Thursday, June 11, 2015

the life changing magic of tidying up…three things



Ok. I might be a little late to the party. But I’m just now reading THIS book by Marie Kondo mostly because the timing was perfect.

After our recent garage sale I got a whiff of how liberating it truly feels to get rid of excess stuff that’s been accumulating over our twenty-seven years of marriage.

And all of a sudden I’m on a mission to go through our entire house with a fresh pair of eyes for the purposes of purging!


Are you one of those people that has a designated place for everything in your life?

Because I am not. And I’ve never been one to master the art of what Kondo refers to as the KonMari Method, which basically says that you cannot keep a tidy, clean house unless you discard all your excess clutter.

According to this view it doesn’t matter how clean your toilets are and how well you integrate feng shui techniques into your home design, the effects will be undermined by the mere presence of excess stuff.



1. According to Kondo storage experts are hoarders.

If you hire Kondo to help you organize your rooms she will insist that storage is not your real problem. And all those expensive storage supplies you got at a bargain price? She will label them ‘booby traps’ and tell you that putting things away only creates the illusion that your clutter problem has been solved.

This is why any successful transformation of your home must start with discarding.

Did you hear that? Don’t even think about cleaning until you discard first.

(Hmm… so this is why we have stacks of storage boxes filled with stuff we actually forgot we had)

And she is ruthless when it comes to procrastination. You must use self control to resist the easy way she says, which is throwing things into a box until you figure out if you want it or not.





2. How to decide if an item should be kept or not?

Touch every single item. And only keep what evokes a sensation of joy.

This is one of her rules I totally get. I’m a tactile person and it makes sense to me that when I hold something I will intuitively feel whether it’s a joyful association or not.

According to Kondo this works especially well with clothes.

I just filled two boxes with clothing I couldn’t remember wearing last. Clothing that just wasn’t “me” anymore.

Although this technique doesn’t necessarily mean tossing out items you’ll never wear; I have a black t-shirt dress my Grandma bought for me off a sale rack that I will never wear. It’s actually for a twenty-something person but now that she’s gone it fills me with joy to see it hanging there, a visual reminder of how young Grandma still saw me.

Do you have clothing and shoes that no longer represent how you see yourself today?

Why do you think you still have those items?





3. Do NOT sort and discard by location. Sort by category.

First you must bring out your designated item from every room in your house, lay it out in the middle of a room to see the total number you own…before you begin to sort and discard.

This is how you begin to understand the way clutter has taken over your life.


This was probably the most helpful tip I’ve gathered from this book so far. It just makes so much sense when I read how she learned this trick. She spent years emptying, sorting and cleaning bathroom drawers only to discover the same items in other drawers around the house. The end result was a constant sense of déjà vu.

The root of the problem according to Kondo, is that most people keep the same items in different places around the house. So when you tidy by location you’re repeating the same work in different rooms.

Instead of tackling one room at a time—Kondo recommends setting goals for specific items.

Clothes today. Bathroom drawers tomorrow.


Last night we finished planting our big palm trees in the backyard and we have the workers coming tomorrow to finish the stucco around our new French doors that lead to the outside.

So I’m the first one to admit that achieving a stream-lined, tidy house is hard right now with drywall dust and garden dirt everywhere.

But that’s ok. Maybe it’s my age but I’m so ready to live my life surrounded only by things I love, and that contribute to my peace of mind…







Can you relate to this post?






I’m sharing this post with these friends:

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20 North Ora said...

Unfortunately, I can relate. I always feel good when I buy something on sale only to discover a year later that I've never used it. I'm trying but it is so hard to get rid of stuff. It feels good after you do but doing it is another thing. Great post!


Simply LKJ said...

Love this Leslie. I have not read her book either, but love the points she makes. I too am at the point that now that the girls are not here 95% of the time, I would like things to be simpler so I am surrounded only by things I love, find useful or truly need. Less to deal with, and more time for things that are more important or that I just simply enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Well Hello and thanks oodles for visiting me! Isn't this blogging business one of the most perfectly enchanting experiences around. This is a very timely post as it seems that so many of us are trading spaces, downsizing, up sizing, lateral moves etc...
Letting go of all of that stuff is amazingly freeing, I am definitely going to get my hands on this book. We sort of went through this recently and at first I felt so sad that we were giving, selling, relinquishing all of those items (so many we didn't even use) but now I am in a good place and glad I was semi forced into it!

Lottie said...

I'm reading Kondo's book right now and just finished with clothing. Wow! Is this method ever life-changing! Thank you for your post!

Mary said...

I have no problem letting things go. And I have a place for everything. I can't leave the house in the morning until everything is put away in it's proper place. My small closet holds all my clothes...which isn't much. I don't need much.
My husband on the other hand... Well, let's just say he is the exact opposite of me. Does Kondo's book say what to do when spouses are polar opposites in this behavior?

Sarah said...

