January is all about a fresh clean start- why not take this mentality onto your home. After all your home is supposed to be a place that is an enjoyable sanctuary. Is it currently living up to that for you? Yes there is the day to day chaos of dirty laundry, dishes from last night’s dinner or kids’s shoes and toys scattered through the halls. But I am talking clutter- what you think is meaningful hoarding, that endless stack of paper piling up, or how about that chair. You know that chair I am talking about, the one you just throw everything on to get it off the floor. Ahh yessss you feel me? You can imagine my relief and excitement when I was scrolling down my Facebook feed to see an article titled “The life-changing magic of tidying up: How this 1 top changed everything” This article hit on Japanese cleaning expert Marie Kondo and her book titled “The life-changing magic of tidying up”.
Check out this Video from the Today show on their take.
Now if you know me, you know I don’t read (sorry english teachers!!). I just can’t stand the thought of sitting still that long, and if I am going to I generally fall asleep reading or constantly looking at the clock. So with that confession out of the way, here are the main points I researched from people who did read the book. (such a cheater, I know).
Marie Kondo’s 9 tips for tidying up
1. Sort by category, not location: Don’t do the bedrooms first, then the living room, then the rest of the house. Do all your clothes, then all your books, etc.
2. Tidy in one go. Don’t draw it out. If you tidy a bit each day, you’ll find that you’re tidying forever. Do it all at once and you’ll have the system in place to stay tidy.
3. Pick up each item one at a time and ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?”
4. Fold your clothes so that they stand up vertically. This way, you can put all your t-shirts (or other items) in a drawer and see every item at once, rather than digging through piles of fabric to find the shirt you want.
5. Don’t repurpose clothes to loungewear. Don’t justify keeping a torn, ratty T-shirt just because you think you can repurpose it as a pajama top.
6. Recycle your papers. For important legal documents, scan them! Everything else you should get rid of.
7. Don’t keep gifts out of guilt. After the joy of the gift-giving moment is through, you can donate the gift without guilt. It has served its purpose.
8. Storage experts are hoarders. A “clever” storage solution never really solves anything. A new box or organizer won’t make you tidy. Pursue ultimate simplicity.
9. Start with what you know will be easy to get rid of. If you start with mementos or items you attach a functional value, it will be harder to know if they spark joy. Start with items that are easier to make decisions about, and then you will be in the right mindset to tackle mementos later.
Okay so the main question and number one tip to pull from this is #3- “does this spark joy?”
For example, does that one shirt you bought thinking it was a great deal and then never wore really bring you joy right now? Give it to a friend and bring joy to them! Or how about those old cell phones? Recycle them!! Or maybe old textbooks that you thought you might “refer” back to one day? Hello Goodwill.
“You have to start with something small, so start with tackling the closet to get the boost you need”
So off I went to start the process…
I found kitchen gadgets I have never used or wayyyyy too many items of something. Who really needs 4 ice cream scoops?
I also found some jewelry that was not needed- lonesome earrings that were missing a partner and then jewelry I just never wear, ever.
I still have A LOT of stuff to sort and get rid off but what I can say- it’s addictive. The feeling of having less and being organized is certainly one I can get used too- and that was just my closet and one drawer in the kitchen! Onto the rest of the home. I am really enjoying Embracing Homemaking‘s list of 200 Things to Throw Away– truly inspiring!!