Tidying Up

If you’re like me, you often find yourself in an endless cycle of cleaning / relapsing, never seeming to get a handle on the clutter, which grows back like weeds.  Or maybe like mold.  Invasive and difficult to manage, in any case.

The other day I was wandering around a local bookstore after work, and I stumbled across a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  The title caught my eye, as this is something I deal with on a consistent basis.

In case you’ve never heard of Marie Kondo, she developed a cleaning / organization system she calls the KonMari Method. Basically, if an item doesn’t give you joy, discard it.  This is an overly simplified summary, but I don’t want to spoil anything – if you want to know more, you should buy the book and do your own research! 😉

From what I’ve heard and read, her methods are highly effective, and so today, after reading the book, I decided to give it a try for myself.  Now, one thing you should know is that I’m a weird hybrid child of a packrat and a purger, so I often want to get rid of things and “purge” my belongings, but then my packrat genes kick in and mess up my decluttering efforts.  I am hoping that this KonMari Method will help me to find my inner purger – I really do love the feeling of being free from clutter!

Marie Kondo says that fully tidying and organizing your living space may take up to 6 months, but since I’d rather spend six months and finish this as opposed to staying stuck in this current futile cycle.

I just started tidying yesterday morning, but so far I’ve gone through every scrap of clothing I own, and I estimate that I’ve discarded over a third of my wardrobe.  For me, this is a HUGE accomplishment! (Yes, I’m bragging on myself a little).  I’d never realized how many things I had that no longer need, rarely / never wear, or simply don’t love.  Once I weeded through the clothes, the remaining garments looked so much more manageable.  I felt like I could finally get a handle on my wardrobe.

Not every bit of this process will be easy – going through mementos and keepsakes will be quite difficult, as I tend to get lost while strolling down memory lane.  But in all honesty, most of these “keepsakes” have been lying forgotten in boxes for years.  Some things really do merit keeping and storing, but I’m sure that a lot of my keepsakes have already served their purpose, and can now be discarded.

I guess the hard part for me is feeling that by getting rid of the object, I am also getting rid of the memories.  I’m still working on finding a solution to this feeling.  Once I thought that taking a picture of the item would allow me to remember the item without having it take up storage space in my closet.  Perhaps I will revisit this idea.  Or I can just smile on the object, cherish the memories, and then move on.  So much more easier said than done, I know.

Well, enough ramblings for now.  I should really get back to tidying (with homework breaks here and there).  I think I’ll go through my book collection next.  This should be interesting…

*P.S. – I promise that I am not being paid to endorse this book, I just found it highly fascinating and wanted to share!

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