Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Can the KonMari method of tidying really change your life - week 1

Can the KonMari method of tidying really change your life? at While I'm Waiting...
Have you heard of the KonMari method of tidying?  It's based on Marie Kondo's book
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing where you surround yourself with only things you love or that "bring you joy."

Before I get too far into the actual method, let me tell you a little bit about me.  I LOVE the appearance of neat and put together but I can hoard a closet or office like nobody's business!  I can flip and clean out our kiddos' closets each season but mine has not been touched since we moved in to this house - over EIGHT YEARS ago!  I also like things a particular way and can be resistant to change.  Oh, and did I mention I have OCD (the diagnosed kind, not the joking kind)?

I had read reviews of Marie's book and I thought, "well, that sounds good but it would never work for me."  You see, I'm "visual."  I like to fold and stack my clothes.  I hold on to things, "just in case."  All these things were anti-KonMari.

But then a few weeks ago, before the end of the year, a few friends sent out a message stating that they were forming a KonMari support group for anyone that wanted to join. Only requirements were that you read the book and committed to the 26 WEEK challenge.  Holy heck - 26 WEEKS, like, half a YEAR?!  I'll get back to that one shortly.

So, I thought about it and thought what the heck, why not.  I bought the Kindle version of the book (because I was already starting out on the right foot with less clutter to deal with later!) and was able to read it in about three days.  After the first few pages, I was hooked. Actually, it was this statement that caught my eye:

Until you have completed the once-in-a-lifetime event of putting your house in order, any attempt to tidy on a daily basis is doomed to failure. - Marie Kondo

What have I got to lose?  Nothing I've done so far has worked so maybe I should change my mind-set.  She even mentions that success is 90% dependent on our mind-set and that we cannot change our habits without first changing the way we think.  Whoo hoo!  The odds are already in my favor!

So, what is the KonMari method?  It's a guide to acquiring the right mind-set for creating order and becoming a tidy person.  Not a mere set of rules on how to sort, organize, and put things away.  You start by discarding then organize your space, thoroughly, completely in one go.

The first hurdle I had to overcome was that she recommends sorting by category, not by location.  In the past, I have wanted to tackle and complete the house room by room.  I would start upstairs in the kids' rooms and be so worn out and exhausted by the time I got downstairs that I didn't want to do it anymore and then I would stop.  Not this time!  I committed to following the challenge and complete things in the order she listed.

But, before I could start tidying any room, I had to complete a Vision Statement.  Marie
(I feel like we're on a first name basis) suggests that you visualize your destination:
1) identify your goal, 2) identify why you want to live like that (and then continue to ask your "why?" till you have your root answer), and finally 3) examine what you own.

My vision for our home is to create a place we all love to come home to!  I don't want to dread coming home or dread someone stopping by unannounced.  I want our home to be welcoming, orderly, and for everything to have a place (and for everyone to know where that place is!).  I want the kids to invite friends over and never think, "ugh - they are going to think we are slobs!"  I don't ever want to apologize for the state of our house.  I want it to be a place of gratitude, joy, and love!

I also talked this process over with my family to get their input on what kind of home they would like (since it's super important to have support and encouragement during this challenge!).  Here's their answers to "what do you want our home to be":

          Mike - tidy, comfortable
          Colby - inviting, fun, non-boring, organized, functional for everyone
          Holden - "clean, like we had a butler", happy
          Hope - super happy, love your toys

So, to recap, I've 1) read the book, and 2) written my Vision Statement.  Now it's time to get busy!

According to Marie, effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things, but discarding MUST come first!

Before I dove in to the KonMari method, I wanted to try it out on a small area that I could finish relatively quickly.  I decided on my dresser.  Here's a quick before:
KonMari challenge - week 1
that looks innocent enough, right?
KonMari challenge - week 1
here's a peak in the inside - keep in mind, these drawers are SO full I can't even open them all the way!

