Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life Changing Magic: Well hello, little black dress!

In one of her Just Typikel blog posts, my friend Kelly recommended the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Condo.  I trust Kelly's opinion and her enthusiasm about the book was contagious, so I purchased a copy for myself.

It was worth every penny - and the space it takes up in our bookshelf!



sock drawer, tidy, organizning

The Japanese Art of Decluttering

The premise of the book is that once you employ the correct techniques to tidy your home, it will stay that way.  Marie Kondo promises that if you use her step-by-step “KonMari method” of decluttering by
category instead of room-by-room, your home will remain organized. Her primary criteria for determining whether to keep or discard an item is to ask oneself, “Does this bring me joy?”

I read the book cover-to-cover, and could hardly wait to get started. Our belongings are all fairly well-organized, but our home has begun to feel too full. My husband was away last weekend, so it seemed the perfect time to tackle Step One - -my own clothes.


Like most people, I periodically go through my wardrobe and remove unwanted items.  However, taking all of my clothes, shoes, purses etc. out of every closet and drawer, and then individually evaluating each item by catagory was really much more effective than anything I have done in the past.



Clothing all spread out on the floor, ready to be sorted.

I balked a little at the directions in the book to take all your clothes out of your closet and drawers and lay them out on the floor.  It made more sense to me to place them on the bed. The bed filled up quickly though, and I then had nowhere to put items as I sorted them. Onto the floor (on a clean sheet!) the unsorted clothes went!


KonMari, Magic of tidying
Items on the bed are things to keep, next step was to put them all away!

By the time I finished the process of handling every item, I had decided to part with at least a quarter of my items! The question of whether or not each item gave me joy really did help with the decision process.


charity, decluttering, donations
Just a portion go the clothing I gave to charity.

Suggestions for storage

Using Marie Kondo’s suggestions for how to store clothing, I put away everything I had left. Storing folded t-shirts standing up on my shelf like books in a bookcase really may help keep them organized and it is much easier to see them all!  For the first time in years I have extra space in my drawers and hangers slide easily on the rods in my fairly small closet, with lots of room to spare! 


t-shirt storage, decluttering
t-shirt and sweater storage

Better than a shopping spree!

Instead of mourning the items I no longer have, I feel like I just went shopping!  Taking a good look at my clothes one-by-one made me realize that I like some of the ones I kept even better than I thought I did.  I'm embarrassing to admit this, but jammed between two dresses that I haven't worn in years, I found a black dress I didn't ever remember that I had! A nice black dress - that fits!


black dress,
My forgotten little black dress!

"To get rid of what you no longer need is not wasteful or shameful." 

Marie Kondo’s philosophy regarding how to part with an item was one of the most helpful parts of the book for me.  She recommends thanking each discarded item for its service and telling it how it fulfilled its purpose. She explains that all things serve a purpose, even if it is just the joy experienced during a purchase or the lesson learned of what doesn't suit us.  It was a relief to realize that I don't have to feel guilty admitting I've never really liked or needed some items I have purchased!


donation, almost new shoes, don't fit.
I only wore these shoes a handful of times, but they always made my feet hurt! Now I can discard them without feeling guilty!

Spend time now to save time later

Sorting through my clothes took a long, full day. My bed was still covered with items to put away when it was hours past bedtime.  Good thing my husband wasn't home! It was time well-spent however. I no longer own clothing I do not like or will not wear. I love the way my items are now organized and I really do think it will be easy to keep them that way. 

Next up - time to sort our books! 

I have only touched here on all the wisdom Marie Kondo has to offer.  I highly recommend her book! To learn more about it or purchase it, click here:


                                                                     


How do you deal with clutter?


Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of them, it would not affect the price you pay, but I may receive some small compensation. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely honest and my own.

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


17 comments :

  1. I am BEYOND impressed. Your efforts put me to shame. I shall pick up the ball and get rolling once again. Good for you, Susan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just hoping my motivation lasts Kelly ... tackled the coat closet yesterday (because it contains more than just my things, I had to do it when I could ask for input from other family members so it was a separate effort from my own clothes. That lead to scrubbing walls, washing coats and the hallway runner, taking down window blinds and cleaning them in the tub (!) - an all day project. At this rate, spring cleaning will turn into year-round cleaning! Thanks for getting me started though!

      Delete
    2. Wow! So, so inspiring, Susan. Good for you. Your family won't know what hit them.

      Delete
  2. I have heard about that book and now I must get it and try it! What a powerful idea to thank each item before you get rid of it. Truly inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you like the book Rosemond! It has really helped me to part with things I don't need but have never been able to give away before!

      Delete
  3. I am the Queen of Organization so this has never been a problem - BORING, right? It sure saves time and I always know where everything is - (I also sort by color so mu closet looks like a clothing store) My motto has been one that has served me well in all areas of organizing life and that is "Do it right! Do it now!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you Carol! I am quite organized, in that every thing has a place and I always know where to find it, but when closets and cupboards are full, things get harder to put away. Cleaning them out will make the “Do it now“ much easier!

      Delete
  4. Here I go again - I swore I commented on this when I read it this morning, but apparently not :)! I'm pretty good at organizing, but I could definitely do better, and I need to get rid of more STUFF. Will definitely check out this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who just makes comments in my head Lana!! I think you would love this book :)

      Delete
  5. Wow! that looks amazing! I am pretty good with organization...okay OCD hubby is pretty good at organization and keeps the house like a military barracks but now my desk.... I love how you did the shirts and things that looks so much easier than ruffling through. I will have to check that book out. Everybody can improve some and I like how this system looks better than any I've seen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time will tell with the “bookshelf style” filing of my shirts Rena - but so far it is working. She provides a lot of good tips in the book that I haven't even mentioned.

      Delete
  6. I did the book purge when i switched rooms for my office/junk room...sent a bunch to the thrift shop. Funny..it didn't bother me but the hubs was quite upset about it (and he's not a reader).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Letting go of books is hard. We are attached to them in many ways. Even though I will probably never read my Human Anatomy book again, I still have it. Something about many, many hours spent ...

      Delete
  7. I'd like to check this book out. I'm forever purging and still feel like we have too many clothes. Your closet sounds like a pleasure to use now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a pleasure Marie ... I find myself going into my room just to stare at it! We are planning to do some remodeling, and one idea was to rip out our closets and make one big walk-in closet... I am actually rethinking that now, as I have plenty of space the way it is. :)

      Delete
  8. Amazing! Going over to check the book out . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you like it Diane. It is a quick read, and very motivating.

      Delete

Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!