Wow! It has been a LONG time since I have posted anything on this blog! So sorry for the neglect but I’m back and working on what could possibly be one of the biggest projects of my life. I’m sure many of you have heard of the latest decluttering trend called the KonMari Method which was created by Marie Kondo in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I’ve been seeing this book floating around for a few months but didn’t really start thinking seriously about it until the last week. I started doing some research online trying to find before and after photos and testimonials from other bloggers who have tried it. I was able to find a few that basically broke down the gist of the book with a few photos of their progress. I decided that if I were going to do this I would need to document my progress from the beginning to the end to help me realize just how much stuff I had. So as I go along and work through the different categories I will be taking photos and posting updates. When I reach the end (which could be anywhere up to 6 months from now) I will post a summary of what I was able to accomplish.
The book breaks down into the different steps of the process.
1. Visualize the lifestyle you want.
2. Work by category, not by location, and in the order she provides – Clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous, sentimental. She wants you to work from what she feels is the easiest to the hardest so you can get the hang of the decision making process.
3. Gather every item in one category in one place so you can see exactly how much of that item you have.
4. Take every single item into your hands and ask yourself if the item “sparks joy” – sounds a little time consuming and weird but it works.
5. Store items vertically, not horizontally – especially when it comes to folding clothes. She has a special method to folding clothes and it allows you to see each item. Rather than having to search through a stack of t-shirts to find the one you’re looking for, you can just scan the rows and find it right away!
6. Do it in as little time as possible – many decluttering methods say to do a little bit every day. Kondo believes that if you follow that approach you will never complete the decluttering process. She wants all of her clients (yes, she helps people tidy their homes for a living!) to take no more than 6 months to complete the process. Out of all her clients who have completed the process, 100% of them have continued to have a clutter free home. After this process, there will be a place for everything so the only “tidying” you will be doing is just putting things back in their place when you’re done using it.
The best part of this method (for me) is that you don’t have to buy any kind of storage tools! Kondo believes storage experts are basically hoarders because you aren’t really doing anything besides hiding the clutter.
Now you might ask why I am going to spend so much time on this project. The simplest answer is that I have way too much stuff. My husband and I live with two cats in an 1167 townhome that is very cluttered. It’s hard for me to feel completely comfortable and relaxed in our home because I just look around and see all of the clutter. I am (and my husband is too) one of those people who holds on to things they don’t use in the present but feel they might need them at some unknown point in the future. I am also a sentimental person so I hold onto things that have a special meaning to me even when they are long past use and are just packed away in boxes. I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed by this, especially more recently and it makes me hate living in my house.
I purchased the Kindle edition of the book yesterday and began reading it even though I felt like I had the gist of the process down from my research. I’m glad I did buy it because even though I’m only 40% of my way through the book, I’ve already come across other tips like hiding the garbage and donation bags from your family so they don’t feel the urge to look through what you are getting rid of and try to keep it or guilt you into keeping it.
Despite my having read that particular tip yesterday I decided to start the process with my husband around. He was watching TV in our bedroom while I decided to tackle my socks and underwear drawers. While I was able to significantly decrease what I had, it was a mistake doing it in front of him because he was getting a little mad at me for throwing away so much. He said I was pouring money down the drain. Needless to say I will be doing this alone from now on. But don’t worry! I will only be doing this with stuff that is 100% mine. Kondo believes that if you are in a family situation trying to do this but one or more of your family members isn’t on board, you should leave their stuff alone and just continue doing your stuff. Chances are they will be thoroughly impressed by your progress and will want to join in on their own. No conflict that way and no forcing someone to do what they don’t want to do!
So, as I said in the last paragraph, I decided to tackle my socks and underwear drawers. I was so excited to start that I forgot to take before photos but I can tell you that both drawers were filled to the brim. After I had pulled everything out of the drawers, I couldn’t believe how many I had! I started with 68 pairs of underwear. 68!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I was able to throw out 50% of them. I plan to go through them again when my husband is not there to comment on what I’m throwing away. I had even more pairs of socks! 102 pairs! That is such a ridiculous number. I was able to cut out 40% of those without too much grumbling from my husband but I am definitely going to go through them again to weed out some more.
My sock drawer (top left) now had room left over for me to put my 3 swimming suit sets! I was hoping to combine my underwear and socks together in one drawer but that didn’t work last night. Perhaps after I comb through them again I will be able to achieve that goal. As you can see, I still have too many of both socks and underwear but I still feel as though I did a good job with what I was able to do. I love the KonMari way of folding too! Look how nice it is to be able to see all of the different colors and patterns without having to thumb through stacks.
I can’t wait to start tackling the rest of my clothes! I didn’t get much done yesterday after work but I am already starting to feel some of that stress lift away! I am not looking forward to the book category after I complete the clothes. That will probably be one of the hardest categories for me.
Stay tuned to see more of my progress!