*TRUTH STATEMENT - I have WAY too much stuff.  I know this and have known this but working through this method has exposed this on a grand scale.  I don't share this with you to show how much I have but merely to show you how much stuff accumulates if you don't deal with it.  I'm sharing in hopes that someone will be encouraged and begin taking back their life from their stuff.  We all deserve to be surrounded by only things that we love and bring us joy!
KonMari challenge - week 1
Want to know how many t-shirts I had in one drawer?!  Thirty six - 3-6 - that's THIRTY SIX!!!  What the wha'?!  This was the first drawer I tackled and I knew it was only going to get worse.

When deciding what to keep, one must ask one simple question - does this spark joy?  If the answer is yes, then you keep it.  If the answer is no, you discard it.  I suggest you have a large black garbage bag nearby so that you can immediately toss items in.  If you don't, you will see that large pile of unused items and start second guessing yourself.  Hold each item, decide, make a quick decision and move on.

It took me about 2 hours to completely go through each drawer, make decisions, discard my piles, and re-fold the keep piles using the KonMari method (to see an illustrated guide to the KonMari folding method, click here).  So, was it worth it?!
KonMari challenge - week 1
YES, yes it was!!!

And, for those wondering, I reduced everything in each of these drawers by at least 50%. When it was all said and done, I even had space to fold things that had been hanging in my closet!  Two garbage bags full of items to donate, two small bags of trash and a couple of hours (with many distractions) and my dresser is now completely tidied!  It's been more than a week since I cleaned it out and I'm happy to report if you were to open the drawers today, they would still look just like this!

If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you'll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after. - Marie Kondo

I was all in and ready to tackle week 1:  Season/Holiday

KonMari challenge - week 1
 I went around the house gathering Christmas decor and put it in one central location to go through. 
KonMari challenge - week 1
 Mike also brought down all the boxes from the attic.  We started with 17 boxes and I was able to get it down to 14.
KonMari challenge - week 1
See that box of Christmas lights?  We haven't used them in YEARS but each year we would get them down only to put them back up in the attic, "just in case".
KonMari challenge - week 1
Only 14 boxes returned to the attic this year!  I was able to get rid of one large bag plus three smaller bags of trash (!) and we donated two boxes and three bags of holiday items to a local church youth group's garage sale.
KonMari challenge - week 1
For once I'm not dreading getting all these boxes down next year!  Each one is filled only with items that bring me joy!

A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective.  It is life transforming. - Marie Kondo

The second week's challenge is clothes.  Marie encourages you to tackle your space first. Why?  "Once satisfied with my own space, I'll no longer feel the urge to dispose of things belonging to others."  I must admit, this is where I got hung up in the past.  I always started with the kids.  But after purging three closets, I was over it and never wanted to tackle my own.  Forcing me to start with myself was hard but I can definitely see the benefits!

The urge to point out someone else's failure to tidy is usually a sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space. - Marie Kondo

Marie is a very wise woman!  Stop by next week where I give you a glimpse into my messy, messy closet and the transformation that it undergoes!!!  You don't want to miss this!

Gig 'em and God bless! 
Holly

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the link and purchase an item I receive a small commission.  

I would love to have you link up with the Waiting on...Wednesday link-up - a place where you can link up what you are waiting on, going through, making, anything - as long as it's family-friendly!  :)  It's open through Saturday! 
While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up
check out my FAVORITE link-ups page to see where else I'm linking up today!
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Much appreciation goes out to Lynda from Reviews, Chews & How Tos and Karissa from 
A Fresh Start for featuring week 1 of Can the KonMari Method of Tidying Really Change Your Life! What an honor!  Thank you so much, ladies!
Awesome Life Friday - I Was Featured!

42 comments:

  1. If we lived closer I would take you out for a drink, give you a medal and celebrate! So this, "YEAH Holly, so proud of you" will have to do. Way to go. Now, the hard part I think, the maintenance. Our house rule, if you put it back in its designated space, things never have to get out of place, thus out of its organized state. Well done Holly. So how we doing so far on the closet and next step?

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    1. Wouldn't that be so much fun! I could definitely finish this 26 week challenge if I knew I had all that waiting for me each when when I finished! :) Maintenance - very true! That's the kicker! But, in the past I've dreaded laundry but (don't tell my family!) I've actually enjoyed it the last couple of times! It's fun putting stuff away when the area you are putting it looks so tidy!!! Thanks for asking about week 2 - making really good progress!!!

