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Intentional Living

Is This Book Revolutionary or Just a Useless Fad? Tidying Up Our Junk

September 17, 2015

Welcome back!

In case you missed my first post, this week here at True Good and Beautiful, we are reviewing the book  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

It’s been a good read thus far, despite a few cultural differences here and there. For example, in America we don’t really talk to our clothes or think about how they “feel” about being folded. With those little things aside, the content KonMari shares is insightful and practical.

What are some golden nuggets I’ve gleaned so far?

To get inspired, she encourages readers to start with the end in mind.  She says, “Think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space.” This activity alone really got me excited. Our house is fairly neat to begin with but to image every ounce of clutter being GONE? What a peaceful thought.

Then before beginning the work of tidying, you must reflect on the question, “Does it spark joy?” This is the yard stick you are supposed to use in helping you choose what items to keep and which to discard.

With these things in mind, we began tidying by category. Thus far we’ve tidied our paperwork and all kitchen items. She recommends getting all the items relating to that particular category you are tidying out on the table. This way you can see everything you’re working with and actually handle and feel each individual item to ask yourself if it sparks joy.

Below is our kitchen, before and after:

kitchen

As you can see, we had a lot of stuff…

We didn’t follow her advice exactly since we left our pots and pans in their cabinets. We knew they sparked joy and didn’t want to move them. Pretty much everything else was on the table and counter tops. It took about 2 hours,to sort through every item and place the ones we loved back in their drawers. Per her advice, we folded our napkins, towels, hot pads, and wash clothes upright so they are visible upon opening the drawer. MUCH easier to find what we need!

There were two full bags of donations and one full bag of trash. It’s pretty cool knowing that everything in our kitchen is something we actually love and use on a regular basis.

Then it was onto paperwork:

paper

KonMari says that when dealing with paper, she always leans towards discarding it…unless it falls into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely. 

She also then encourages to, “Make sure that you keep all such papers in one spot only. Never let them spread to other parts of the house.”

So we gathered all the paperwork. Boy was there a lot! We even had receipt paper…for all those times we’ve never printed receipts. We had paperwork from almost 8 years ago spread across three different acordian folders. It was a mess. Thanks to KonMari, we filled an entire trashcan with paper clutter. Oh, and we found our social security cards that I’d misplaced! Oopsies!

Whew!

In the book she states that on average a proper tidying up takes on average of 6 months. There is definitely part of me that was like, “We’re going to tackle it all in ONE WEEK!” And then reality smacked me upside the head and I remembered that other little human living in our house who likes attention every now and again. 🙂 So we won’t be going as quickly as I’d hoped but we’re making progress!

Next on the list is cleaning out our clothing, stay tuned, since she has a really awesome way to fold and store clothes!

Intentional Living

Is This Book Revolutionary or Just a Useless Fad? First Impressions

September 14, 2015

Have you heard about the popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?

It’s a #1 New York Times bestselling guide to decluttering and tidying one’s home developed by Marie Kondo.

For weeks now I have been hearing about it from friends and the blog-o-sphere…all of them simply raving about the KonMari Method. I looked it up in our local library database and was shocked to see it had 300+ holds! Wowzers!

100holds

All this hype got me thinking: Is this book actually life-changing like it claims or is it just another one of those self-help books that produces buzz but fades in time without making a lasting impact?

Hmmm. I wonder.

Jonathan and I do a decent job at keeping things in order. If I am being honest though, the Casa de Teixeira is prone to what we like to call “blow ups” a few times each month. OOPS! We then have to carve out an entire weekend afternoon to clean the whole house until the next inevitable blow up. Nearly four years into marriage and we can’t seem to break this pattern. If this book is the key to getting a tidy home once and for all, we need it.

So I figured I better do some investigation and bring you all along with me. This week here at True Good and Beautiful, I will be reading and blogging my way through the book.

What first impressions do I have thus far?

Marie Kondo begins the book by claiming that if you do it her way, you will never revert to cluttering again….bold but I love it!

She then lays out the core of her method, “Start by discarding. Then organize your space thoroughly, completely, all in one go.” She says that if you follow the age-old advice of simply cleaning up one room at a time or a little bit each day, you will never fully get rid of the clutter within your home. I see the wisdom in this. If Jonathan and I clean out our entire home the way she describes and we finally see what things can look like clutter-free, we’ll never want to go back. Our mind-set will be changed forever.

Marie then goes on to say that, “A booby trap lies within the term “storage” because “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” Boom. This is a large part of our problem. If you took a peek into Jonathan and I’s closets, attic, or drawers you would be scandalized. I know I am! We are experts at shoving things out of sight…creating an illusion of cleanliness. EEP! This will be something I am excited to see change drastically through implementing the KonMari Method.

Lastly, I was very surprised to see that she encourages tidying up by category and not by location. Habitually when I begin cleaning, I start in the kitchen and then work my way through the bedrooms and then onto other common spaces. She mentions that this is a mistake though, since many people will store similar items in more than one location. She says to tidy by category: clothes, books, papers, etc. instead.

It’s safe to say that first impressions were good. I was surprised by her strategy but I am hopeful that it will work. I have yet to dive into the practicals but that’s for the next post! Stay tuned this week as I implement this method in our home and even post some before/after photos.