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The life-changing magic of tidying ey? Can tidying ever be magical? Unless one was to wave a wand and miraculous things happen, now that would be life-changing and quite marvellous too!
It’s officially spring which means we should all be having a big clear out round about now. I really want to be one of those people that lives in a clutter-free home and with that in mind it’s time to tick off a book from my spring reading list and the perfect opportunity to attempt some serious spring organisation.
There’s been a bit of a cleaning and tidying craze since ‘The life-changing magic of tidying’ became an international sensation selling over 3 million copies. I have heard so many amazing things about this book and half of me was sure it is just a fad while the other half is genuinely intrigued to delve deeper into ‘the Japanese art’ of tidying using the KonMari method. Off I popped to Waterstones to seek out the pearls of wisdom and try out the ‘art’ for myself.
I headed straight for the self-help section in the book shop it was easy to find sitting neatly (obvs) between a book teaching you how to break free from overthinking (guilty) and embracing the diva rules (not guilty). This was the most logical place for the book, after all, this method isn’t just about giving organisation and cleaning tips, it delves much deeper asking the reader to approach the task of transforming their home by looking at their belongings in completely new light…
Marie Kondo encourages us to ask ourselves just one simple question: do they spark joy?
Through treasuring the things you love and letting go of the things you don’t, you’ll not only create a beautiful home but find the confidence and motivation to live the life you long for and make space for future sucess-Marie Kondo
That is a big claim!
Just reading the back of the book brings me out in a bit of a cold sweat but I am excited anyway. Is it really possible for me to just get rid of all this stuff we’ve accumulated over the years, and how will I know if I am making a terrible mistake? What if I chuck out something irreplaceable that I later regret or I suddenly find a use for my 27 pairs of jeans that I would have to be shoehorned into?
So I like keeping hold of my ‘just in case jeans’ what of it?
This book is really not just about filling black bin bags until they’re bursting or looking for superfluous items to get rid of just to feel as though you’ve done a good job at tidying up. No, it’s actually much more than that. It’s about getting to a space where you look closely at your things and decide which items you really want to keep rather than being fixated on the things you don’t.
The KonMari method advises you that the best (and only) way to do this is by sorting through your belongings by category rather than the place you keep them. This actually makes a lot of sense and eliminates the problem of thinking you’ve got to the bottom of your child’s excess toys only to find yet more in a different location, such as going through everything in the playroom only to have to start all over again in the bedroom or even the car and so on.
But where to start?
When we moved house I thought we had managed a pretty good sort out. However, almost a year on and the house is filling, the cupboards are overflowing and the stress is building. Each Monday I clean my house, I do this because I feel almost incapable of sitting down and doing any work until my house is clean and tidy (ish) the thing is, what I am guilty of and what I suspect many people do, is move stuff around without putting much thought into it. So we’ll put every single toy back into the already bulging toy box and shove clothes into draws that are already bursting at the seams. This gives the outwards appearance of looking tidy yet really when you have too many things how can you ever feel completely organised?
Now, obviously I still have to clean but what I really need to focus on is dedicating a decent chunk of time to sorting and organising my ‘categories’ until they are all complete. That way when it does come around to ‘cleaning day’ it should be a quicker and easier process with less chance of clutter getting in the way the rest of the time. The KonMari method advises you to gradually build yourself up to the harder categories-items that will hold more emotional and sentimental value. I started on clothes as suggested in the book, because these are the items you tend to have the least connection with but the most of and isn’t that the truth! I am the biggest culprit here and still have clothes from 20 years ago and I still add to my collection regularly much to my husband’s dismay.
“What that old thing? Oh I’ve had that ages”
I know you’ve all spun that one.
This was much easier than I thought when armed with the knowledge and ‘the question‘ but one heck of a job trying to attempt in one day. It is the Easter holidays and the children are all off school so I’ve vowed to work my way through each category until it’s done, doesn’t that sound like a fun way to spend the holidays?! Seriously though I know my unsuspecting children (and husband) are probably not going to get much excitement out of this but it says in the book not to tell them what you’re doing anyway. I’m not sure I’ll get away with much of an undercover stealth tidying mission.
I haven’t quite finished on the clothes category but I’m getting there and feeling totally cleansed already. I’m actually looking forward to working my way through the rest of the house and really think that if I could get to a place where we are totally clutter free I would feel so much better and far more productive. Even as I type this I’m looking around the room trying to decide which category to take on next. According to the book, my real life will begin after putting my house in order.
We will soon see…
If you want to change your life with ‘The life-changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo you can pick up your copy from Waterstones, look for it in the Self Help aisle.
Let me know how you get on, or if you’ve read the book and it’s helped I would love to hear from you in the comments!