Having just spent the past month purging, organizing, and packing for a move, I can totally relate. I know I still have too much stuff packed in the boxes in storage, but just couldn't bring myself to make decisions about everything. But it's getting easier to let go of stuff. Our move took a detour when we decided the townhouse wasn't going to work. Now we have to regroup and decide what direction we'll go. Good news is all that stuff that is already out of our house. Ha!

Andi's English Attic said...

I've just finished reading this book which I found on the charity table at our vet's. It fired me up. I have donated about 200 books to charity now, transferred my paperwork to computer... I find it's lifting the guilt about having things hanging around that 'I'm going to do something with/read later'. I hadn't realised how oppressive that was and I've been very strict and honest in getting rid of that stuff. Getting rid of the books hurt but it was good practice for the sentimental stuff that's coming up soon.

Unknown said...

Oh Leslie, this post just speaks to me. I have not read the book, but the concepts ring true. As I write this I have a stack of discarded outfits cast off from a very busy week hanging out on the edge of my bathtub. I finished my work year yesterday-yay!-and I see some major clean up and decluttering in my future. I totally agree about living with what you love and brings you joy. There is an ease about less is more. I have a draft of a post on this very topic so I'll have to go back and see what I was thinking.
I do hope you will come by and add some of your beautiful links to our lifestyle linkup #stylefocus-it just went live today!
xx, Heather

Unknown said...

The floor in the first pic is gorgeous! The book sounds like a very good read, I love the notion of only keeping things that bring you joy. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read the book, but good pointers. I LOVE getting rid of excess, and gave away several boxes this week. It's like instant energy. The mind opens up and focuses so much better. Now, about those straw hats. :) I collect that display.
Saying hello from Stylefocus.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I have not read the book, my sisters and my mother have and thy have told me all about it. I do agree with many of the points and tips sadly I have just not gotten to them yet this year. I have big plans for summer though.

So happy to hear that the renovation is coming along. I am sure that it is going to be fabulous!

I hope that all else is well with you!

Take care, Elizabeth

Art and Sand said...

I can definitely relate to this post.

I just made new covers for the garden chaises. Instead of buying fabric, I cut up an old duvet cover that I love, but know that I will never use again on the bed. That action has me thinking about what I can repurpose and what I can eliminate completely.

It sounds morbid, but I don't want my kids to be stuck with cleaning out our house when I am gone. I want them to be able to just come for a visit to the beach and gradually make the house work for their families. Of course, they need children first, but I'm not pushing yet!

La Contessa said...


cindy hattersley design said...

Boy do I need this book! I hope there is a kindle version...I am ordering when I am layed up if so!!

Lori said...

I have always been a keeper of mementos and to an extent I still am but a few years back watching TLC and shows like clean sweep taught me something. The item does not hold the memory ~ our hearts do. That was the time I started going through things and parting with them. I go through my closets every spring and fall ~ if it was not worn this past season it goes. I am not super diligent with this as there ARE things in my closet I am holding on because I love them or they mean something to me. Just maybe I never had the opportunity to wear it ~ right! There are a couple of pieces of furniture I would love to see but they are from Trev's side of the family and we won't go there yet. Happy weekend xoxo

Karen said...

This is a trend that started for me late last year after discovering two blog sites that prompted me to pare down. The project 333. This woman lives by a method that includes 33 items of clothing for each season. Only things she loves and wears. Then The Minimalist came along...I love these guys. The suggest that you keep what you love, dump the rest. I've been working on this since January, starting with selling lots of "stuff" on ebay, what didn't sell, I gave to the assistance league. I totally relate to this post. I've heard of this book but in my efforts not to buy "impulsively" anymore, I've held off. Thank you for giving us a sample of her take on paring down.
I love the images you've shared for this post. :-)

michele said...

preachin to the choir! getting rid of half of our belongings has freed us in so many ways. i even parted with things i loved - i gave half of my french prayer chairs to friends who admired them. now we have new common ground, and i don't have to store them just because i collected them. for folks who are afraid they will have regret about purging, i would remind them you can find anything in the world on eBay (except your child's artwork and baby teeth!).

therelishedroost said...

LOVe this post! getting rid of clutter always makes me feel better! Love the ideas here and the images are great! Glad to find your blog, K

Traveling Chic said...

Beautiful post! This gave me some inspiration to work on my entryway! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

She didn't speak my type of declutter language but I know the book is very popular. I totally agree about only keeping things you love. Life is so much calmer and simpler with less "stuff", but my husband is a pack rat and I have to chuck things when he's not looking:))
Thanks for joining us and sharing inspiration on #stylefocus!

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

Always good to have a good purge. I do so regularly, particularly after reading The Joy Of Less.
Problem is trying to get my husband on board!
Great post as ever, Xxx

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Honestly, I am so over having too much stuff! And I'm feeling it at home and in my business. I think I need a new profession!

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