Marie Kondo has helped me tidy up my act. I’m naturally quite a messy person. I’m a maximalist. I like lots of visual stimulation and pretty things. I also love ease. It needs to be easy.
I aspire to keep a beautiful living space, don’t we all? Finding the balance between ease and clean is an art in itself. An art I’ve had to learn and practice.
As a youth I would throw my clothes in a pile on the floor, choosing my days outfit from the heap.
Since moving out of home I’ve learnt to keep my clothes in a wardrobe. I’m a visual person and am super conscious to keep only pretty things on display. Though outwardly there is an appearance of togetherness and order inside my cupboards was a different story. Tops kind of folded…more rolled… definitely not neatly thrown in my bedroom drawers. My tea towels shared space with some random other unnecessary items that made it impossible for the tea towels to lay flat. My linen cupboard- ugh. The bathroom cabinet was a jumbled mess of cosmetics and cleaning products.
Not anymore, things have changed around here. I’ve never been so neat in my life. My home feels spacious and roomy and clean. It breathes. It feels Zen.
I have a small collection of books dedicated to household organisation; all of them had their useful insights, and enhanced my homemaking abilities in some way. But I feel it is Marie Kondo’s ‘The life changing magic of tidying up’ and her new release ‘Spark Joy’ that are truly transformative. She has done the trick of altering my behavior, and therefore my home. The joy I feel living in this space is now enhanced exponentially.
I have transformed, because now I fold things, and store them standing upright. I thought I was terrible at folding, but really I just hadn’t learnt properly. Konmari, as she is known by her clients, wrote that I just need to find the inner rectangle of each item of clothing, like a monk looks at a piece of stone and sees the Buddha statue within it all clicked. Now I enthusiastically fold my families clothing, in search of the inner rectangle, and the result is absolute tidiness. It’s been five weeks since I put my wardrobe in order and I’m still folding strong. The neat folded version of my drawers is so much better then the messy half-folded way they used to be that I am motivated to continue folding. Getting dressed is an absolute pleasure.
Konmari’s method is unique because you start on categories of things rather then the place where they are kept. So you start by doing all your clothes, and then all of your books, all paper etcetera. The key is to only keep things that spark joy. She also makes great suggestions on how to store the things you keep so they look nice and tidy.
To begin with I was bewildered and overwhelmed with the volume of things I own. In truth I actually read most of Marie Kondo’s first book about a year ago but didn’t finish it, although I was enjoying it immensely. It was my way of procrastinating on tidying.
It was only after I started reading her second book ‘Spark Joy’ a few weeks ago that I was re-inspired to read her first again and get stuck into it. I was apprehensive at the workload ahead to begin but after the first day I’d reorganised my wardrobe and was so delighted with the results that I moved through Evie’s wardrobe and tidied Andy’s space too.
I moved onto books with enthusiasm transforming my bookshelves into colour coded creations full of joy, and fattened up my wallet by selling what I didn’t keep. I was hooked. I cancelled appointments and social dates. I got into my office space, the bathroom. I went all throughout the kitchen, I got rid of nick knacks and rusted bakeware that were just hanging around, not being particularly joyful. Appliances that used to sit on the counter now sit in the cupboard.
The results are so satisfyingly organised. Every item that I own now has it’s own place, and my home as neat as a pin. Because I can now fold, I’m not scared of laundry anymore. I do all the laundry. My laundry baskets are empty.
I didn’t realise before how much my messy storage spaces was draining my energy. The clutter was creating extra guilt. You know that guilt, the guilt that seems to follow every mother around like a small child.
Last night, after a particularly stressful afternoon with a tired and teething baby I walked past the laundry all washed and drying. I smiled with pride and said to myself “you’re awesome.” It was one winning moment amongst a group of stressful moments. I felt on top of it and in control. In that moment all the time spent folding was worthwhile.