Take most of what you know about the home organizing process and toss it out with your huge pile of donations. Marie Kondo has arrived on the Western front and her book has completely blown my mind. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” will do just that. Change. Your. Life. By focusing on keeping only the things in our lives that “spark joy”, Marie Kondo has streamlined the organization process and taken guilt and the what if’s out of the equation. Life is too short to be burdened with clutter that we hold onto “just because”. Here are a few of the major take-aways from the KonMari method:
1) Storage space is NOT the issue. Stuff is.
Get rid of anything that does not spark joy when you pick it up. Using this question as your only evaluation criteria truly does make the process go more quickly. I was surprised at how much I was able to let go of that I had been hanging onto for “someday”. And it felt REALLY good. You probably do have enough space, you just aren’t using it efficiently and you have too much stuff. Folding things properly and turning things to be stored vertically is a game changer according to Kondo. I have found this to be true as well.
2) Purge by category, not by room.
This was a totally new perspective for me. I have always thought of any organizing or re-arranging project by room. Marie Kondo encourages one to start with clothes, then move on to books, papers, miscellaneous, and finally, mementos. In her method, you collect every item from that category, in one place, before starting the purge. Imagine having all your clothes in piles on your bed from tops, pants, and sweaters to winter coats and swimwear. Once I pulled out all of my clothes from very corner of my house, I was surprised by how much I actually had, and I am not a clothes-horse. I got rid of 13 bags of clothing. I did the same with books and magazines, keeping only the ones I truly love or enjoy.
3) You don’t need fancy custom storage solutions.
This was also new for me. Whenever I tackled an organizing project in the past, “shop” was my second to last step before putting things where they belonged. I would run out and grab more plastic tubs or baskets or bins. Marie Kondo insists that even shoe boxes and product packaging can be put into service corralling your belongings. In my case, I already have lots of boxes and bins that, once I am done with this sorting process, will be empty and can either be re-used, or added to the donation pile.
So, as I mentioned, I have conquered my clothing and books, and the next step is paper. Kondo says that we can and should get rid of almost all papers that we think we need to hold onto. For me, tackling this category is going to feel really good. I have spent lots of hours and money on filing systems and organizing solutions for the papers in my life. I am so looking forward to shredding them.
Practicing Marie Kondo’s method does take time, since it will only truly work if you go through the entire house, by category and subcategory: every junk drawer, every closet, every storage tub. The thing is, once you get started it’s sort of hard to stop. I’m already feeling a sense of weightlessness in my home, and its addicting. I just wish I had an entire week to myself to work on this without interruption. In reality, the process is going to take a while, but I’m motivated, so I’m confident that it will get done!