Magic Art of Tidying Up The Shop

There has been a lot of much deserved buzz about Marie Kondo and her book The Magic Art of Tidying up. After reading the book and watching the series I’ve decided to take what I’ve learned to the shop.  Though Cherry Cycles has only been in business for four years, I’ve been in the same location for eight. This has resulted in a lot of build up. While the upstairs of Cherry Cycles could be considered quaint, the basement in both its expanse and content is serious.  After becoming the solo owner I moved things around; I felt much like a hamster shuffling wood chips from one corner to the next until I settled on a layout that appealed. I touched every item, but I did not check to see if it “sparked joy” as Kondo suggests. She says that you should only keep things that make you feel “ching!” and I pictured the feeling of a kid booping a kitten’s nose. This kind of fun energy is exactly what I need to keep me motivated during this last stretch of winter and to keep customers enjoying their visits.

At first in reading Marie Kondo’s book, a few years ago, I was skeptical. The idea of my personal objects needing to bring me joy seemed ludicrous at best and materialistic at worst. I’ve never had a disposable income and my scarcity mentality didn’t lend to getting rid of things just because I didn’t love them. It wasn’t until I completely finished reading the book that I started taking some things to heart.

I am a person with an aesthetic sense, but also a practical one. I’m a clothing on hangers and bins kind of person. The idea of folding every item felt unnecessary. I’ve found, though, that seeing things neatly folded gives me the sense that I have stability and control, if only in the realm of socks. Taking this approach to folding makes the process more intentional. It feels more like a calming practice. I’m less resentful of the time it takes me and I’d go so far as that it makes me happy.

I’ve always thought that objects should have a home. I want to know where to look for it next time! One of the things that I’m proud to have contributed to the non-profits that I’ve been involved in was better storage, but some how I was missing it in my personal life.  For years I only cleaned my bag before a trip to a bike conference, or when it got to the point that I couldn’t find anything anymore. I was always amazed by the amalgam of bike tools, bolts, spark plugs, valve caps, and make-up that lived in my personal vortex. Now I work to empty my bag every night and store it and its contents in appropriate places where I know I can find them the next morning or in a pinch.

While I don’t feel excessively sentimental, I found that my house stored many objects that were somewhat practical, but reminded me of people, situations, or memories didn’t bring me joy. The book talked about how the gift shouldn’t be a burden. Having removed these items I feel a greater sense of calm. By removing things I didn’t need, I was able to find things I was excited about and determine better locations for them. I’m looking forward to focusing my inventory on accessories and bikes that I think will really be awesome.

Despite my claim that it is only full of practical items, I think its time I took a look at the shop to see what will give me and my clients joy. Hopefully I end up with enough to have a big bike garage sale. Like the sound of a bike bell, “Briiiiing” it on!