A couple weeks ago I finished reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I obviously needed to see what all the fuss was about.
Now I’m officially part of that cool-kid club.
This book was freaking crazy, okay. Marie Kondo at one point mentions how socks have feelings and how we really shouldn’t fold them into little balls and throw them in our sock drawer.
Like for real, there’s a whole page on the feelings of socks.
And for a minute there, I actually kind of felt bad for my tiny little sock-ball friends.
But despite these crazy parts that I laughed at, this was a SUPER fun read, and I’m so glad that I read it, because a lot of the advice Marie Kondo gives in that book, I’m totally using for the rest of my life.
Because I’m a disaster, and I need all the help I can get.
Here’s what I learned:
You Have To Start By Discarding
Some people think that the first thing they need to do when tidying up is to look around their house, see what items are out of place, and put them back where they belong.
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG, according to Kondo.
Before you put anything away, you need to focus on clearing your house of anything and everything that you don’t need.
So you should take each and every item that you own, and the goal is to take it in your hands and decide if it brings you joy.
If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t you don’t need it.
Discard the things that don’t bring you joy, and yea, you’ll have a lot less stuff, but you’ll be surrounded by only the things that make you happy.
And doesn’t that sound so much better?
When Discarding, Tackle Categories, Not Rooms
Most people, when they decide to go on a cleaning rampage, they’re like, “Well, I’ll start in the bedroom…then I’ll go tackle the kitchen…and lastly I’ll clean out the garage.”
We figure it’ll be easier to clean and organize room by room.
Kondo thinks this is a complete waste of your time.
You see, she suggests that instead of tackling one room at a time, that we pick a category, like clothes, for example, and go through all our clothes throughout the entire house and focus on that first. Discard what we don’t need. Keep what makes us happy. And THEN, once we’ve gone through all of it, put what we’re keeping away.
By seeing how many items we have of any one given category, we’re able to determine how much we really need to keep.
Take pencils… we might have 2 pencils in our nightstand, 3 pencils in our other nightstand…2 more in the drawer in the kitchen, 4 in our office desk…etc…etc…so many pencils.
If we were to organize each of those areas individually, 4 or 3 or 2 pencils may not seem like a whole lot. So we’ll typically keep them all.
But if we were to search through our entire house and find that we have 27 freaking pencils, we’ll be much likelier to throw a bunch of them out.
Which is the goal here. Less is more, people.
Storage Can Be Just As Much A Problem As A Solution
OMG, I LOVE bins and containers! Just LOVE them!
I can throw so much stuff in there that I really don’t need but don’t want to throw away and the result is a bin full of junk! But you can’t see the junk inside, because it’s pretty on the outside! So it just looks like a pretty bin!
Only, it’s full of a bunch of crap I don’t need.
See where this is going?
Storage can be a wonderful solution for putting away the things that you need and make you happy. But please, don’t just put everything you own in a box so you don’t have to deal with it.
Like Kondo says, “Putting things way creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved. But sooner or later, all the storage units are full, the room once again overflows with things, and some new and easy storage method becomes necessary, creating a negative spiral.”
Lesson being…don’t be a hoarder.
There Is An Actual Art To Folding
Guys, this was mind-blowing to me. There are actual people out there that teach OTHER people how to properly fold clothes.
Like, there’s a good way and a bad way.
And all this time, I’ve just been folding my clothes however the heck I wanted.
Just Google Marie Kondo folding and you’ll find so many other videos.
It’s so crazy to me, but it makes sense! Like, I REALLY have more space in my drawers after learning how to fold correctly.
You have to try it!
Assign A Place For Storing What You Own
Everything you own and love should have a proper home.
These days, apparentlyTHE FLOOR is home to all the things I own and love.
The floor…or the counter…or the bed (until I have to sleep at night).
This is SO WRONG.
If we assign proper storing places for each of our items, eventually, it becomes a habit for us to place those items there, and our house is so much tidier.
Yea, I’m sure we’re a bit lazy, but more often that not, we just throw things on the counter because we really don’t know where else to put those things.
They’re lost, neglected little items with no real home.
But the minute you decide that your phone belongs in your bedside drawer, you’ll know to put it there every single day when you get home.
When talking about her clients, Kondo mentions, “once they’ve created a simple storage plan, they never have to ponder where something belongs; it becomes natural to put things away, and consequently, there is no more clutter in the home.”
YAAAAAAAY!!!! NO MORE CLUTTER!!!!
Empty Your Bag Every Day
My purse weighs about 57 pounds on a light day.
Like, I really don’t know how I manage to stick so many things in there.
To be honest, I think I have some mild form of OCD where I can’t stand the thought of me needing something and not having it available so instead, I just take everything I own with me everywhere. ALL THE TIME.
Yea, I have a problem.
In this book, though, Marie says that we need to empty that sucker every single day.
According to her, “If you do not make a habit of unpacking your bag, you are also quite likely to leave something inside when you decide to use another bag, and before you know it, you will have forgotten what you have in each one. Unable to find a pen or lip balm, you will wind up buying a new one.”
Which is exactly why I’m sure I must have five thousand six hundred seventy two bobby pins in this house.
Because God, I can never find one when I need one!!!! So I end up buying a whole new pack every time!
You know you’re guilty too.
It’s not just me.
So empty your bags and figure out what the heck you have in there!
Through Tidying We Learn A Lot About Ourselves
When we take the time to properly tidy our homes, like I mentioned before, we’re learning to hone in on our likes and dislikes. We’re learning to better understand ourselves and we’re focusing on those things that make us happy.
So when this process is complete, you’re left with items that mean a lot to you, and things that bring you real joy.
When you look around and you find books of a particular subject or souvenirs from past travels, you realize that there are certain things that you’re truly passionate about.
And when there’s so much clutter around you, it’s hard to see that sometimes.
So I think it’s really cool that not only does tidying organize your home, but it also brings clarity to your life, and leaves you in much better shape than when you started.
SEE?!! Doesn’t cleaning sound like so much fun right now?!
Tips? Tricks? Thoughts on the book? Feel free to share in the comments!
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