A few years ago, I came across Modern Parents Messy Kids’ Project Organize Your Entire Life. I got so excited about getting organized, but no matter what tools I brought in, no matter how I changed my storage, things got messy again and again and again. Getting “organized” was one thing: staying organized was just an impossibility. I’d almost resigned to the idea that I’m just a messy person. Almost.
One day, as I was trying to make space for my car in my garage, I realized I had too much stuff. Stuff from years of family members asking me to store things for them, years of a love of shopping, years of my little baby growing into a little boy. I had no idea how to get rid of things effectively without getting rid of things I might need later on. Combined with a bad habit of abusing out-of-sight storage, I was paralyzed. I found myself feeling overwhelmed, trapped, and reclusive.
I can’t remember how I came across it (it was probably while researching capsule wardrobes), but I heard about the KonMari method and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I was so intrigued and excited by the prospect of having a clean home with less stuff that I got it and devoured it in a matter of days.
I managed to purge about 15 large bags of junk from my home, not to mention about 12 bags of trash. 12 BAGS OF TRASH. And I was just living with it all around me. No wonder I was so overwhelmed and mentally exhausted!
Now the thing is, “a little bit at a time” never worked for me. Gradual change always meant a small change the first week, slipping back into old habits the next. The KonMari method is drastic, and as I went through that process I realized how important that is. Making and seeing dramatic improvements is a significant motivator because once you see how far you’ve come, you’ll never want to go back to the way you were.
I was tickled to see that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a #1 Best Seller in Religion & Spirituality (as well as Self-Help, and Craft, Hobbies & Home), because sure, the book leans a little on the “woo” side, but more than that, the book’s following is a little on the culty side, too. It’s like the KonMari method is more than a method – it’s also a philosophy and approach to life. It’s an encouragement not to live with less, but to nurture and appreciate the things that bring joy while letting go of the things that do not.
I know it sounds super woo-woo, hippy dippy, but there’s a reason this book has the following it does: it’s truly life-changing.
But Resa, you haven’t straight up said how you did it!
Okay, so the KonMari method is centered around the idea of discarding the things in your home (and life) that no longer spark joy, and lovingly maintaining the things that do by storing them beautifully and with care. There are 3 basic steps to the method with important guiding details therein, and I’ll be sharing them in greater detail throughout this series. They are:
- Envisioning the end goal. What kind of life do you want?
- Discarding the things that no longer spark joy.
- Discarding by category, and in a certain order
- Grappling with the fear of discarding
- Tips and tricks to avoid hitting a wall
- Placing the things that you’re keeping.
- How to store clothes
- How to keep everyone’s room tidy
- Fail-proof storage secrets
I’ll be sharing my process, progress, and end results in this series (I wish I had some before pictures, but I was always too embarrassed to take pictures of my home. Can you blame me?), so make sure to subscribe below.
This is part 1 of my decluttering series, based on the KonMari method outlined in Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Read the whole series:
Part 2 – Decluttering 101: What Kind of a Life Do You Want?
Part 3 – Decluttering 101: The Art of Discarding
Part 4 – Decluttering 101: A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place