How Marie Kondo Changed My De-cluttering
After a few layers of de-cluttering my home over the past couple of years, I now have far less to get rid of. Enter the scene “The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and a new layer now rises to the top.
What’s different about Kondo’s method? Basically two things: she has you collect all items within the same category (versus from a location) and she has you hold the item in your hands and ask “Does this bring me joy?” A question one can ask while looking at an object, but that takes on a new level when held. To me it ends up being an energetic or body answer, as compared to a head answer, and I actually trust my body or an energetic answer far more than my head. Our heads get into all kinds of defending, rationalizing, etc. and can really slow down the process of identifying what we are ready to let go of.
Marie has you start with clothes, then proceed to books, papers, miscellaneous and lastly mementos. Here’s how some of my recent round of de-cluttering went using her method.
Step 1: Gather all items in the category. This time it’s clothes. Get EVERYTHING that is clothes from your closet, drawers, coat closet, etc. and place it on a bed or the floor.
Step 2: Pick up each item and as you hold it ask “Does this bring me joy?” I ended up with a pile of “yes”, a pile of “no’s” and a pile of “not sure”. It ended up that all but one item in the “not sure” pile became a “no” and only one “no” got pulled back into my wardrobe. These are the final “yes” items.
My one “Maybe” that became a “Yes.” A very practical rain coat with a hood.
And my one “No” that I just wasn’t ready to part with. A cotton sweater in one of my favorite colors.
She also has some suggestions for how one folds and handles their clothes and items. She suggests folding items so they can be seen, like this.
Here are the clothes I wear often, kept in my main closet. I put those I wear less in a second closet. Both closets have far less in them now. I got rid of about 1/4 to 1/3 of my clothes during this process. I will sort through items later to select my 33ish items for Project 333 or I may just say I no longer need to count them.
Now for the shoes. Get all like items into one area. Hold each one and ask “Does this bring me joy?”
And here are four that are “No’s” The shoes on bottom left are a bit too small, so no wonder the answer was “no.” And the others haven’t been worn in a very long time…like in 3-10 years.
Meanwhile some shoes were happy to have been held for various reasons. The Birkenstocks on the left I had not noticed are in need of repair or replacement. They walked about 1/4 of the Camino and many miles before and after. The Birkenstocks on the right are new and would like to be worn more.
Next I did bags of any type from purses to canvas bags to daypacks.
Here are the “No’s” that I will be getting rid of. Some of the nicer canvas bags I put in my car for groceries, versus keeping so many similar bags in the house where I am rarely using them.
I was able to do clothes, shoes and bags in about 2-3 hours one morning. The next day I did books.
I gathered all my books in one place to begin the process of holding and asking if it brings me joy.
Now sorted with “Yes’s” on the left, “Maybe’s” in the middle and “No’s” on the right. I still need to do a final sort to see if all the “Maybe’s” are “No’s” or not.
Now my shelves have fewer books and clutter and I have kept all that brings me joy!
My second bookshelf, same concept. I’d say books took me about 2 hours to sort through.
The following day I did paper. This one was HUGE. I gathered up all the papers from drawers, piles, filing cabinets and binders.
Every paper I could find in my home and garage.
After holding and asking what brings me joy, this was left to keep. Some items you keep for legal reasons. I will explore scanning them on another day.
And this is the “No” pile of papers and a few binders on top. I will recycle the paper at Far West Recycling and donate the binders.
So that was a BIG chunk of de-cluttering in just 3 days. I do have some final decisions to make about some of the “Maybe’s” but will move on to photos, CDs, DVDs, then cosmetics and personal care items, etc. I will do a post about those items in the near future.
Have you read Marie’s book? Have you applied her methods for de-cluttering? And what do you think about her approach? Please comment below.
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