Well let me start by saying that I
might be definitely am a “Keeper”, as in I like to keep all of the things and have a hard time getting rid of stuff and my husband is definitely a “Tosser”, as in he loves to get rid of all the things that we don’t need. Obviously keeping and tossing stuff is something that we disagree on and something that I am trying to be better about.
A few months ago, I bit the bullet and read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Since then I have been applying the “KonMari Method” to my life and I have done a great deal of decluttering. This is what I have learned from the KonMari Method:
More is More
As I moved through the KonMari Method, I realized that having more things in my home was simply adding more clutter to my life and in turn making it harder for me to keep my house clean. As I have been removing items from my home, I have realized how having less has actually made me feel less stressed and more in control of my life.
Keep Only What you Love
In the book Marie Kondo ask us to think about which items truly spark joy when we hold them in our hands. My take away from this was to keep only items that you love (or actually need) and get rid off** everything that you don’t.
You know that vase that is sitting at the back of your cupboard, the one that you received as a gift and have used only once but don’t “have the heart” to give it away. Yeah that one, it’s time to let it go. It’s not only taking up space in your cupboard but it’s taking up space in your life (as clutter); and I’m sure the next person who uses it will love it!
Don’t Move From Room to Room
It seems that when decluttering, most of us start in one room and work our way through the clutter room by room. Marie Kondo suggests that this is the worst way to declutter because you end up keeping more than you realize or need. Instead she tells us that we should work through categories: clothing, books, papers and miscellaneous items. I personally sub-divided these categories a little further: clothing for each person in my family, books, papers, kitchen items, toys, miscellaneous (everything else).
Working Through the Categories
To start I gathered all of my own clothing and jackets and threw them on my bed; I then went through every item and decided to keep, toss or giveaway. Once I finished my own clothing I worked through my children’s clothing with their help and we followed the same criteria. Again we were able to donate more items than I thought and in turn I ended up with less laundry to wash! Win-Win
After the clothing was finished I moved onto books, gathering all of our books in one room and going through each one to make sure the keepers met our criteria.
The “Keep Pile” Criteria
In order for an item to be kept in my home, it had to meet the keep pile criteria:
- I love it
- I actually wear it/use it/read it
- It fits me well (clothing)
- It isn’t worn out, washed out or stretched out (clothing/bedding/towels)
- It serves a purpose
- I use it often
The toss items were easy: anything worn out, washed out, with holes, and generally not in good condition went in the garbage; and everything else went to the donation pile. Honestly it was crazy how many bags and boxes full of items left my home over the course of my initial decluttering and it was also crazy how happy I felt to be free of all of the extra stuff.
Everything in its Place
As you move from category to category it is important to remember that each item that you keep needs to have a place and it needs to stay in its place to avoid become clutter. For example, keep all of your clothing in one closet and keep all of your purses/bags/totes in one area and if all of your items don’t fit in one place together, you might need to go through them again and decide what you really need to keep.
Don’t Rush the Process
If you are a “keeper” like me, it is important for you to take your time and go through each category at your own pace; the goal time for you to declutter your home is set by you and no one else so do your best and you will have great results.
I also found that as I went through the categories it got easier for me to let go of all of the things that I didn’t need; and once I had gone through all of the categories once, I went through them again right after. And to my surprise I was able to part with many more items that fell into the keep pile on my first go.
Don’t Stop Decluttering
I have found that the process of decluttering never really ends; as my needs and the needs of my family change we are left with items that we don’t necessarily need or use. While it is easier to toss them in to storage it is important to remember the criteria and to only keep items that we truly love!
Have you read or listened to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What did you take away from it?
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Great post Lindsay. This book is on my nightstand waiting for me. I need to do this too!
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