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