Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
By Kerry on January 21, 2019
Quote of the Week
“The Space In Which We Live Should Be For The Person We Are Becoming Now, Not For The Person We Were In The Past.” ~ Marie Kondō
ABOUT TIDYING UP WITH MARIE KONDO
You’ve probably seen or heard of the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondō.
I watched the first episode and I was hooked. Not on the show. On getting my house organized. That night, both my husband and I emptied our closets, tried most everything on and, like the show, if it brought us joy then it was folded and put a way. From there I tackled our laundry room which lead me to our linens closet followed by my kids clothes and finally the kitchen.
After going through the process I realized there are three main objectives in taking this on that I actually have carried through to my life…
MAKE IT VISIBLE
There are three categories (maybe 4) Marie breaks down: Clothes, Books, Miscellaneous, (Sentimental). She always starts with clothes and her folding method which, if I took nothing else with me it’d be this folding method. The reason it’s so powerful, is because it means you can stand everything up. Once you can stand everything up, then you can see all your clothes at glance. No more routing. No more just wearing what’s on top.
When we cleaned out our closets, we ended up with three small black containers from IKEA. Which I was then able to repurpose in our bathroom where I organized miscellaneous items. I did the same thing in our linens cupboard. I refolded all our kids blankets, stood them up in a cube storage and placed them next to the bigger, bulkier items.
In our pantry, I tossed anything open we hadn’t finished of late and donated anything unopened that we clearly weren’t going to eat. For everything else, I organized them in categories (cooking oils, canned goods, kids snacks, adult snacks, etc) and lined everything up in a way that made each and everything visible.
This is the key to everything Marie does. Seeing. When you open a closet, drawer, or cupboard you should be able to see EVERYTHING at a glance.
This is the name of the game. In each space you organize, how can you do it to make everything visible and still use the cupboard space available?
Or in the case of life, compartmentalize.
For Marie’s system, it’s about putting the same things together. In terms of kids toys, that means Lego, dolls, dress up clothes, trains, etc. It also means finding the right container for each so they each have their own home. Kids take a single thing out then put it away to take the next thing out. And on those days EVERYTHING comes out, clean up goes quick when each thing has a designated home.
For life this means setting time aside each day for things that are important - eating, sleeping, self-care, individual play time with each child, errands, cleanup, work and routines. By giving each category, it’s own time each day it’s amazing how much you can get done a day when you give 100% of your attention to each individual category at a time.
When you go through each category, part of the process is to hold each item and feel if it brings you joy. If it does then you find it a home and if it does not then you donate, sell, or throw it away (preferably the first two if possible). The point of asking if it brings you joy is so that each item in your house has meaning and/or purpose. Prevents or reduces clutter making it easier to find everything a home that is memorable.
The reason why this is so important is not just because by reducing clutter you essentially end up with a tidy house, it’s to bring that joy through out your life. Do your relationships bring you joy? If not, find out why to mend them or know that relationship meant something and now it’s time to move through and forward. Does work bring you joy? Find out why or why not and if not what makes you happy in your current job, what doesn’t and how can you move through to find joy or find another job.
It’s like this, once I tidied my bedroom - cleaned out the underneath of the bed, added bedside cabinets, and organized my closet I felt so much joy in that room that I wanted to feel it in every room then I wanted to feel it in other aspects of my life - all aspects of my life.
When you watch the show and watch people go top to bottom - completely committed over the course of a 30 - 45 days it’s overwhelming and not everyone (including myself) has that much time to set aside to tackle their whole house.
For me, it was a room at a time when I had the time or, most importantly, felt inspired. I tore through three rooms in those first few days… lost a ton of steam then founds moments of inspiration. Just this Wednesday, after a very long beginning of the week of no nanny, finding a drop in-day care, and reorganizing my everyday to survive, after I opened our pantry after dinner and was struck with a moment of inspiration. I took everything out, threw away old opened food, put aside unopened food we were never going to eat, then categorized each shelf. I did this in stages as I worked through our bedtime routine and partially after the kids were in bed.
There’s still more rooms and more cupboards - and when I come across the next in a moment of “I can do this right now” then I will. In the meantime I’m going to continue to enjoy the joy I have created with the help of my family, and hold onto it and maintain it for as long as we can.
Find your happy medium.
Find your joy.