I hope you’re ready to get tidy! Over the next several weeks we’re going to work through the KonMari method of tidying up your home. I first read Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, about a year ago. I was intrigued by her method, and so I began using her method in my own home. I was happy with the results. Now, don’t go thinking my house is totally spotless and clear of all clutter! I do have kids after all! And they have not completed Marie’s class LOL I am by no means a master either. But I think some of the points made in this book are valid. So I will be blogging about the book and each category throughout the next 5 weeks. I’ll talk about my understanding of the book and the methods. That doesn’t mean that’s how everyone understands it. Everyone may have a different take on the book and the lessons Marie Kondo is teaching, and that is perfectly fine! Organizing journeys are not the same for everyone. If you aren’t familiar with the book or, most recently, the Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, then you should check it out! Basically, Marie’s method, the KonMari method, says you should start with discarding, and then organize. And you do this in one go. Now, by “one go” she doesn’t mean one day necessarily, or even one week. For sake of our challenge, it’s going to be 5 weeks. But everyone’s process will be different. Everyone is different items. Everyone has different attachments and decision making skills. You may ask why we have to do all this work in one go. According to Marie, it’s because it causes a more dramatic change in your home, which results in a dramatic change within yourself, making it less likely you will backslide into your old ways. You will feel satisfied! The concept here is that if you try to do a little bit a day, you will never finish. Think about the challenges where you discard 1 thing per day. So day 1 you toss away a broken toy. Do you really get any satisfaction from that? More than likely, your going to stop after a few days and never complete your task. But as Marie says, “If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after” Think about it...when complete a task, you feel accomplished, and that’s a good feeling you’ll want to keep. But if you don’t finish, you may feel like you failed. That’s not a good feeling. Also, think about your shopping habits. When you shop, do you buy just 1 thing, or do you buy multiple items? If you only get rid of one thing but buy 10, then you now have more stuff than you started with. If you keep up with that way, then you will, inevitably, run out of space in your home. By the same token, if you keep everything forever and never discard stuff at some point you will also run out of space. You can buy all the storage tools you want, but they don’t really help you declutter. “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” Eventually all your bins will be full and overflowing sending you to the store for more bins. Now you’re in a negative spiral of over spending on un-needed items. This is also why it’s super important to do the steps in order. There are only 2 steps to the KonMari method. First, decide whether to keep it or not. Second, decide where to keep it (it’s home). But you have to finish step 1 completely and thoroughly with all items in that category before moving on to step 2. Once you know exactly what your keeping, then you can begin to put it away and organize it. Then you can figure out the best place to keep it, and if you need to any special bins or organizing tools. It’s not a difficult process, except when we get to sentimental items. That’s why sentimental items are saved for last. During each of the first few categories, you are honing your decision making skills. So, hopefully, by the time you get to the sentimental stuff, it’s easier to decide what to keep. This is the reason it’s so important to sort by category and not by room. Do you already keep ALL your clothing in one place? A lot of people keep clothing in several different areas. So if you only organized your closet, then you when you get to your dresser, your doing clothes again. Then when you get to the basement you may have more bins of clothes. Seems like a waste of time to have to sort and organize clothing more than once. We will get into more detail on this part later. Once you’ve completed all the categories, you should have reached your ultimate goal. According to Marie, your ultimate goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want in your home. If you reach this goal, you won’t feel stress when you come home at the end of a long work day. You should come home and be able feel more relaxed. Your home is where you live, you don’t want it to cause undo stress. You have enough stressors from the other parts of your life. Your focus is going to be on what to keep. DON’T focus on how to decide, and DON’T focus on what to get rid of. The focus should be what to keep. We will put more detail into that each week when we discuss each category. Whatever you do, DON’T skip forward to a different category! Stay on track with each category. Even if you don’t have a lot of a certain category, stick with us. It will do you good later on. Tomorrow I will have the first category post! Stay tuned!