My house is a mess.
Well, I take that back. My house is cluttered. I have too much stuff. Part of the problem is living in a (not excessively large) three bedroom house by myself. That makes for a lot of storage space. And yet… things aren’t put away properly.
I love reading organizing blogs, but let’s be honest. I’m not going to create a huge system of organizing with cute little baskets and a special place for everything. It’s not how I work. But if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just started the Konmari method of organizing. And man, have I gotten rid of a lot of junk.
Konmari is a method of organizing based on a book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Amazon Affiliate link). Basically, the theory is that if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. And she has a whole system of how you should go about this. She starts with clothes. Take all of your clothes out and pile them up. Go through the items one at a time. Do you love it? (Or do you have to wear it because it’s a uniform, etc?) Then keep it. If you don’t, dump it. I like this theory because it’s not “Have you worn this in the past 6 months,” but “Does this bring you joy?”
I didn’t quite follow the rules – I did my clothes in categories. It was easier. T-shirts, work clothes, dress clothes, etc. And I got rid of a LOT of stuff.
It was really refreshing to clean everything out. Then she has a method of folding your clothes so you can see everything in drawers, but this was something I already did, so it wasn’t new and fun.
Next up on her list is books, which is intimidating. I own a lot of books. But if I’m honest, there are a lot of books I’m hanging on to for no reason. I have no intention of reading them again, and if that suddenly changes, there is this amazing thing called a Library. Don’t get me wrong. I was a literature major. I’m not going to be getting rid of every book in the house. But the paperbacks that I’ve hung on to and the ones that were passed to me that I’ve never bothered to read… those can get donated.
In order to clear some space, I’m doing things a bit out of order and so I tackled papers next. My “office” is mostly just a space to pile junk, and I’d like it to be more useful, so I’m slowly going through the items in there. I have a ridiculous amount of paperwork. Do I need bank statements from 2000? No. So let the shredding commence.
If you are doing the Konmari method, there are some great checklists you can follow. I admit, I’m not sure how far I’m going to get on this list. Clothes and books and paperwork would be great categories to get through though. And perhaps craft supplies.
The book was originally written in Japanese, so you have to remember that there are some cultural differences. For example, Kondo recommends you thank your items for their service before getting rid of them. I don’t feel this need. I’ve seen a lot of comments about how wacky that is, but I think it’s just a difference in cultural beliefs.
Also, the whole “brings you joy” has to be expanded to “is useful.” Do my cooking pots bring me joy? I mean, they’re nice, but I can’t say I love them any more than any other kitchen item. However, they are useful. So they will stay.
It’s been an interesting task for sure, and if I get no further, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. But I think there are a few more bags and boxes of things that can leave my house.