I’m tidy!

Have you read ‘the life-changing magic of tidying up‘ by Marie Kondo yet? It’s a best seller, and for good reason. Ms. Kondo has been tidying since she was 5. In her book, she writes clearly about all of the systems she has tried over the years and the insights that she has had. It’s a small and tidy book—a quick read. She does repeat herself a little but that’s OK. By the time I was finished I was motivated to tidy.

I have always considered myself to be a tidy person and in the past several years I have weeded out my possessions several times. But I still was aware of an underlying sensation that there was just too much stuff around me. I read this book and realized that I have always gone about the weeding out process the wrong way. Rather than deciding what to make go away, it works better to consciously decide what to keep.

She recommends starting with your clothes. Take everything out of the closet, out of your drawers. Pile them on the floor or bed. Don’t do this room by room. If you can’t tackle all of your clothes at once, work in categories: pants, shirts, dresses, etc. I decided to tidy all of my clothes at once. I share a small-ish closet with Steve (who was not remotely interested in tidying his clothes). You can see my empty shelves…

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And the empty rod. There’s another empty rod on the other side of the closet. I get/need more closet space than Steve**.

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Here’s almost everything on the bed. I emptied drawers from the dresser onto the bed after I took this photo.

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One of the best parts of the book is the way the author makes you understand that you really only want to keep what gives you joy. Those clothes that I bought and maybe only wore once gave me joy back in the day, but not any more. Holding onto them is not doing me (or the clothes) any good at all. Once you accept that and get the hang of deciding, it actually goes very quickly.

She also explains the logic of how to fold and place your clothes in drawers. I was skeptical until I tried it. I am now a true believer and will never fold and stack clothes in a pile again. I promise.

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Ms. Kondo likes storing things, standing up (not stacked) in simple boxes on shelves.

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I have a lot fewer clothes in my closet. No more hanging t-shirts, they are all folded now. I realized that what remains is truly what I was wearing all the time. The rest was just in the way.

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It took me about 6 hours to tidy my clothes, fewer hours than I thought it would take. Everything was touched and either bagged to go away, folded neatly to go into a drawer, or rehung and placed in the closet. After the clothes I moved on to purses and bags, shoes, books, and bathroom stuff. As I said earlier, I have been un-cluttering for the last few years and that helped this process go faster.

I still have categories of things to tidy but I’m taking a short break. What I can tell you is that I feel mentally lighter. I am finding it easier to concentrate. If you are feeling a similar urge to tidy, I strongly recommend this book. Everyone I know who has read it, has the same feelings about it.

**I did try to encourage Steve to read the book. He is beyond not interested—and he gave me a look that make me think that I was perhaps going overboard with the tidying ideas. That got me to thinking.

I realized (again) that our house is full of my stuff (that his salary helped to buy). Steve has never been a shopper, or a collector of stuff. He is interested in tools, but only the tools he needs. He has to be forced to buy clothes. He is not into knick-knacks. He is particular about what goes into the kitchen but he does not over-stock it.

He likes the way our house looks and functions, and he likes it tidy, but he doesn’t feel the weight of our possessions in the same way I do. So I have given up trying to get him to read the book and am instead being thankful that he has always loved me enough to put up with my acquisition, and de-acquisition, of things.

31 thoughts on “I’m tidy!

  1. This is just what I needed, and at just the right time! I have been feeling bogged down and knew I needed to get organized, but I see now that I need most of all to de-clutter and tidy, then the organization will be so much easier. Thanks!

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  2. Thank you! Thank you! My husband and I have both decided we need to do a whole house de-clutter. This post came at the perfect time. We’ll be ordering the book. Wish us luck!!!

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    • This is do-able! Right before you start, it can look intimidating but just do it and you’ll be surprised. Reading the book does help to provide the motivation to both start and stick to it.

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  3. What a great posting. I am going to read that book as soon as possible. There is lots of stuff in my household that needs to be taken to “Caritas” (a thrift store run by the kath. Church,, doesn’t take money and is very reliable, at least here in Guenzburg). We have all those poor refugees from Africa that are in need of clothes, so I better get started. Have a great day, Birgitt

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  4. I store my fabric stacked like that, never thought to do the same with my clothes! Makes so much sense! I started reading this book, but did find it repetitive,and I felt like I was procrastinating!….”I’ll just read this book so I do it right…” LOL

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  5. OK; I’ll try it too. Sigh. I’m so very, very messy. But I hate being so messy. Sigh. Can I do this? I don’t know. Sigh. LOL…

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  6. I’ve done a lot of decluttering methods over the years.

    Oddly enough, the Konmari method is FIRST ONE my husband has EVER been on board with. He was always afraid I’d throw away things that were valuable to him (In 25 years, I never have. He’s a pack rat and I think his mother has done it to him before)

    So, the idea that the method doesn’t ALLOW you to touch someone else’s stuff was good, but what was better was the whole “Spark joy” concept. The idea that he was SUPPOSED to KEEP the things that he loved and made him happy was such a revelation to him. He’s using the method on his stuff, too.

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  7. I have read the book and I like her method. Yes, she is repetitive but it helps it sink in and a highlighter is good. I have my clothing done except for shoes and bags. I know there are a lot of shoes to be touched but I am having a hard time gathering them. That tells you something.

    Does it bring me joy? It’s an easy and effective question as you have something in your hands.

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    • She doesn’t include fabric but I am going to use it on my stash. I weed out my stash regularly and the next time I am going to reorganize it, using some sort of shoe-ish box and standing the fabric up, rather than keeping it in stacks.

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      • i have always kept my fabric end up, i’m going to try the clothing too. Reading the book now Becky, thanks for the push to buy it, I’d been thinking on it! Reading Essentialism too, have you read that one?

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  8. I’m half way through this book and I see Ms. Kondo’s method as spiritually significant. Sparking joy puts us on the best individual path for each of us. It clears the decks for us to live the way we choose, traveling light instead of being burdened by stuff. Now, to finish reading and put it to work…So happy to hear that others love this.

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  9. Think my DIL would consider it criticism if I forwarded this to her? Bless her heart! She tries to organize, but gets overwhelmed by all the stuff.

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    • You know, if she tries and fails it may be that she would welcome this. You could buy it and read it and then pass it on saying how much you loved it. Tell her it was recommended to you, too.

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  10. Marie Kondo’s book is on hold for me at the library. Per another organization blog, I have been storing my under garments and tee tops vertical already and I will never switch back. May I back another kindly suggestion. Use all the same matching hangers and everything will hang neat and tidy all lined up in a row.

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    • You know, I did that already just because it felt right and you are correct, everything fits in the closet better. Funny, my husband likes one kind of hanger and I like another. It’s actually easy to keep up with!

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  11. So I went to Costco today, since I was a bit closer to it after going to the bank, & there was the book at Costco–I started to just read the part about how to fold your clothes & decided to just buy it. After returning home, I actually went through 2 drawers (thunder, so I couldn’t take the dog for a walk until that stopped). The contents of 2 drawers are now taking up 1 1/2 drawers & I can see my stuff! I think I’m going to like this!

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  12. Thank you for the recommendation! I am reading the book now and hope to finally be able to throw out all the clothes I keep and NEVER wear!

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  13. After all the great recommendations, I’m going to have to get this book and see if it will finally be the one to help me get organized! LOL

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