It’s not that I’m a hoarder, just more of a frequent retail enthusiast who perhaps buys above and beyond her needs. A lot. I’m definitely not alone in popping into Penneys for gym socks and coming out with a beach towel, new bedding and a selection of pajamas. Its exactly this that’s got me to the point of panic with the resulting clutter, and my current mission is to reclaim the floor space in our tiny apartment and no longer hold onto things I don’t love/need/use often. I didn’t think this was something I actually done, until reading the cult de-cluttering bible by Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (quite the title I know…).
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying has made its way from bookshops into the likes of Urban Outfitters, selling 3 million copies and making it onto the #1 New York Times best-selling guide. Clearly I’m not alone with the clutter struggle… The book itself I picked up in New York and read while sipping Pina Coladas on a Mexican beach, a weird choice of honeymoon read but kind of fascinating.
Firstly take note that this book has been translated from Japanese, so although a far cry from literary genius, it is simple and effective in its messaging. When it comes to shedding your clutter and reclaiming a calm space, these are some of her golden rules…
Respect Your Belongings
It’s worth noting that the whole KonMari method vibe is most likely best taken with a pinch of salt, as in you may not wish to empty each item from your handbag every night and thank your pen for serving you well throughout the day (as Marie Kon does daily…seriously!) but knowing what you own and looking after those belongings is the point.
Her methodology is a very specific process involving gathering all your belongings in one space at one time (preferably morning, with no distractions), sub-organising into clothing based grouping (tops, skirts, dresses) and the letting the cull begin. There’s very particular advice in each area, but the process of doing this alone is pretty therapeutic and allows for a massive clutter purge in one go – which can have an amazing benefits on your living space.
Cut Emotional Attachments
Sentimentality is not your friend here! A huge portion of what we keep is due to an emotional attachment to that item (I wore this dress on our first date, etc.) once you let go of that you’d be surprised what can be gotten rid of. Same goes for anything that’s not your size, colour, shape – regardless of what you paid for it, let it go.
No seriously, this one is a little gem! Folding is preferred over hanging, and instead of folding items stacked on top of one another, the ‘KonMari method’ which basically is a combination of folding and rolling items into small packages to stand alongside each other neatly, all of which can be seen at a glance (it’s a little stroke of Japanese organisational genius).
Det-tag and De-bag
If you love it enough to buy it in the first place, the bag and the tag go once it enters your home, assign your new purchase a hanger and give it a place to live. As someone who regularly finds bags holding all sorts of tagged impulse buys, I need to take this on board.
In my case its very much a work in progress, but definitely something I’ve getting more ruthless with by the day and am boasting a record four bin liners of clothes out the door this month – impressive right?!
It’s only a matter of time before I’ve a perfectly organised capsule wardrobe, with neatly folded garments that I love and the best Feng Shui energy this side of Japan. Or at least I’ll be able to vacuum without sucking up gym socks as I go.
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