Saturday, May 9, 2015

Starting on the KonMari Journey

For my first official post since I moved from my little blog, Everything Springer A to Z, I would like to talk about this amazing book that has made its way into my life--and the crazy whirlwind of "tidying" that has followed. It's Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

First, let me give you some background about where I come from on the organizing topic. My mom is a professional organizer, and I've always felt like I need her help to get things tidy in my home. Then they fall back into disorder later on. I can never seem to keep up with it. (Let me be clear, I'm totally not blaming her. I'm just not naturally good at dejunking and organizing. My husband isn't either.) A friend on Facebook brought up this book in a conversation on minimalism and organizing. I was intrigued, and after seeing more and more people talking about it, I jumped on the bandwagon.

The author of the book, Marie "KonMari" Kondo, is a Japanese organizing specialist who has been helping people implement her methods for over ten years. The idea is that you must tidy your entire home as quickly as possible (it takes an average of six months), and you will never have to do it again. She turns the dejunking mantra on its head and focuses on asking what speaks to the heart and sparks joy--not focusing on the things we don't like, don't use, or bring us down. She also has you tidy by category in a very specific order--not room by room as I had always done before. I was skeptical at first that this could really make such a difference, but KonMari communities on Facebook and all over the world are having so much success with this method. Why wouldn't I?

So, I sped through the book and got started. Since I have two tiny kiddos, it has been slow going. However, I feel like the progress I have made so far has already made a huge difference on my mindset, the way I feel about our apartment, and the general energy of our home. Call me crazy, but I really think this might work.

As I said, the KonMari has you organize your house by category. I've gone through the first three categories and would like to share my experience and a few pictures. I was so excited that I forgot to take many, but you can still get an idea of the difference this is making for us.

Clothing is the first category. I went through my clothes, then all the girl clothes we had in the house (since I had newborn out for Brielle all the way up to 3T and 4T for Zia and all the in between clothes were in totes--so many baby clothes!!).

Here are some before pictures of my clothes (in our awkward closet, a little in the third bedroom closet, and some in our dresser (not pictured).

First things first, I dumped ALL my clothes on the floor in the third bedroom.

After asking myself, "Does this spark joy?" about a million times, I had about 5 bags worth of stuff ready to donate! (The pic is about halfway in. I had no idea I had so much stuff in my closet that didn't make me happy!)

Next, I organized all my clothes in our closet and dresser. The KonMari method recommends folding as much clothing as possible. I resisted this at first, but I wanted to go about this the right way, so I sat down and folded according to the book's instructions. Turns out, I love folding! I want to get a bigger dresser so I can fold even more stuff. Here are some after pictures of my clothes.

I love how tidy and pretty everything looks. And everything sparks joy! One reason that the book recommends folding everything is that it gives you a chance to make sure it still sparks joy and is in good shape every time you handle it. This way you can get rid of things that are no longer making you happy or have become too worn out, etc.

I forgot to take pictures of the girls' stuff, but I can give you the deets on just how much we got rid of. We started out with the two dressers in the girls' separate rooms plus 5 totes of in-between sizes. I got rid of 4 bags of their stuff that was stained, worn out, or just old looking--read: not sparking joy.

Here are some after pictures of Zia's room, where the change is most noticeable. I so wish I had before pictures, but I was too excited to get going. :)

I ended up taking Zia's Christmas jammies out of storage and putting them in her PJ drawer. She looooves all things Santa, and I thought it only made sense for her to have them out if they spark joy for her. She asked to wear them as soon as she saw them in the drawer, and I instantly knew I had made the right choice. And that's one less thing that needs to be put in storage.

The next category is books. Again, I was too excited to take before pictures, but this is how much I got rid of! Three paper bags donated to a thrift store and another bag of school books that I traded in on Amazon (an extra $160 for books I'm not even using--yes, please!). Now my books are just ones that spark joy. Some of them are children's novels that I want to read with my girls someday. Others are books that I'm in the middle of reading or know I will use in the future (pregnancy books, etc.). Our books used to overflow from our one full-size bookcase, but now they all fit. Yay! Austin wants to go through his books soon, so I'm holding off on an after picture until then.

After my books, it was time to go through our children's books. They were scattered all over the house but mostly ended up in a basket in Zia's closet--not very good organization for books. I didn't get rid of many--just a few duplicates and books that Zia had destroyed. But I followed the rules for organizing things from side to side (moving from big and heavy on left to light and small on the right) and really like the way things turned out.

The third category is papers. I got rid of a whole garbage bag of papers!! I went from having them everywhere to only having a little "needs action" pile and two small piles to be saved that fit in two page protectors. That might have been the most freeing of all.

Next is komono, all the miscellaneous stuff from around the house. That is split into even smaller categories and should be personalized to suit you and your home. Hopefully I'll remember to take more pictures from here on out!

Hopefully I have time to post another update soon! I hope you give this method a shot, too. Let me know how it goes, if you do!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Honey, I love this! I know what you mean about how getting rid of and organizing papers may be the most freei.g of all. That's how it is for me too. Any time I accumulate a huge pile of papers I feel like I can't think very straight until I clear my desk. Then it feels like, "Aaaaahhhhh." I'm proud of you!