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I have been ‘uncluttering’ our home for what feels like forever now. Just when I thought I was finally getting somewhere it all seemed to go downhill again. It was so frustrating! No matter how hard I tried our house still just seemed to be filled with too much stuff.
I became obsessed with Googling things like ‘the ultimate shoe storage solution’ or ‘how to organise your wardrobe’. I’d happily pay out good money on clever space saving storage or bulk buy storage boxes but still, our house seemed a mess. I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong.
I started reading every home organisation book I could find, trying out their methods and failing again. I found the area I had organised would look great for a week or so and then ultimately it would get messed up again.
Minimalism has become ‘a thing’ in the last few years and lots of people appear to be jumping on the bandwagon. Personally, I believe there is a big misconception of what minimalism actually means.
Most people picture a house where everything is white and the only things in the room is a single chair, a plant pot and a book. Minimalism is so much more than that.
For me, Minimalism is about turning down the noise by uncluttering your mind as well as your surroundings.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
Out of pure desperation, I bought a book called *The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. You may have already heard of it, it was released a while ago but I’d been put off it by people saying it was quite extreme and unrealistic for most ‘normal’ people but at this point, I was willing to give anything ago.
So I caved and bought the book and I’m so glad that I did. I couldn’t put it down and read it cover to cover in 2 days. This book is the one thing that took my decluttering to a whole other level.
It helped me to see where I had gone wrong in the past. Previously, I adopted the approach of ‘get rid of something every day’. I had a bag that I kept in our understairs cupboard which I’d put anything I came across that we didn’t want any more. Then every so often when the bag was full I’d take it to the charity shop.
This was fine in theory, at least stuff was leaving our house, but it was such a slow process that by the time you had a bag full more stuff had come in and you were basically back to where you started. I just wasn’t winning my war on clutter.
The KonMari Method
The KonMari method, as she calls it, adopts a very different approach. Basically, the very last thing that you should be doing is organising your stuff. The first thing you should be doing is getting rid of it but not just in bits ALL TOGETHER IN ONE GO!
Now that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything in one day, that is completely unrealistic, the process may take 6 months but the important part is getting rid of everything from one category at the same time.
Marie breaks down the sorting into 7 different categories…
- Komono (miscellaneous items) CD’s, DVD’s, skincare products, make-up, etc
- Small Change
- Komono (miscellaneous items 2) Gifts, electrical cords, buttons, broken technical stuff etc
- Sentimental Items
To help you I have created a FREE Konmari checklist.
The idea behind the KonMari method is to work on each category at a time and don’t stop with that category until you are done. No starting and getting distracted by something else.
In order to have success with each category, you also need to get everything from the category out in front of you and by everything I mean EVERYTHING!
So for example with the clothing category, you have to get every single item of clothing that you own in your entire house into one big pile.
That includes coats, jumpers, ball gowns, seasonal wear, sports clothing, underwear, socks, literally anything that is classed as clothing.
Once you have all of the items you then need to pick up each item individually, hold it up, look at it and ask yourself one question… Does this bring me joy? The answer should be a straight yes or no. If you answered yes keep it and if no throw it away.
If you hesitate and start saying things like ‘but I might wear it one day’ or ‘I plan to lose weight and then it will fit’ throw it away. In reality, you’ll probably never wear it one day and it will just remain to collect dust in your wardrobe.
This can be a little daunting for anyone with a lot of stuff but believe me, it really does work so it’s worth the initial effort.
Once you have repeated this process with every category, then and only then can you start to organise what you have left.
As you can see from the photos below we are far from minimalistic in our home but we are now surrounded by things we love to look at. It’s a great feeling!
It’s taken me a while to get there but organising is not the answer!
The is a quote I love…
“If you have to buy stuff to store your stuff, you might have too much stuff” Be More With Less
Why I Love this Book and Would Highly Recommend It
Since reading this book our house has never looked better. We are surrounded only by the things we really love which makes you feel great. Every time I walk into one of our rooms it makes me smile.
I can clean the house in a quarter of the time that it used to take me as I don’t have to first move stuff around in order to clean.
I now do less washing as we own fewer clothes which also saves us money on electrics.
We don’t waste hours searching for an item as everything now has its own place. I’d lost count of the number of times I would spend searching for my laptop lead or the cable for my camera.
If you are interested in buying *The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying then here is a brief overview of what you’ll read in the book…
- Why Can’t I keep my House in Order?
- Discard First
- How to Tidy by Category
- Sorting your Things for an Exciting Life
- The Magic of Tidying Dramatically Transforms your Life
and finally, some points to remember if you’d like to give the KonMari method a go in your own home…
Points to Remember
- Discard by category (don’t get distracted!)
- Only do one category at a time
- Follow the correct order of categories
- Get everything from that category, from every room in the house, in front of you
- Don’t stop with that category until you only have left items that fill you with joy
Marie does get extremely passionate about tidying and some of the points she mentions could easily be seen as ‘extreme’.
For example, I personally ignored the section on folding. I just really don’t feel that will help me in the long run, plus I currently don’t have the time.
Maybe further down the line, I might give it a go but for now, I’m giving it a miss.
Update: I now do the folding and love it!
She also suggests saying thank you to your belongings for the job they have done that day, again this isn’t really for me. I’m pretty sure the other half would think I’d well and truly lost the plot if I started talking to our stuff.
I still haven’t completed all of the categories in the KonMari method, my last one is sentimental items, which I’m guessing will be the hardest category yet, hence why Marie leaves it till last.
Hopefully, I will manage okay. Check back soon or ‘subscribe to our tribe‘ to be kept up to date with my progress.
Buy it here: *The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
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About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.