Tidying Your Way to A Better You
This week I was reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” by Marie Kondo. She is a bestselling author as well as an organizing consultant helping clients transform their spaces. Her KonMari method is “a simple and effective way to banish clutter forever”. Well most of you that know me, also know that wherever I go clutter is to follow and vice versa. According to Kondo, decluttering is the way to transform and optimize your life. She states that you will become more confident, successful, and motivated to change your life by transforming your space. Letting go and getting rid of those things that you no longer want or need, should make you feel relieved and ready to take on those next steps in life. Well for all career lions out there that want to transform their lives and might not feel like reading the book themselves, here are the main tips and magic tricks from Kondo’s book.
Keep only those things that spark joy
According to Kondo, we should ask ourselves whether something sparks joy when going through each and every item that we own. We should not be as rational. For instance, we should not think that we might use that item again somehow, it is not worn enough yet, or any of those other excuses to keep an item that we do not really like. Only those items that spark joy and we choose to be in our life should surround us.
Tidy by category instead of room
Tidying by category rather than room is supposedly the only way to really declutter. Working your way from room to room, you will be left with many similar items spread over different locations. Taking out all items in the same category, throwing out those items that no longer spark joy, and finding them an appropriate spot is the way to tidy according to Kondo.
Tidy at once
A quote from Kondo’s book is the following:
“If you tidy a bit each day, you’ll find that you’re tidying forever. Do it all at once and you’ll have the system in place to stay tidy.”
I never thought about tidying that way, I just always assumed that tidying was part of life and should be done frequently to prevent explosions of clutter.
Start getting rid of the easy stuff first
There is no need to start with the more difficult items first. Kondo recommends starting off with tidying your clothing first. Only attempting to tidy for instance your photo collection until the very end, to become more confident in tidying and maintain the speed.
Storing vertically rather than horizontally
Kondo is famous for her vertical folding methods. The advantages of storing your items vertically include that it requires less space, you gain a better overview of your belongings, and your clothes for instance become less wrinkled. Only those clothes that “cannot” be folded (i.e. blouses, blazers, and coats) should be hung, whereas all of the remaining clothing should be vertically folded to optimize the use of your closet space and clothing.
This video shows you the basic folding method by Marie Kondo:
Don’t be fooled by fancy storage solutions
Fancy solutions are just a way to store more items that don’t really spark joy and complicate organizing. Kondo states that are homes already have all the storage solutions that you need. In the book she mentions the use of shoeboxes a lot or plastic food containers, to enable vertical folding.
Don’t keep gifts to keep from feeling guilty
Kondo also states that we should not keep gifts to keep us from feeling guilty. You should thank the item for the joy it gave you when you received it and its purpose in showing you that you don’t or no longer need such an item. Again, we should only keep those things that spark joy.
Don’t keep clothes to wear as loungewear
This one I found particularly ground-breaking; you should not keep old clothes to use as loungewear (with regular t-shirts as one of the few exceptions). There should be no reason for us to wear something inside that we would not want other people see us wear. Mostly, it makes no sense for us to wear less comfortable clothing made for outerwear in the house. There is a reason loungewear departments and entire stores exist. I have to admit, none of the items that I ever kept to wear as loungewear were ever worn. Meanwhile, onesies, pyjamas, yoga leggings, and bathrobes were bought that are much more comfortable to wear instead.
Upon finishing this book, I have planned a day that I will tidy my way to a better me. Using this list of tips and tricks, I will tidy everything everywhere and keep it all tidy thereafter. It is going to be a major challenge. However, if those people mentioned in Kondo’s book can do it then surely I can too?! Are you going to try out these tips and tricks? Or do you have any additions to this list? Please let us know in the comment section.