The first time I heard about Marie Kondo and her ‘Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ I had a good laugh.
My precious ‘sockballs’ (yes, I didn’t fold my socks!) didn’t do my socks any good according to Miss Kondo. They need a rest too, just like other things.
Stacking your clothing or your books? No, please don’t!
Can you imagine the pressure and weight that the bottom product is bearing? Yes, that must be the reason that your clothing on the bottom has more wrinkles and the book doesn’t look very happy.
When the nesting kicked in I felt the urge to clean and sort out everything. I would be moving homes in August / September so it seemed like the perfect moment to declutter.
At the library I had to wait weeks for the book, apparently the Konmari hype was still going strong.
I couldn’t wait to get started so I googled, did read some blogs and watched some youtube videos on her folding method. (which is essential!)
It looks really nice, all the clothing folded and stored vertically. You can see directly which clothing piece it is and I feel like it takes less space.
first time folding:
I have to admit I’m not really an organized person. I have always been disorganised. I could clean my room and the next day it looked like a mess again.
”Messy people are more creative’‘ is something I would say. I also have a huge problem to stay on tasks. When something new grabs my attention, I forget to answer the email I had opened on my computer. Sorry!
According to the book, this one time event (decluttering following Marie Kondo’s rules) would be life-changing.
I was ready to give it a try!
The key for the Konmari method is to only keep things the ‘spark joy‘ and to designate a spot for everything.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a ‘junk drawer’, but maybe the only reason that you’re always looking for your keys is that you don’t have 1 spot were they are at home?
She wants you to declutter your belongings by category, starting with clothing. Put everything in one spot (don’t forget the clothing that’s hanging in the hallway, stored in the garage or lying around somewhere else).
One by one you pick up the clothing pieces and decide if they spark joy. At first it wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
I started to think rationally. ”no, but it’s my only black leggings and what if I need to wear that one dress which only goes with these leggings?” After a while I got the hang of it and it was unbelievable how many garbage bags I filled up with clothing and donated. I’m a bit of a shopaholic, so the hardest thing was not to order new things immediately.
Suddenly I would have enough space for more things to bring in and I could argue that I need a new black leggings that sparks joy for me…
The pile of children’s clothing was overwhelming. I didn’t even realize how many clothes they have, some pieces are only worn one time because they tend to wear their favourites over and over.
For the first purge I made sure to do it when they weren’t around. I could imagine how Celine would suddenly claim it’s her most loved clothing piece when I want to donate it, but after a few weeks she mentioned she felt like she had too much clothes and she picked some clothes she didn’t want anymore to donate.
Children can judge what sparks joy to them and they seem to appreciate their neatly folded and organised clothing more than they did before.
The first week Alice would still pull out at least 10 items before she made a choice on what to wear, but meanwhile she learned to make her decision without pulling them all out as she can see which piece of clothing it is without unfolding it completely. Marie Kondo suggests that you can learn your children how to fold and that it will make them appreciate tidying up too.
Alice loves to help me fold clothing, but she just can’t do it (yet) and I always have to redo her part. Celine isn’t interested in folding at all. (she loves to fold wraps though 😉 )
The easiest thing about a new home is that you decide what you bring in your home, instead of starting to decide what to throw out.
It has been great leaving a lot of things behind that didn’t spark joy, before moving in here. When all the things have their own spot you certainly have to stay on top of things and always put them back in/on their place.
Which is why I don’t agree with her statement that it’s a one-time thing (1 big event of decluttering and you will have an organised home forever).
You need to adjust your habits, because your things won’t move back to their designated spot by themselves after being used.
If you want an empty kitchen top, don’t leave the dirty dishes on there. I don’t always feel like cleaning everything away after cooking, but I still do it because it feels good to have a clean kitchen again.
I love the section where Marie Kondo mentions her ritual when she comes home. Yes, how she thanks her belongings made me giggle, but I empty out my handbag every time I come home. To give it some well deserved rest. It also made me use my other bags more often, because I don’t just grab the bag with my purse in it… I can choose which bag I want to use and grab the things I will need to put them in there.
My girls also started to great their home. (”hello house, we’re back home!”)
My kitchen top is empty when I’m not cooking and I have much less decoration in my home now compared to my old home. (and the things I have are really loved!)
No, my home doesn’t always look picture perfect like those homes you see in magazines… but I don’t need to move a pile of stuff out of view if I want to make a picture of my children.
I always read comments suggesting it would be impossible to Konmari your home with children.
Yes, they have a lot of things that spark joy for them and yes, they make a mess. But it’s not impossible!
Celine has her own junk drawer because she’s a hoarder and I kept finding stacks of things she wants to keep to upcycle or just because they are pretty. Limiting the space where she can store those things made her take decisions on what to keep. When she want’s to add something new in there she will toss something else that she decides she doesn’t need anymore.
At least 2 times a day their room will be organised, we put away the toys together before they go to sleep.
If there are toys where I feel like they never play with it, I will put them away on a secret place out of sight and wait if they will look for the toys.
After a week or two I donate or sell it if they didn’t seem to miss it.
A couple of times Celine found her drawings in the paper-recycling box…. and off course she suddenly said it was her best drawing ever and she needs to keep it.
Sometimes I feel sorry for decluttering their things without their permission, but as long as they don’t do it by themselves it’s necessary.
I consider myself to be (very) materialistic. I love my stuff and I love to have lots of wraps (for example). I did let some things go that I kept for emotional reasons, letting go feels great!
Will I move to a more minimalistic lifestyle? I do notice that I seem to prefer to invest in higher quality products. In the past I have had (at least!) 10 pair of low-budget jeans, but now I prefer to invest in 1 higher quality jeans with a perfect fit. Maybe a second one in a darker version too.
I can get very frustrated when people buy/give my children cheap (plastic) toys. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but also don’t want to have a crying child when it breaks (poor quality!) or with sneaking it away without them noticing it. I still need to find a way to deal with it, other than saying thank you and trying to let it disappear a few days later. Someone gifted it with good intentions, so it makes me feel sorry for them too. 🙁
Looking forward to see how my life evolves and how life-changing this Konmari method really is! 🙂