It was just over a year ago that I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Maybe you remember the craze around this book – in 2015 it seemed as though everyone was discarding anything that didn’t “bring joy.” Whenever there is a craze around such things I am prone to skepticism. Even while I was in the midst of sorting piles of items in my living room, I doubted if the Kon Mari Method (named for the author Marie Kondo) could finally transform me from the messy person I had always been into the tidy person I longed to be.
My doubts were ultimately unfounded and I am happy to report that this book really was life changing. The initial process of purging my possessions made me realize how much I didn’t need (having fewer things makes organization easier). More than the purging itself, the habits this book advises truly transformed my living space and my life. Kon Mari offers a very specific method for organizing possessions. Since utilizing them, my space remains (mostly) tidy. I didn’t adopt all of the practices, but if you keep reading you can check out which have made the biggest impact on my life.
1.) Unpacking my bag every day
When I first read this suggestion I seriously thought Marie Kondo was crazy! Unpacking my purse seemed like a huge waste of time. In reality this habit saves me so much time and keeps my life organized. It is always easy to find my wallet, chapstick, keys, headphones, etc; so I don’t have to go on an epic search looking for them. And it is such a relief to no longer have receipts popping out of every bag because I recycle or file them at the end of each day. This habit also keeps me looking and feeling pulled together. It is easy for me to change purses to go with my outfit and suit my needs for the day which makes me feel more confident when I step out into the world. To organize the items I would otherwise store in my bag, I use a lid from a metal box that sits on a dresser at the entrance to my bedroom.
2.) Removing packaging immediately
Marie Kondo suggest that after you purchase an item, you should remove the packaging and store the items right away She argues that this practice makes the item feel like it already belongs to you which will ultimately encourage you to use the item more. I can not speak to whether or not that is true, but I can say I find less plastic wrap and clothing tags floating around my home since adopting this practice.
3.) Keep one box of mementos
One of most challenging aspects of the Kon Mari method is the reduction of of sentimental items. While going through my such items, I realized how many things I held on to out of obligation and guilt, not because I truly enjoyed them. I now keep just one small box of sentimental photos and objects that I can hold and look at whenever I need an emotional pick-me-up.
4.) Folding the Kon Mari way
Kon Mari offers a specific way to fold various items (admittedly I don’t use her method for my socks or undergarments). I love having my pants and sweaters folded this way. It makes it easy for me to see what I own and it looks so tidy. It is also easy to pull the items out and put them away again so I don’t get frustrated and put off the task of putting away my clothes.
5.) Continuous reducing
I am now in the habit of donating or throwing away broken, unnecessary, or undesired items right away. I used to keep all sorts of things thinking I would get around to fixing or using (think broken technology, clothes that no longer fit, and books left unread). These unnecessary items were little reminders of tasks left undone, they pulled at my energy and made me feel subtly stressed all the time. I had to admit to myself that I would not get around to making these items usable and I haven’t looked back since making this decision, what a relief.
If you want to change your space and feel organized I highly recommend reading The Life Changing of Magic of Tidying Up. Maybe you will find a few life changing habits of your own. If you have already read the book I would love to know what you thought and what stuck for you.
Love and light,