decluttering

Marie Kondo has sold millions of her series of books on the art of tidying. I’m currently inhaling her New York Times Bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying I heard about back in 2014 when it was first published, but admittedly only bought last week after binge watching her new Netflix series which made me weep actual tears (I know) as much as it sparked joy in me (part of her method).

The most moving part, aside from reigniting couples/ family’s relationships thanks to her spring cleaning method, was her request upon visiting couples that they thank their homes for what they’d given them: security, memories and love before they got started with the process.

KonMari’s method in my opinion, is truly life-changing. I’m almost out the other end of it, and feel as if a weight I didn’t even knew existed, has lifted.  The premise is, that you sort your home out: your physical belongings and that helps you sort out your emotional baggage with it.

…Unassuming, sweet and smart, Marie is the sort of woman who want and frankly need, in your life. Warm, confident, honest: she says what her clients/ you, need to hear but with a kind, self-assured tone (there’s no messing about- literally), which elicits respect from the minute you ‘meet her’.

I for one, have not stopped tidying, categorising, regrouping, gifting or recycling since episode one.

I say that as a clean/ neat freak who has moved several times in the last few years and thought I had minimalist living down to an actual tee. Yet, I found I was still hanging onto to things that no longer served, fit or made me happy. I also realised that I’d maybe been too extreme in the past, ridding myself of clothes impulsively especially when I had PMT. It was a revelation I wasn’t expecting. Looking through my wardrobe, I wondered where the floral H&M frock I made special memories in as Oliver, my eldest son and I had an Italian lunch together-a Mummy Son Date, went, or a Topshop monochrome polka dot dress I watched Pokemon for the first time on the big screen, in, or a handful of vintage coats from Leeds I’ll never rediscover, and a red fedora I can no longer see.

There were though, far too many items I’d clear hung onto over the years. I kept sentimental items: kids’ photos, baby clothes, and even my own baby nightie but out went books I’ll never re-read and board games and puzzles the kids are now too old for. *weep. And, there was a lot to sort much to my Mum’s disbelief, ‘How have you anything left to arrange?’ she asked.

Before I began, however, I rushed to my local TK Maxx and bought large floral printed boxes to place hair appliances and the kids’ homework in respectively, pretty gold storage units for hats and gloves at the door for ease, a clear jewellery box with drawers to help me organise my dressing table, and toiletry holders for our en-suite to house shampoos and more.

I’ve also ordered a new set of drawers for my bedroom and another bathroom cabinet to boot. Now that everything has its place (plasters, nail polishes, skincare products, pjs etc), I need a few more storage units to accommodate things in order, rather than cramming things into existing drawers. Yes, these outgoings are pricey to start with but I’m certain being able to actually see what I own, will mean less chance of carelessly repeat-buying in the future.

I’ve also since, got a renewed sense of respect for my wardrobe. I’m not going to dispose of pieces as quickly and certainly not based on hormones! I’m going to be kinder to myself.

See, I told you it was a life-changing method.

The only room left to sort now, is the kitchen which requires me to remove everything from the cupboards and drawers as per the process before deciding if I’ll keep or discard the items (giving sincere thanks to each piece if it’s the latter) before placing plates and cutlery back in order of size, for the best use of the space physically and emotionally.

The process can feel somewhat surreal and unsettling at times. It makes you confront past memories and really is a process in every sense of the word: you’re forced to consider your environment and put it in order, and in doing so you discover more about yourself. By the end of it, you change. You look around at the familiar which has undergone a transformation, as have you.

Next up is the kitchen which is certainly not a mess by any means as I only organised it recently but I know I’m hanging onto items I don’t use or like enough: mixy-matchy bowls (not in a Pinterest-cool way) that annoy me, far too many dinner plates and odd sized cups we never use (only a large mug for tea will do for me)….

The only problem now, is, I can’t stop tidying. It’s bringing me TOO much joy. I wonder what Marie Kondo would say about that.

 

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