Our new home has nearly 400 sq. ft. more than our old apartment. You would think given our new amount of space and the fact that I went through all of our belongings just 7 months ago that I would have a handle on tidying our home. But such is not the case. This added square footage has basically become a feeding ground for more junk to be stored. It feels like my days are filled with work and cleaning on repeat. If I’m not working I’m cleaning… and that’s not awesome. It’s this constant back and forth that makes me feel claustrophobic in my own home. I thrive in a clean and tidy environment… something I can’t ever seem to achieve. Insert Marie Kondo.
For months I heard about a magical little book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, we’ll call it LCM for short. I was skeptical at first, thinking perhaps it was a bit gimmicky and wouldn’t actually contain any practical tips I hadn’t already read on Pinterest or Apartment Therapy. Well….. I was wrong. This book, written by Marie Kondo is dare I say, life-changing.
In the LCM Kondo suggests that the reason most people can’t seem to keep their homes tidy is that we have never been properly trained in the art of decluttering. Therefore tidying has become a vicious cycle of sifting through our accumulated junk over and over.
Like most people, I typically declutter and organize room-by-room as this seems the most logical to me. But I was doing it all wrong! Kondo emphasizes the importance of decluttering by category rather than room by room.
The five categories in the LCM:
- sentimental items
These five categories must be sorted in the order they are listed and should essentially take you throughout your entire home (see misc. for bathroom/kitchen/decor/garage items). You must gather every item within the specific category that you own. You then take each item in your hand and ask if the item sparks joy (I know, it’s a little much for me too but it works!), if the item doesn’t spark joy then place it into one of two piles, donate or throw-away. Kondo’s systemized way of organizing is coined The KonMari Method.
I have successfully completed the first category, my clothing has been sorted and totally cleared out. Although this felt great, I wasn’t completely honest with myself during the process of narrowing down my clothing, so I’ll take you deeper into my clothing tomorrow for Part 3 of the series!
What did happen though was a trickle effect within my home. I cannot WAIT to KonMari my entire house after going through my clothes. I see how organizing by category rather than room by room really gives you a visual picture of just how much stuff you have, but don’t need! When I piled every piece of clothing that I owned onto my bed, I felt so overwhelmed. But once I started going through item by item I felt liberated as I tossed things in the get-rid-of-pile.
Here’s the catch… the items that you keep MUST have a home. Nothing gets left out. The key to a clutter-free home is designated space for your belongings!
Tip #1 for finding balance during the Holidays: Get your hands on the LCM book, read it cover-to-cover and implement what you learn. It will change the way you declutter and organize your home. It will also change the way you view items within your home. Some of Kondo’s theories are a bit much, (like the part where she thanks her purse and the contents within for their hard work after each day….) so just skim through those areas. But the rest of the book… soak it in, think about the concept of a clutter free space and the freedom it brings. Next up, books!
Part One HERE
Part Three HERE