I believe today's subject is especially interesting because spring cleaning is upon most of us. I hope you have already started with the main tasks. One thing that comes and haunts everyone at this point of time is the amount of "stuff" we all have - we all hoard in our homes. Anyone disagrees?
My well hidden secret is also why I pick up every book on organizing with interest and intend. Marie Kondo's book on tidying was a sure bet to get on my reading list - and it did and it did give me a number of magic tips. The book is interesting for a lot of reasons - for one it asks you to break many conventional rules - many of which I was really really happy to oblige.
While I don't agree with some other points, I should let you know that if someone asks me for the book that has helped me most so far on home & organizing types - I would say it is this book without blinking my eyes even for once. It is a must read - even if you don't agree with many concepts.
Here are some of my most important take-aways from the book.
1. De-clutter by category and not room by room.
I loved this tip and though at first thought it to be daunting task to gather all the clothes that belong to you from every part of the house - clothes in the closet,dresser,hallway coat closet, seasonal that are tucked away - this is actually easier to do. One reason why this is the most rewarding is because - once you finish sorting,discarding, folding and return them to the place they belong finally - it feels like a burden is taken away - you can finally feel all your clothes are in place and in peace. If you do it room by room - what happens is you would be handling clothes - today, tomorrow and day after - that feeling of being done - that is miles away still. Do you get my point?
2. Do not buy a ton of storage solutions.
I agree with this idea the most because for the longest time I was obsessed with baskets ,boxes, crates, bins and bowls - to a point that I had to find ways to organize them. For example I have a a small entry way - actually a non existing entry way - and had 4 coat hooks and wall hangers . Why? Because I had too many things in the first place, then I bought those not because I loved them but because I hated the ones I already had and that chain continued - Have only those things in your home that spark joy in you. If you can abide by that cardinal rule - you will never have too many things to de-clutter in the first place. Another interesting and frugal suggestion is to re-use all those package boxes and shoe boxes. I have been using that for a while now - really, there is nothing a shoe box can't solve :-)
3. Large wardrobes and walk-in closets are over-rated
Until now I believed in hanging and was always upset about my limited closet space. Reason wasn't I have too many clothes - which honestly I don't have. What I didn't know or didn't do was to fold clothes when possible and do it the right way. Marie Kondo's method suggests not to stack them but to arrange them vertically in your drawers. There are two advantages - one each one is visible and then they are easily reachable. Kon-Marie method goes on to suggest stacking the clothes would hurt the ones at the bottom - even though I am not into that kind of extreme belief system - the folding is cleaner , streamlined and look and feel much more organised.
4. De-cluttering actually relieves stress
This is something I experienced from the experience. You will especially feel the lightness and an up-lift of mood if you decide to de-clutter and tidy up a category of things at one go rather than as installments - a little today and a little tomorrow. Kon Marie method suggests not to have anything in your house that doesn't spark joy - although I can neither abide by and nor agree with that - once you have things that really mean something or be useful to you - you automatically tend to focus on things that are more important like re-starting a forgotten hobby, spending time with family or in community service. As they say - Everything starts from home - and when you have a tidy home - you have a tidier mind.
I am not done with the book really - there are things I don't agree with too. If you are not in the mood to read the book but yet would like to hear about the messages from it - stay tuned for the next part of this story - things that didn't make sense to me but you might be able to better understand and apply. See you Wednesday with the rest of the story.