The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo has been making the rounds on YouTube with beauty gurus, so I’ve been aware of the book for some time, but I knew I had to read it when my husband told me his boss, a 30-something software engineer, had also read it and said that it really did change his life!
I was skeptical about it having any real impact because I’m usually pretty skeptical about everything, but after reading just a couple chapters, I was already dying to start discarding items. If you’re unfamiliar with the KonMari Method, you’re supposed to keep only the items that “spark joy” when you touch them, and I knew immediately that I had tons of stuff clogging up my home that were just there, not sparking any joy. Anyway, I finished the book in just a few days, and I absolutely loved it. I feel like almost every single one of Kondo’s points resonated with me, and I think she has a similar personality to mine, which made it even easier to connect with her and her advice.
I can see how her strategies are definitely not for some people, and even I giggled at a few of her suggestions, particularly those concerning socks. To me, the most unattainable advice she gives is to not store anything in your shower, suggesting that you should take items into the shower as you need them, and wipe them down and store them after each shower. Maybe some day I’ll reach that level of tidyness, but not today! The overarching themes definitely stuck with me though, and I feel like I can achieve the kind of home I’ve always wanted using her techniques.
The first step was to go through all my clothing, shoes, and handbags (I also put all my outerwear, scarves, gloves, hats, and aprons(!) into this category). I started by taking them from all their various storage places (closets, wardrobe, dresser, suitcases) and put them all on my bed and floor. My husband and I were both shocked at how much I had. Altogether, I had about 225 items, plus a few things in the laundry. I went through everything pretty quickly, and I was probably done discarding in 30-45 minutes. Thankfully I’m pretty good about not getting attached to things, although a lot of the items I was holding on to were gifts from people through the years. I will say I kept a few things that didn’t spark joy, like some socks, underwear, and pajamas because truthfully if I gave away everything I didn’t love I would have only a couple of each thing, and I didn’t want to go out and shop for all new undergarments. So I think that as I move on to other categories and get a better feel for which things I really want to keep, I will probably discard even more clothes (Kondo says it’s pretty common for people to go back and get rid of even more things after the initial purge).
I counted how many of each category (tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, etc…) I decided to keep and how many of each I decided to give away. In total, I kept around 120 items and gave away around 105 items. I already usually go through all my clothes at least once a year to get rid of anything I know I’m not going to wear any more, so I think I ended up at a decent ratio. Like I said, I kept some things just so that I wouldn’t have to do laundry every three days. I also folded all the clothes I wanted to keep according to the Konmari method, which took as long or longer than going through everything! It definitely does save space and make it easier to see everything at once, and I like that I’m not stretching out my socks anymore using my usual “potato ball” method.
I hope that this was somewhat interesting! After I finished the book, I admit that I looked up KonMari tidying videos on YouTube for probably way too long. I love looking at organization befores & afters!
The next categories for tidying are books and papers. Wish me luck!