I’ve been meaning to write this post since December 2016! That is when I listened to “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo on Audible and decided to give it a try. The main reason I wanted to do so was because I just HATE clutter. I like clean, simple spaces and decor and really feel this helps with mental clarity and focus. The method is quite well-known at this point, so forgive me if you already know about it or have done it yourself. Though I have some minor criticisms of the extreme to which Kondo takes her cleanliness (i.e. I cannot be bothered to store away my shampoo/conditioner/soap after use everyday!), overall I found great value in this method and the driving force behind it: minimalism.
The major takeaways from going through the extensive de-cluttering process were:
- I could not do it all in one day as recommended because I had a full-time job and a kid. I broke it up over several days and still found great benefit from it.
- I did ask myself whether an object brought me joy or not with each article of clothing I had. I ended up donating/discarding over half of my wardrobe, and my closet looked SPARSE. However, the reduction in physical clutter immediately brought a reduction in mental clutter. And I did not miss or remember anything that I discarded.
- 1.5 years later, I still ask myself whether I truly need or want an object (whether it be clothing, things for the house, etc.) before I buy it. Most of the time I will decide against it. One thing I always end up doing when online shopping is putting things in the shopping cart, then waiting a few days before purchasing. If I forgot about the objects, I did not really need/want them, so I end up saving money and preventing needless clutter.
- Because of the ongoing influence of this process, my family was recently able to move into a house half the size of our original house without putting anything in storage.
- I am not hugely sentimental to begin with, and going through “sentimental” things like printed photos, birthday cards, etc. was even easier than I thought. We do not need to keep these things to remember sweet memories. Truly, when was the last time you sat down to re-read old greeting cards?
- If anything can be digital instead of printed, make it digital. This goes for bills, photos, and more recently even books! I used to want to create a large library, but looking at my existing bookshelf while doing this method made me realize how many books I simply possessed but had not read. That is actually why I got into Audible!
- It’s better to spend money on higher quality items which you will need to replace less often.
- I have always and will always value experiences over material possessions. I would much rather save up for an epic holiday than buy a pair of designer shoes. That being said, I also learned that some designer items are classics and increase in value over time. I am not ready/willing to dish out the money for those yet, but I feel more comfortable about the idea now that I’m not wasting money on “fast fashion” items.
- I hope this method will help instill important lessons about money management, materialism, and life in general in our kids.
- This method has truly helped us prevent clutter from rearing its ugly head over and over again! It is proactive, not reactive.
- A calm environment/living space yields a calm mind.
- I will never create sock balls again!
Below are a few before and after photos from our process. Looking back at these makes me realize just how chaotic the “before” photos looked and felt!
Have you tried the Marie Kondo method? What did you think?
My Closet Shelves
Small Master Closet