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  2. Ummmm....I'm going to LOVE this series. I mean, maybe not enough to do the challenge, because 17 boxes of Christmas is maybe half of what we have. #houstonewehaveaproblem #toomuchChristmas Sister friend, it would take me 26 weeks to tackle that alone! Clothes, though... I could get in on some clothes purging.

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    1. Thanks, friend! It gets a little scary thinking about sharing some areas in our house (the office in particular!) but, it will be SO worth it! I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed putting Christmas away! It was so liberating getting rid of stuff that we haven't used in years! And, my closet - WOW! Mike, the kids, and Shelly too, have got to be sick of me talking about it! Friend, it's A-MAY-ZING the difference after the purge! Crossing my fingers I make it till the end! It will take me the entire spring semester. :/

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  3. I definitely need to purge as well. A friend tried out this method and really liked it! Good luck with the closet!

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    1. I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it's been (so far!). I just wish I had more time to knock more things out!!! But, surely I can get most of it done in 26 weeks, right?! You should join me in purging! The Facebook support group that I'm apart of has been amazing. It's a lot easier to do when you feel like you aren't alone!

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  4. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

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  5. This is an interesting method. I know I have way too much stuff- and we downsized and eliminated 50% of our things! You have inspired me to go clean my closet!

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    1. It definitely is different from what I had been doing - but that wasn't working so I was happy to try something new! Glad I could inspire you! Doesn't having a clean closet just make your day?! For once I haven't dreaded getting dressed! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are having an extraordinary day!

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  6. I have seen lots of people doing KonMarie on FB!! It sounds very interesting. The closest thing I've ever done was go through my house and try to get rid of 10% of everything I owned. I had so many bag to donate that year! I think it's time to go through again. :) Stopping by from Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. I was SHOCKED at the amount of stuff I purged from my closet - as in there is probably only 50% left from what was originally in there! And, I haven't missed anything yet which tells you there was WAY too much stuff in there! I'm loving it so far - just wish I had more time to devote to the process! But, it will get done - because it's worth it to me! Thanks so much for stopping by! Good luck with your purge!

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  7. I swear I think learning to fold the t-shirts this way saved my life at some point with the boys. I'm glad there was a visual for socks and panties...totally about to tackle that! And bras..I'm totally cleaning out bras. I wear the same 3 all the time and I have like 14!

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    1. It's crazy, huh?! We really can do without so much of the stuff we have. And, know what I'm really looking forward to?! Packing! Can you imagine how much easier packing will be by using this folding method?! Genius! (obviously this has been around awhile - I'm a slower learner!). :)

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  8. I still haven't purchased the book but I am going to. I am pretty organized but there is not a method to my madness and I hope there is a section in there about the kitchen. That is my bad point! I should have done that while I was over here at my beach house this week. I have items in different drawers and closets that NEVER GET USED!!!! Gaaaaaahhhhhh! Why???? Have a great week and I look forward to the rest of your transformation!!!

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    1. Crazy thing is - I LOVE to organize stuff! I love for everything to have it's place and for things to be tidy. BUT, life has a way of turning things upside down for me and I can get overwhelmed pretty quick! I'm hoping to change a few of my ways and make a permanent change. I think you would really enjoy the book! And, yes - there is a section on the kitchen! I've heard her newest book goes a bit more in depth as far as areas so you might have to add two books to your list! ;) I've downloaded the second one and hope to tackle it this weekend. I'll let you know!

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    2. Oh perfect! Yes please do! I bought it today!!

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  9. I just started reading the book and I have been finding it a bit intimidating I hope I can do it! I really want my home to be tidy!

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    1. It can be at times. Keep plugging away! You can do this!!! Do something small to start so that you can see quick results. After that, you'll be hooked! If you need anything, just let me know! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

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  10. I've been majorly purging over here! I think my problem going forward will be maintenance, because we're on the go so much and there is are still small children here. Great post and yay for you! It feels good, doesn't it!?

