TOWNSEND – As we spend more time at home than ever before, it is important that your home can be a sanctuary that provides you with peace and that energizes you to tackle life’s biggest challenges.
For the past 20 years, Maile (pronounced MY-lee) Shoul has worked in the health care and public health sectors, implementing systems, solving problems, and trying to make the world a better place.
Shoul spent most of her 30s living in a series of small apartments in Cambridge and Somerville, and because she moved apartments so often, never accumulated much clutter. All that changed when she had her daughter and then bought her first home in Orange five years ago.
“Before I knew it, there was stuff everywhere, which really added to my stress level,” Shoul said.
She had read Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” years earlier and had dipped her toes in the method, but decided to apply it in earnest once she was a homeowner.
“It was the first time that an organizing method really clicked with me,” she said.
It was then she decided to pursue a certification in the KonMari Method™, after applying to her own home, that she knew this practice could be life changing.
The KonMari Method™ was created by Japanese organizing guru, Marie Kondo. Millions of people have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward-looking
“Not only was my home transformed, but my life was as well,” Shoul said. “I quit a job that was burning me out. I started performing more improv comedy, which has been a hobby of mine since I was 18, and I started saying ‘no’ to things that no longer served me and ‘hell yes!’ to things that brought joy into my life.”
Shoul is now a Certified KonMari Consultant and the owner of Cloud Eleven Organizing. She has taught several families to transform their homes (and their lives) by keeping what serves them and letting go of all the rest.
She says the name Cloud Eleven is meant to evoke the bliss of cloud nine, but “turned up to 11,” she said, “A phrase made famous by the character Nigel Tufnel, from one of my all-time favorite movies, ‘This is Spinal Tap.’
“I understand the battle against clutter because I’ve fought it myself while working full time and raising a family,” she said. “I always thought I was ‘naturally messy’ until I invested the time to apply the KonMari Method™ to my home. It worked for me, and I can show you how it can work for you.”
Shoul is excited to share this method to the community with an online workshop, hosted by the Townsend Public Library, from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. this Tuesday.
The title of the workshop is ‘Creating Peace and Sanity at Home with the KonMari Method™, and Shoul asks that participants please have a notebook and pen/pencil handy and of course enjoy this interactive, judgment-free workshop.
In this online workshop, “Participants will learn the fundamentals of the KonMari Method™ and will be led through a series of exercises that will form the foundation for a personalized decluttering plan that they will be able to immediately apply to their own homes,” said Shoul.
Stacy Schuttler, library director at Townsend Public Library, said she is happy that the library is able to continue to provide virtual programming such as this workshop, weekly story times, trivia, paint parties, cooking classes, book discussions and more.
“So many of us have had routines disrupted and schedules changed over the past few months,” said Schuttler. “Most people are spending more time at home than they ever did. This program hopefully will help people feel a little more in control of their home environment during these uncertain times.”
“We also are happy to be able to continue to provide ‘take home’ crafts and projects,” she said. “And we couldn’t have done this without the support of the Townsend Public Library Endowment and the Friends of the Library.”
As Part of Phase 3 in Massachusetts, the library opened to the public, by appointment only, this past Friday.
“Curbside pickup will continue, and patrons are encouraged to place holds online and take advantage of this service,” said Schuttler. “You can place holds in the catalog or use our special form to request items available on our shelves.”
Library patrons can book an appointment to browse the collection, use a computer, or access the copier, however, please note that no one will be admitted to the library without an appointment.
“Everyone entering the library will be required to wear a mask and sanitize their hands upon entrance,” she adds. “Staff will gladly pull items to be picked up curbside for anyone who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. Browsing appointments will not exceed 30 minutes in duration.”
Please note that public bathrooms will not be available during appointments.
Schuttler also adds that library materials may now be returned at any time and patrons are asked to please put them in the book drop by the main entrance. Returned items are quarantined for 72 hours (sometimes longer) and fines accrued during this closure will be waived.
Library services and hours of operation are subject to change based on current state of Massachusetts COVID-19 regulations.
“I always tell my clients, don’t declutter your home just to have a tidy home. Declutter your home so that you can then focus on the things in your life that really bring you joy. This is more important now than ever before,” Shoul concluded.
To register for the workshop, to make an appointment to visit the library, or for any other questions or concerns, call 978-597-1714 or visit www.townsendlibrary.org