The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and How It Changed This Already Tidy Girl!

the life-changing magic of tidying up

So here it is, the book you’ve probably seen all over Instagram for the last 6 months or so. Well, I’ve seen it too and for this already-tidy-girl I didn’t think this was a necessary read. I’ve been on a mission this year to get my house organized from the inside out. Starting with all the places no one but my family would see: drawers, closets, storage areas, and pantry. I thought of my home like my body, that keeping it healthy and running smoothly would start within. My house can look nice and tidy on the outside but I wanted to be able to open any drawer or closet and only see perfectly organized spaces and have a place for every object. I thought maybe, just maybe than I would feel like I have control over my space and could finally feel like I could enjoy it.

I don’t know about you but I feel like I clean and organize endlessly but the results are always the same: it stays clean for a day or two but then slowly things get messy again. Now I’m not talking about crazy disarray but just enough that when your kids tell you they want to invite friends over at the last minute you’re running around like a crazy woman tidying up. I kind of pride myself on being organized, tidy and a bit of a clean freak but even so, I still felt like my house would not stay in order. My frustration level on this point was pretty high. This book promises to end that cycle.

Although I saw “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo, all over Instagram and in book stores, I thought “I got this, I don’t need to read this.” But my daughter Skye and I were at the bookstore and I picked up a copy, as I was glancing through it page 118 caught my eye. It was talking about organizing your photos. Well now this was an area that, as a photographer, I could definitely use some help with, but I still put the book down and didn’t buy it. A few days later I was at Costco and there was the book again and for the mere cost of $9.99. I leafed through it and there is was again, page 118 staring me in the face. Okay book I got the message, so in the cart it went and I read it in two days writing notes along the way. Fascinating, there really was more to learn about organizing!

The author calls her organizing system: the KonMari Method. Beginning with my own closet and drawers, I started the “purging” step. I went through every little thing. Holding each piece, deciding on whether or not it was worth being in my life. I gave myself the time to really do the steps the book suggested. In 3 days, with 9 bags of unwanted clothes, shoes and handbags and 5 bags of plastic white hangers I had accomplished my goal: my closet and drawers were organized! It was painful and freeing all at the same time. I realized I had held on to many things that were really unnecessary and were possibly holding me back from moving ahead in my life. Yes, I am in need of some replacement items but you know what, I needed them before the purge and now I was clear on what exactly needed to be bought to get my wardrobe in order.

My 9 bags of clothes, shoes, handbags, and a rolling backpack…

purged closet haul

My 5 bags of plastic white hangers that got replaced with sleeker non-slip black hangers…

white plastic hangers

Black non-slip hangers from Costco. Great investment for a little money, but allows a lot more space and clothes won’t slip off…

space saving hangers

This is an exhausting process, but well worth the effort. It’s oddly cleansing to your mind. I do think it’s best to take breaks between purging. The book suggests a 6 month process to really get through your entire house and I can see why. Also, the author lives in much smaller square footage than most people in the United States so some of her suggestions might not work. For example she thinks all products of the same nature should be stored in the same location. She is right that for the most part; that is helping me see what inventory of products I have but there are some things like toilet paper I will obviously be storing in each bathroom for convenience.

One of the best results was the storage of my purses. I have a lovely collection of purses but found I would only use one or two purses a year, now each day I pick the purse I want and my purse is actually staying organized and junk free. Yay!!!!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • decide what kind of lifestyle you want to live and why do you want to live this lifestyle (pg. 38)
  • keep only things that speak to your heart, then purge and discard all the rest.
  • touch each item, does it bring you joy?
  • discard by category
  • folding clothes properly (pg. 76, this was actually very useful)
  • slope clothes so they rise to the right (pg. 79)
  • sock storage (ps. 81-82)
  • books (pg. 87-89 and pg.93)
  • misc. papers (pg 97-98)
  • file only warranties, no manuals (pg.. 102-103)
  • greeting cards, used checkbooks (pg. 104)
  • misc. items (pg. 106)
  • just plain stuff (pg. 107-113)
  • sentimental items (which you do last, pg. 114-118)
  • photos (pg. 118)
  • purses (pg. 150-154)

I’m just starting on this process but I think this may be the answer I’ve been looking for and my home will actually be the sanctuary I would love to live in.

I’ll keep you informed on my progress and would love to know what you think. Have you given this a try?

All the best,

Joy

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