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    1. Absolutely! Maintenance will be the true game changer. But, so far the areas that I've completed have stayed the same! No backsliding to report yet! But, I also haven't gotten to the kitchen and that tends to be a very untidy place for us! It's the central location where everyone (including me!) comes in and drops their stuff without putting it away! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you'll come back and share in the journey with me!

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  11. I could relate to this post in SO many ways!!! I'm going through a major decluttering/organization process in my home too. I love your vision statement, and wish you all the best in this!!!
    xo - Brenda // ChattingOverChocolate.com

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    1. Good luck with your purge! It's SO hard but SO worth it! Come back soon for the closet before/after. It was definitely an eye opener for me!

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  12. I am reading this book too and I'm so excited to get started in the organizational part of things! And it was a Christmas gift from my hubs who said part of the gift was he had to read it too and help me!

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    1. That's awesome that your husband is on board! I've found that makes all the difference! My hubby didn't read the book but I took notes and he read my notes. :) Good luck! We can do this!!!

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  13. I've read the book and have started the process in regards to letting go of items I know I no longer need to hang onto (shoes in particular). Stopping by from the HF4F and looking forward to seeing what happens with your closet.

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    1. Hi, Sheryl! Thanks so much for stopping by! I can't wait to share my closet! eek! I purged at least 1/2 of everything that was in it!!! Come back Monday for a little pre-reveal. The hubby and I are repainting it this coming weekend so the full reveal will be coming soon! So excited!!! Good luck with your KMing!!!

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  14. Way to go! I just got the book to read and I cannot wait to start getting rid of more things in our home.
    Thanks for sharing at the Shine Blog Hop!

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    1. Thanks, Tiffany, and good luck to you!!! It really has been a lot of fun (so far!). Have a super week and thanks for hosting!

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  15. It's amazing how organized we can be if we just put our minds too it! I think you did a great job! I can't wait to see what else you organize! Thanks for linking up and sharing with us over at the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party!!

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    1. Absolutely! The first step is just doing something, ANYthing! Thank you for your sweet words! Only 24 more weeks to go! ;) Thanks so much for hosting! I'll see you guys back again tomorrow!

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  16. I definitely need to purge as well. I've been hearing about this method a lot lately, probably with all the New Years Resolutions to organize. :) Good luck with your organization and I'm looking forward to your updates!

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    1. Oh, yes! It's a lot easier to do when others are going through the process too! Check back Sunday for another round of before/afters! Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. I'm catching up on your blog & super excited to see this series you're doing. I have been debating on buying that book. We are a pretty simple & clutter free family already, but there's always room for improvement, right? :)

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    1. I really liked the book - nothing earth shattering, just said in a way that made total sense! Less is definitely MORE! Hope you guys are doing well!!!

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  18. Woowww!! Fab job on that dresser!! I just can't do her folding method. Even tho I agree it looks so neat and tidy in the drawers. I just am really thrilled if I GET it all in the drawers, before I have the hamper half refilled with dirties on top of the clean! lol

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    1. I must admit - once I got this all organized, laundry hasn't been such a chore! I actually look forward to getting it all folded and back where it goes! And, regarding folding - have you watched a video? Only reason I ask is because I couldn't get it either till I watched someone in a video! ;)

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  19. No, I haven't read her book NOR watched a video!
    I just can't see the point of all those fussy little shapes!

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    1. Try it! I promise you might have a change of heart! I felt the exact same way and rolled my eyes a time or two while reading. Once I saw how it worked, I was completely hooked!

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  20. I just read the books within the last two weeks, and I am hooked! One of the things that Marie Kondo talks about is how your physical body will react while getting rid of stuff (not necessarily good reactions). I don't think the reactions are from mold or dust either. I confess that I am beginning with paper first rather than clothing. It is too hot to try-on and sort clothing right now. I do love the "Joy" factor, and I have been cleaning for half a century and had never heard of it before.

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    1. It's been amazing to me how changing my mindset can truly change the way I look at stuff. I have loved the books too and am glad you're on this journey with me! Good luck with papers! That's not an easy one!

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