About a month and a half ago I graduated college with my bachelor’s degree and after a much needed break, in which I went to Florida to de-stress, I was ready to take on the world back in New York. I wanted to find a job, reconnect with old friends, get a whole new “I’m now an adult” wardrobe and get organized. So I started with the easiest one for me. I got organized.
While in the midst of looking at cleaning videos on YouTube I came across the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo. The KonMari Method is “7 Tips To Organize Your Home”. The book, from where these steps are adapted, is called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way To Banish Clutter Forever.” According to Washington Post, at the beginning of 2016, “The Life-Changing Magic” had sold more than 1.6 million copies in North America.
- Tidy all at once. Tidying a bit at a time never works. Things will get messy again quickly. (All at once means allotting about 6 months to the project.)
- Visualize your destination. Before you throw things away, visualize your ideal lifestyle. Goals such as, “I want to live clutter free” or “I want to be able to put things away,” are too broad. You must think in concrete terms, such as: “I want to live like a Goddess, surrounded by peace and beauty.”
- Identify why you want to live the way you envision. For every answer ask yourself “why?” again. For example, if you want to live clutter free so you get a better night’s sleep, ask yourself, “Why do I want to sleep better?” Do this 3-5 times. When you find the answer to why you want to be tidy, you are ready to move on.
- Determine if each item “sparks joy.” Rather than focusing solely on throwing things away, which Ms. Kondo acknowledges only brings unhappiness, be sure to cherish what you love. Do this by taking each item in your hand and asking yourself “does this spark joy?” If yes, then it stays. If it does not spark joy, then throw it out.
- Tidy by category, not location. In most households, items that fall into the same category are stored in multiple places. If you are tackling your clothes, then you must get all the clothes out of every closet and drawer in every room first. Start with tops first, then bottoms, and work from there. She also instructs you in the fine art of folding, which frees up an enormous amount of closet space.
- Tidy in the right order. Ms. Kondo says that the following order is the way to tidy: Clothes, Books, Papers, and then Komono (miscellaneous.) She goes into great detail on how to separate each category into sub-categories.
- Discard before you place things back. You must discard first. Don’t put anything away until everything you are going to discard is removed.
Note: You must touch every item so that your body can react. This is NOT an intellectual process. It’s a “felt” physical sense that you can develop over time, or the kind of intuition I discuss in depth in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. You let your BODY and emotions tell you.
I love watching “cleaning my room” and “plan with me” videos on YouTube. There’s something so satisfying about watching people get their life together on camera. There’s hundreds of videos on the KonMari Method. Cleaning a room, depending on how messy it is, can take hours but in video, they fast-forward EVERYTHING so it takes about 10-15 minutes to “clean” their room. It’s motivation enough for me to get my butt off my bed and organize my room.
So that Saturday, after arriving from my trip, I turned my entire room upside down cleaning. I threw away two bags of trash—papers, miscellaneous and ripped up clothes and donated one bag of gently used clothes to goodwill. I didn’t use the Konmari Method because I found it after I had already cleaned my room but I’ve told everyone about it and now I am telling you!
Go declutter your life following her seven steps. Make it a weekend project (it will take several weekends to declutter your entire house) it’ll astonish you to see how much you get rid of. Donate, throwaway and/or organize a swap party to organize yourself for 2017.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.