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the life-changing magic of tidying up

Intentional Living

Is This Book Revolutionary or Just A Useless Fad? The Wrap Up

September 29, 2015

Here’s my final review post on the amazing book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. 

life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up

In case you are just joining us, check out the first post in which I discuss the book and provide a general overview. Next, I started tackling categories in our house using her tactics. Lastly, I wrote about how to fold clothes according to the KonMari Method. Here in this last post, we will wrap it all up with a few last minute pointers and my overall thoughts on the book as a whole.

What other nuggets did I find in the book?

Once you have tidied, she encourages everything to have a designated home. “The point in deciding specific places to keep things is to designate a spot for every thing.” She says this part of tidying will take far less time than the actual process of tidying. I am finding this to be true. Once I know what I’ve got, it’s pretty easy to give that object(s) a home.

Now…making sure I always put it in its home is another issue.

She says that, “The reason every item must have a designated place is because the existence of an item without a home multiplies the chances that your space will become cluttered again.” I see the wisdom in this. Things like loose change, mail, papers, bobby pins, etc. have a habit of making their way all around the house on dressers, desks, and table tops…AKA cluttering up my surfaces. By making sure they make it to their homes, I prevent clutter from every occurring again.

She then goes on to discuss storage and to keep things simple. 

In reflection,once I applied her methods of tidying by category and not location, I gained a sense of control. It’s as if I finally knew what I had and where it was located. Truly a freeing task! I was able to see duplicates and items we no longer needed that had been stored away collecting dust.

Discarding things that did not “spark joy” was my favorite part, since it felt like a weight was lifted with every bag filled for donation. Knowing we are surrounded by items that bring joy and we need is wonderful. It’s a simple way to live and I don’t want our home any other way now. I can see why she claims that no one reverts back to their old ways once she’s done with them! 🙂

Although we are not done tidying our home (she said it takes an average of 6 months to do!) we eagerly await the day when we’re finished. I don’t believe this book is simply a fad. I think it will be revolutionary in America, where we typically have so much excess in our homes.  We’re on board and hope to keep living according to most of the Kon-Mari principles as the years go by!

If you end up reading this book, let me know what you think too!

Intentional Living

How to Fold Clothes with the KonMari Method

September 22, 2015

Wow.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

(If you don’t know where that phrase comes from tune into this commercial and wait for 1:50 where Jonathan has his breakout acting moment / a catch phrase was born.)

This tidying up has been tough work. In America, when we discuss tidying, most people think of dusting and picking up some toys. That’s not what  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up means. In the book, when KonMari talks about tiding, she really means “gutting your house” which is far more extereme…and necessary if one is actually going to see results and make permanent changes.

We tackled clothing this past weekend. It’s fairly easy to discern which clothing “sparks joy” but it just seems like there is so much of it! We started out by sorting Josephine’s clothes and that took us several hours. Doing our own wardrobes was even harder (especially since I am still nursing and haven’t worn or fit into several items in close to a year because of weight gained thanks to the meds I take for induced lactation).

In this post, we will discuss KonMari’s methods when it comes to tidying your clothing and storing it. Let’s do this thang.

First things first, you must ask yourself, “What things will bring you you if you keep them as part of your life?” Once you get into that mindset, you are ready to begin.

KonMari recommends gathering every. single. item. of clothing you own and piling it all in one place. Don’t leave any piece out of the pile, since she says if you find something after you’ve done that category, you must discard it since it wasn’t important enough to remember in the first place. (Unless it’s in the laundry.) So grab all your winter coats, old t-shirts, bins in the attic of off-season attire, etc. Get it all together and thrown into a giant pile to start sorting.

mountain clothes

(That’s not ACTUALLY our clothes. You would’ve seen our clothing pile but Wrigley, our dog, ate the photo memory card.)

She then places an emphasis on every item needing to be handled. By picking up each item individually you can more readily discern if it bring you joy.

Once you’ve sorted your way through the pile, take a brief rest because the hard and satisfying part is about to begin. It’s time to begin implementing the KonMari folding technique. She’s very specific about how to fold and store your clothes to get the most from your space but also more easily visualize your items.

The key to storing things in to stand them up as opposed to laying flat in the drawer. 

Mind. Blown.

I don’t know why we never thought of this before but immediately upon folding and storing per her instructions, I could feel order being restored to our dressers.

Let’s go over how to fold your clothes, KonMari style:

tshirt-folding

pants-folding

And now how to stack them in the drawer:

DSC06636

Once you’ve mastered the dressers, where she encourages most of your clothes to be, she moves on to closets. KonMari suggests that clothes go into the closet according to their category. Tops are with other tops and pants are with pants, etc. Overall, the clothes should rise to the right, creating a more comforting feeling.

There are a few other small tips, such as never ever balling up your socks since it stresses them out….but we’re just not implementing that one. I like to fold socks by balling them up and that’s how it will be. I’ll get a shoe box and keep them neatly contained but we are a sock balling family for life.

And that’s how to tidy your clothing. Intense but very freeing once it’s done. Knowing I can now go to my closet and find only things I love is incredible. No more “hating my clothes” like I used to say. And being able to have breathing room in my closet and drawers is amazing. Goodbye are the days of crammed up closets and drawers stuffed to the point of overflowing.

I can see why she calls this stuff “life-changing magic!” 🙂

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!