I don’t like clutter, in fact it makes me feel very uncomfortable and a bit on the anxious side. I don’t like mess either, but given I have three little mess-making, clutter-producing, dirty fingered little monsters living in my house, I find myself quite surrounded by both clutter and mess. We’ve just got stuff – so much stuff.
I suppose I can’t blame it all on my kids, I’ve allowed a number of areas of the household to get out of control. Lack of time I suppose, I rarely have a couple of hours spare to clean out a cupboard, and if I do, I probably concoct some other urgent thing I have to do in order to avoid addressing the issue. It’s stressful deciding what to throw out – I end up confused and frustrated and don’t seem to make the difference in my life that I’d imagined I would. It all feels like a sweaty irritating waste of time.
Anyway, in my quest to remove the anxiety generating clutter and mess from my house, I have discovered an internationally renowned tidying and de-clutter expert, Marie Kondo – Japanese Organizing Consultant, and she’s the bomb!
This lady seriously loves organising stuff and has devoted her life to it. It goes right back to when she was a little girl tidying and decluttering her class room. This guru is the Taylor Swift of the international Decluttering scene (yes, of course there is a Decluttering scene – and yes, it’s global).
So I am now the proud owner of her book titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Both LIFE-CHANGING and MAGICAL – what more could you ask for? And I intend to apply MK’s instruction as prescribed in order to alleviate the jittery annoyance I am constantly feeling in my current habitat.
The thing about Marie’s philosophy is that you don’t flick through all of your stuff looking for what you can throw away, you look at it from the opposite point of view – what do I want to keep? Basically, it all boils down to one question – does this item spark joy? I like it!
At the end of this project, I will only be surrounded by things that spark joy in me, and they will be arranged in a very neat and orderly manner. Life is going to be good! The process is also designed to promote mindfulness, introspect and optimism. When something you own no longer sparks joy, you thank that article for its service before you part ways – “Toodle-loo track pants – thanks for all of that quality couch time”.
In theory, this all sounds quite lovely and I am imagining myself with a look of serenity on my face as I thankfully send my non-sparking items on their way. Let’s put this into practice.
Fast forward a few hours….
Marie Kondo – I love you!
What do you know? This process did feel life-changing – it made a huge difference – unlike many previous attempts I’d made, where you could barely tell I’d just spent hours umming and ahing and stressing over whether to chuck or not to chuck. I kissed goodbye 7 garbage bags worth of non-joy-sparking items and a tub of joyless shoes.
In total, 178 items – check out the proof and list of discards below (can you believe 48 tops????).
- 15 dresses
- 12 shirts
- 6 jackets
- 4 suits
- 10 pants
- 2 skirts
- 7 jeans
- 2 belts
- 11 hand bags
- 20 pairs shoes
- 6 pairs thongs
- 48 tops
- 1 shorts
- 8 undies
- 9 pairs socks
- 11 pyjamas
- 6 bras
Here are some highlights…
Shoes Before and After
Undies before (they’re not very pretty – embarrassing) and after
I now look into my wardrobe and see only joyous pieces that fit me… all the itchy, badly fitting, bally, missing button, faded, wedgy-causing stuff is GONE! One downside is that I only have five pairs of socks left (hardly found any joy there) and that’s just not going to cut it with my laundry regime… I’m going to have to do a Kmart run.
Hooray for Marie Kondo and the Konmari Method, as she has named it. This philosophy works for me! Now I’m going to go through the whole house – no spark of joy, no stay in my home. I hope my 3-year-old catches me in a good moment!!!
I actually loved reading the book, much to my surprise, it wasn’t the ‘how to be a good housewife’ manual I thought it might have been. There are a few videos on her method – but as is usually the case, the book is better than the movie…
Even if you are reading the book, it’s helpful to see the visual explanation though… here’s a couple of clips.
Tidying your underwear drawer
Marie speaks about organising your life.