How To Organize Your Life – Marie Kondo
How do you clean your house? Do you tidy? Do you organize? Do you use totes and labels? Do you keep stuff because you “might” need it someday?
I was sitting in a class at a conference this spring and started visiting with the woman sitting next to me. I cannot remember how we got on the subject but she recommended this book and said it was an easy and worth-while read. I wrote it down and bought it later that day.
It sounds weird, to read a book about cleaning. But just as the author points out, people learn to cook, dress, make money, and take care of themselves, but does anyone ever really learn how to clean? It seems so basic, but so do the other things we learned. Then came the KonMarie Method.
I’m always cleaning; I hate clutter, I hate dust, and I really despise piles of anything. But all of those things still happen in my life, and in fact, I am a bit of a hoarder too. I try to keep things organized in totes and closets, and convenient storage places around the house. But yet, I’m always organizing and picking up. Nothing I have tried works for very long.
Unfortunately, the state of my home wasn’t improving, no matter how much I organized, cleaned, and tidied up the place. I had no idea I was doing EVERYTHING WRONG! Yeah, I’m shouting with joy – I wasn’t cleaning correctly.
In just over 200 pages I was taught how to fold socks, how to distinguish if it is something I need to keep, and even gained confidence that once I threw something out, I wouldn’t miss it. I make decisions quicker and I know exactly where everything is.
Things I have had for years, yes years, are now in black garbage sacks filling up half of my garage. It changed my approach and thoughts about cleaning. I didn’t even know a book could change my approach on how I live by “tidying up”… but it did.
The KonMari Method is simple, to the point, and requires no additional purchases. She focuses everything around joy and truly surrounding yourself and filling your home with things you love. I received this book 2 weeks ago. In a week I finished the book, and I currently have 15 black garbage bags along with several boxes of “clutter” sitting in my garage, and I haven’t even touched the storage we keep in the garage.
The author gives several examples and stories that I could relate to and struck home for me. Several of them she talks about how they went through 20, 30, 40+ black garbage sacks while disposing of clutter, I didn’t think our family would have that much. But now looking into my garage as I prepare to haul stuff off, I am shocked that my numbers reached as high as 20.
What About Memories?
I have a lot of items in my home that mean a lot to me. They are things from my childhood, projects my children make, things that remind me of wonderful memories of our family. I don’t want to just throw them away. But at the same time they are doing nothing but taking up space and filling up boxes…of memories. That’s it. So I followed the advice the author gives, but I also took it a step further. If it was truly something I didn’t need or want to keep, but I didn’t want to “throw away the memory” (because after all that is the real fear), I just took a photo of the item instead.
This book helps you take baby steps and lays out the process of tidying up in such basic simple tasks that it is impossible to fail if you truly try. I took the advice, and was able to toss out these “memories” without hesitation. When I was done, everything that surrounds me and my family are only the things we use and truly love.
What About My Kids?
I taught my kids how to decide if their items are things that bring them joy or not. To my surprise my 6 and 3 year old were very open to it. In our large toy room with over 200 toys, they went box by box asking aloud “Do I love this?”. If the answer was no, they threw it in a black garbage sack, if the answer was yes, they put it in the appropriate box and put the toys away.
My 3-year old son who is obsessed with cars and trucks disposed of half of his collection. He sat on the floor and said “Mom, I don’t wub this toy” and into the black bag it went.
Since doing this project over a week ago, our toy room has remained cleaned, the toy boxes are not bursting at the seams, and they are not overwhelmed with the amount of toys in their face. They can see what they have, select something, and have room to play with it.
The KonMari method isn’t just for adults. My kids also went through their individual memory boxes, if the project or picture had a special story, we wrote it on the back and returned it to the memory box, if it didn’t – they threw it away. Now their memory boxes only contain what things actually matter to them. And they threw enough projects out, that I can easy fit their first couple years of schooling in a single file folder.
What About Decor?
I love decorating and redecorating my house. Sometimes I love using frames, or shelving and then I change it up the next year. But I always save those extra shelves and frames just in case…I know I’m not alone.
This time, if it wasn’t currently on my wall or I didn’t have a specific plan for it…I clearly didn’t love it… so it had to go.
If you are anything like me; hoarding memories, keeping stuff “just in case”, or holding on to it because it was a gift, get control of your home and make it a place you find joy. Of all the organizing tricks, tips, ideas, and pins I’ve read, this book made everything else irrelevant and actually works for our whole family and for every item. Check it out and get organized.
My poor friends have heard me talk about this book for the last few weeks, and now that I’ve followed the process through and can truly see the change, I can say that I’m a believer in the KonMari method. My only advice to my friends, make sure you read it with a high lighter.