The Year of Tidying

I recently finished Marie Kondo’s book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it did in-fact, change my perspective on my life (whether or not it will change my life is TBD… too soon to tell!).

There have been numerous blog posts on people who have completed her (now) world-renowned tidying method, and if you want to give it a try yourself I highly recommend purchasing the book. In a nutshell, Marie’s method (The Konmari Method) helps you declutter and tidy once and for all (supposedly without “rebounding”). Having always dreamed of being a neat and tidy person, I was eager to give this a try.

I’m not going to lie, about halfway through I wanted to give up. I wanted to actually move apartments so I could just start over and not have to finish this project. Over the course of three days (and even still now), I discarded almost 10 bags of garbage/recycling, and almost 10 bags of clothes, shoes, handbags, and books (I donated those). After going through every. single. possession, this cathartic process, and this book taught me three things that will serve as my 2016 (and beyond) resolutions.

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1. Attract Things (and Experiences) that Spark Joy

The Konmari method challenges you to ask yourself of each item you own: “Does this spark joy?” At first I thought this was insane. This toothbrush does not spark joy, but I need this! I then text my friend Colleen (another tidying graduate) to say “none of my underwear spark joy, but I kinda need those!” She responded: “maybe you just need some new underwear!” She was right. Once I came across the things that truly sparked joy, it made it much easier for me to discard the things that didn’t, including almost all of my bras and underwear. Now if you see me, you’ll know that I’m completely commando. Now when I think about wearing something, purchasing something, or doing something I ask: “Will this spark joy?”

2. A Place For Everything

Marie recommends (or demands) that you have a specific place for everything you own. Every. Single. Thing. You might think you do, but you don’t. As I began giving all of my things a dedicated space (electronics, craft supplies, cleaning items, bags, kitchenware etc), I realized how having a place for everything not only keeps everything neat and organized, but it also makes it easy to take stock in what you have, and what’s missing. I realized this idea, a place for everything, is essential to all parts of your life. It means you have to create space for the important things, people, and projects. For me, this means setting more clear boundaries between work time, alone time, and time with friends and family.

3. Take Care of All Things.

When I was going through the depths of my closet and storage area, I came across so many bags, shoes, and other items that once sparked so much joy. But now, they were dusty, faded, wrinkled, and scuffed. I couldn’t believe I just left them to rot like that. I’ve made a vow this year to take the things I kept like bags, boots, and jewelry in for a spa day to get them cleaned, repaired, and polished. This idea is also helping me STAY tidy as I don’t want my things to end up in that sad condition again.

4. Give… give. give.

When I was clearing out my clothes, I created two discard piles. One pile I was going to attempt to sell to the local Buffalo Exchange and the other I was going to donate to Goodwill. Anything leftover would also go to Goodwill. I walked into BE with about 6 bags of clothing and they decided to only buy 2 items. 2! I made $6. When I walked outside I felt so silly for not just donating it all in the first place. At that point a woman came up to me and asked me if I had any spare change, and I decided to give her my $6 commission before donating the rest of my clothing to Goodwill.

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Now since I’ve only been home a few days since I’ve completed the tidying process, I can’t say for sure that it will have long term results, but I am sure going to try! I’ll follow-up in a month and let you know how it’s going.

What about you? What’s one area of your life that you could tidy up? It might be clothes or kitchen, or it might be relationships with your close girlfriends. Let me know in the comments below!