frequent rebounds, which is the state where things without a designated storage space begin to inundate your home again.

Once your home is in order, the real transformation begins. No longer concerned with the external conditions, you shift the focus to other areas of your life in need of joy, such as career, health, finances, relationships, hobbies, spirituality, and community. The approach helps you see life through a lens of joy as you proactively move towards your true passion, purpose, and happiness.

Decluttering sparks …
… joy and order!

What is a virtual Joy Check?
A virtual Joy Check is a special consultation I offer to those who are in need of organizing advice from a professional. It’s great for those committed to designating time to tidy independently and have questions about the process along the way.

Topics discussed include reviewing how to execute major KonMari Method fundamentals, vision mapping, digital decluttering, paper management, and decluttering with kids. The Joy Checks are intended to be a supplement rather than a substitute for the Whole Home Tidy experience, which includes in-person attention and active tidying.

Do you adhere to the age-old saying that a cluttered desk is a sign of a genius?
My desk and home aren’t always in a perfect state of domicile bliss. I embrace the messy moments as much as the tidy ones. When I’m super busy or I’m working on a project, I like to spread out and get creative. I simply make sure that all flat surfaces – desks, countertops, etc. – initially are clutter free to invite creative freedom. I also find comfort in the fact that once I’m finished with a project there is a place for everything to return to.

In your opinion, why do people hoard and create clutter in their spaces?
Often, excessive clutter is merely a symptom of a deeper issue that has manifested in a person’s life. Clutter can be linked to a traumatic event, a life transition, or fear of scarcity. Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. Those who may be suffering from this condition should seek the assistance of hoarding and extreme cleaning specialist.

What are some of the unique struggles you’ve faced as a Black woman entrepreneur?
I’ve found a sense of community in, and I’ve been quite inspired by, fellow Black female entrepreneurs and other business partners passionate about living their best life. I was quite intimidated by the mere thought of entrepreneurship for many, many years, leaning on the security of a corporate profession. So, it was a welcomed surprise to be received by the community with open arms and we continue to uplift each other daily.

A clean working space

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I love to tidy way more than I love to clean. The two activities aren’t synonymous, but they definitely complement each other. Having a tidy home makes cleaning feel like less of a chore. While I don’t necessarily look forward to the task, I return to KonMari principles of respect, gratitude, and joy, which I try to infuse into all aspects of my home and life.

Can you name a book that changed or really impacted your life and give a sentence about why?
Hands down, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is the book that’s had the greatest impact on my life. I ran across this little blue book while I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy, and the rest is history. I feel like the book found me at the perfect moment in my life and I have absorbed its philosophies.

Best advice or words of wisdom?
Replace someday with today. The exercise of tidying helps improve our ability to take action NOW and make time for things and experiences that really matter. When I’m tempted to say I’m “too busy” to complete something, I replace that statement with “this is not a priority,” which is a more honest characterization of my time.

Favorite quote or affirmation?
I regularly attend Self-Care Sunday hosted by Black Girl in Om in Chicago. It’s a blend of yoga, reflection, mindfulness and Black girl magic. One of the mantras I was inspired to create was, “I am full. Therefore, I can give.” It stems from a desire to make self-care and love a priority, so I can best serve my clients, who often reach out to me from a place of anxiety and frustration. I can’t help others execute their vision without taking care of myself first.

What’s next for Kristyn Ivey?
I’ve recently began an exciting new project, the Spark Joy Podcast, which is on iTunes and available to listen to for free. Alongside my co-host Karin Socci of The Serene Home, we’ve created a space for those interested in a simply joyful life. The podcast is dedicated to celebrating the KonMari Method and the transformative power of surrounding yourself with joy and letting go of all the rest.

(For more information, visit www.fortheloveoftidy.com.)

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