21 Sep, 2015
Last week I introduced a revolutionary book by Marie Kondo…The life-changing Magic of Tidying. I explained Marie’s philosophy and her approach to forever banishing the clutter. Sounds too good to be true, so I’d highly recommend reading that post about how to declutter before you move on to this one!
Always on the lookout for life-changing magic, I’m slowly working my way through the book in the exact order she describes.
This first post looks at what I’ve done so far…clothes and books. But before you congratulate me, bare in mind that I’ve only been tackling my own stuff. Apparently before I can tackle anything else I need my own space and storage to be fully in order! So here’s how I’ve got on.
How to declutter – Clothes
On Reuben’s first day back at school (2 and a half weeks ago, I might add) I was ready to tackle the first items on the list; clothes and books. I got every article of clothing I owned, from pants and socks to big winter coats, and piled them in the spare room.
It was pretty scary to see it all piled there, and just as I was ready to start I’d remember something else that was hidden in another part of the house.
Finally convinced I had rounded everything up, like errant sheep, I touched every single item of clothing and asked Marie’s question:
“Does this spark joy?”
It took me 2 and a half hours and by the end I had a pile, a third of the original size, of clothes that I loved, 4 huge bin bags ready to go to the charity shop and a final bin bag of things that didn’t make the grade (think holey pants and stained vests).
I was amazed at what I was able to say goodbye to. Literally. Marie encourages you to thank each item you discard for bringing joy at a certain time and for working hard!
I got rid of expensive dresses that just don’t fit me right, and I even said goodbye to the dress Mike proposed to me in. It’s just not something I will ever wear again and I certainly don’t need it as a reminder of that time. I just hadn’t realised that until now!
Feeling liberated, I stopped for lunch and to consult the bible (Marie’s book) about what to do next, which is when I read this beauty again:
“To go through life without knowing how to fold is a huge loss.”
This didn’t half make me chuckle.
But actually now I know how to fold, I’m really enjoying it! Each morning or evening I fold all my clothes and put them away. Two weeks later and you could go in my room now and there would be no clothes (of mine) on the floor. That is a minor miracle. As a former clothes-pile keeper, I never thought I’d see the day.
Drawer 1 – this used to be stuffed to overflowing with socks, tights, leggings and nightwear
Drawer 2: this used to piled high with tops I didn’t wear
The wardrobe: every hanger used to be in use and I also had piles of jeans and jumpers on the shelf above
Learning to fold and tidying away my clothes took a while, and by the time I’d finished I think I only had about half an hour until I needed to get Reuben from pre-school, so I had a cup of tea and read about the next section again…books.
How to Declutter – Books
Once we got home, I tackled my books next (remember: you should sort your own things before the heady task of dealing with everyone else’s). I piled every book I own in the snug, set up marble run for Reuben and then took each book in my hand again.
I had been sceptical about dealing with books. Being surrounded by books is lovely. But Marie makes some really good points that help you realise why it’s important to discard certain books. I filled 5 supermarket bags with books for charity, and have yet more as gifts or to give back to people!
Again, I found the process liberating, so I’d highly recommend it!
Next stop is papers. Then it’s miscellaneous (argh!) and finally the sentimental section, which I’m feeling much better equipped to deal with now.
Do you have any tips on how to declutter? Or are you in need of lessons like me?!
I’d love to hear your approach to decluttering, or if you have been reading Marie’s book. How are you getting on?