When I come across a book that will help my students achieve better balance in their lives, I need to talk about it. Before you think that this is just going to be a blog about putting your drawers in order, stay with me as the process is much deeper than that and in the end, you come away with a clearer understanding of who you are, what you like and where you are going.
This book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up,” by Marie Kondo has really changed my life. No joke.
Last Saturday I expressed to my class that I was heading home to clean out and organize my closets. Two of the students told me that I should read this book. Trusting them as I do, I bought it on my way home. It was the best $15 I have ever spent. I tried to take it out of the library but it is so popular I could not get it for 8 weeks!
Why has this book changed my life? The answer is so simple, it is kind of sad.
I literally spend so much time looking for clothes or papers etc, that it causes me stress. I end up getting frustrated and leaving my space in a bigger mess than when I found it. I procrastinate in dealing with my personal mess, even though I am organized at work, so my troubles grow and then I end up feeling overwhelmed. When our home is in chaos, these little feelings gnaw away at us and end up making us unhealthy as a result.
What Marie taught me to do was to tidy up once! Once and then never tidy again.
Once you actually put what you wear and what you use and what you really value in a place, it stays there. Every single thing you own has a place.So instead of having your clothes in multiple places, you have them all in one space and her system gets you organized that you can literally see everything you own in one glance. You therefore waste no time and can focus on the things you love the most. Think about the amount of places that you are storing similar items all over your house. It really is eye opening.
The basic premise is that we collect, inherit and carry stuff that does not bring us joy. So for many of us, me included, our houses are filled with things that we do not wear and cannot see because we simply have too much of everything. I was basically just moving things around, not really throwing anything out because someone may need it..or it is too good to toss away.
First, you must gather all of the clothes that you own, from all parts of the house ( purses, shoes too) and dump them on the floor, the mound is massive and for me eye opening! I laughed throughout the process at how ridiculous it was that I had so much.
Then handle each item and ask yourself it this brings you joy. In the end, this question teaches you what you actually want to own and how you want to live your life. I was hanging onto things that did not fit me. Pants that I just needed to get hemmed that had sat in my closet with the tags on for 5 years. There was so much that I was not wearing that I had no attachment to, that I ended up with 4, 85 litre garbage bags of stuff to donate, an entire bag of shoes and then another bag of belts and scarves and costume jewelry.
I was able to give away 30 hangers to a friend who was moving into a new home. The process of dumping everything I own onto the floor was enlightening. I found things that I really love, that I had lost and tried to replace by buying more stuff. The experience is amazing!
This is the “before” picture of half of my closet.
Now I can see everything.
I can see every single item at a quick glance! Takes no time at all to select and get dressed. No clothes left on the floor. Everything has a place.
I have so much more space in my closet because I got rid of things I did not love and changed how to fold them, which she teaches you as well. Some of us have never learned.
If you struggle like I do with staying organized, go and buy this book. It is worth every penny!
Have a great day.