I read about my friend Bexy finding a magical book and then swiftly de-cluttering her life and I was intrigued. So I bought the book in December, by Marie Kondo titled, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying . I found myself on the couch inhaling it in two days and have since been on a tidying up mission. I woke up feeling like my apartment was FULL. CRAZY FULL. AND MUST BE CLEANSED AND PURGED. IMMEDIATELY.
When we bought our apartment, three years ago, it was EMPTY. So empty. How could we fill it up? Then over time, we gradually filled it. New sports. New hobbies. Freediving. Triathlon. Spearfishing. You name it. Trinkets, clothes, books and photos. It was all stored away, once each phase ended, ‘just in case’. And as we find ourselves travelling more and fast outgrowing our small little apartment, I started to question why. Why am I holding on to all this stuff? Why do I keep things, just because? Why are two humans with no babies outgrowing this space?
Now, onto the book.
The “KonMari” method of tidying is both complex and very, very simple.
I am going to share a couple of lessons I learnt from the book but first, a little intro to the lady behind the theory.
Marie Kondo is not like a normal human. She had an obsession with organising and living in domestic bliss that has been shining from a young age. (Hence, why she is now a professional organiser.) The introductory section of the book talks about her childhood, (where it sounds like she spent a lot of time tidying up.) She would even ‘test’ her family members by throwing thing out to see if they noticed six months later, (mostly, they didn’t).
Here is what I have learnt from the book. (I am only through three categories by the way, and have thus far purged about 8 bags of belongings).
Organise by category
This is key. Kondo suggests that you organise by category, not by location. If you are going to sort all your bags, bring them out. All your clothes, bring them out. By hiding things away, you forget what you have. “This approach is fatal”, Kondo says, because “you are bound to find clothes you kept in the a different cupboard”. In my experience, the enormity of the pile will firstly make you feel immense shame, and you wonder how you will choose. This brings me onto my second point. Which is….
Keep only the things that bring you joy
Yes this is right. Kondo says to put everything in the pile and touch and talk to each item. “Keep only things that speak to your heart. Then you can take the plunge and discard all the rest.” I thought at first she was full of it. But then it became simple. Joy or No Joy? That is the question. It became a simple thing to throw out that dress I wore to that party once, when I was skinny in 2004… Why… Whyyyyyy hang on to these things? Part of the reason of keeping things is to represent you and the person you are NOW. Not the person you were or are pining over becoming. I am kind of pleased that now my wardrobe seems to be gleaming with my favourite things.
AND ALL IN SIGHT!
By the way, it is okay also to wish the things that once brought you joy and don’t now, on their merry way.
Fold, so you can see it
I am going to show you the best lesson I have learnt so far for free. The KonMari method of folding. Here it is my friends. So you can SEE said clothing in the drawers. She suggests using empty shoe boxes or shoe box lids to do it. Look at what she does to her undies.
This is what I did to my PJS.
It almost gives me the lady wood just opening this drawer. Which used to give me anxiety. And now onto the final, heartbreaking lesson.
Storage is for hoarders
I was sad to hear this, but kind of accepted it also. Once upon a time for a number of years, we paid for a storage unit, for all this stuff we thought we ‘needed’. I think we went there once in two years. Once out of sight, out of mind, and we never needed anything much from there ever again. As Kondo says “we need to resist storing our belongings until we have identified what we really need and want to keep”.
Yes. Yes. YES.
It is so far day two of my mission. Onto books, keepsakes and photos tomorrow.
These other humans drank the liquid too. Check it out here.
Are you a KonMari convert or a hoarder?
Happy first Sunday of 2016!