Tidying Up

If you know me, you know I’ve always been a messy person. In college, my roommates shuddered when they looked in my closet. When I moved into a house with friends, some days you could barely walk through my room without stepping on something. Cleaning and tidying never came naturally to me, and I found it to be an unimportant task. When I did clean, I became obsessive and wanted to clean everything. I didn’t like the way it made me feel, well, sort of crazy.

But last weekend, I looked in my closet, and I couldn’t find anything. I’d pull out one thing, and other items would fall off their hangers. Stacks of clothes sat on the top of the closet. Clothes I hadn’t worn or hadn’t been able to find were jammed into my dresser drawers. And I decided I needed to change. My mom is so surprised. She’s the type of person who always cleans up and declutters, and my lack of organization has always driven her nuts.

I knew when I started to make a change that I needed to focus on decluttering. I simply have too much stuff. Too many clothes, too many books, too many toys are in my house. And so I did what everyone else in the world has done and I bought The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

This book. First of all, I think Kondo has OCD. And I’m not touting all her methods. But it is changing my life. Kondo has a method for cleaning up and decluttering in which you focus on categories fully decluttering one category and organizing those items before you move on to the next. So you start on clothes and you go through all your clothes. You focus on what items you will keep. You decide what you keep by what sparks joy when you touch it. I think this is amazing, because so many times when you’re decluttering you’re focusing on what you’re getting rid of. Kondo’s method doesn’t make you think of loss. It makes you think about what you’re gaining: clothes and items that bring you joy in a visually aesthetic and more usefully organized space.

I do think this book is hard to follow if you have tiny terrors children in your house. But I started going through their clothes too and weeding out the items they don’t wear or don’t need anymore. I’ve only finished Hailey’s closet and drawers, but nothing is stuffed in there anymore and every item has its own space. I think this is amazing, because it’s never been so. And of course, as a parent I’m going to have to help her keep it this way, but that’s not a big deal. Once you get rid of the extras it’s not as hard to keep what you have left in order.

Anyway, if you’re like me and a bit organizationally impaired, I highly recommend this book as a way to change. Just don’t think you have to do everything she does, because she wants things done in a certain order, within subcategories, and I really think that’s just because she’s OCD.

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One thought on “Tidying Up

  1. Pingback: Letting Go | Lauren Greene, Author

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