I am not a hoarder by any means. I am the opposite of a hoarder. Is there a name for that? Seeing clutter gives me anxiety. I want everything put up and in “its place.”
But, then I had my son.
I still like everything picked up and in its place, but I’ve learned to cope since my toddler likes to “redecorate” on a daily basis. What helped me the most was reading “The Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. (The part where she says talk to your clothes was a little much for me, so I skipped out on a few parts.)
Here are the top 4 tips I took away from the book:
Tip 1: Tidy up all at once per category.
NOT BY ROOM. This was my biggest mistake before I started KM. I would tidy up certain rooms daily and would always find myself getting upset. Start with one category and complete it before moving on.
For example: clothing. Get EVERY SINGLE piece of clothing in your house and throw it all on the floor in one room. Or your bed (if your little ones are around). I’m not lying when I say every piece of clothing: underwear, shoes, coats, etc. Anything that goes on your body, throw it on the ground. Choose a time that you can really focus (or semi focus – thank you toddlers) on what you want to keep, whether that is bedtime, naptime, or have someone help you watch the kiddos. Only keep what “sparks joy” for you.
I had a donate tote, trash tote, and a “joy tote.” Once I was completely done with the clothing category, I put things away that sparked joy for me. It’s been a year since I did the clothing portion and I haven’t had any issues finding anything or keeping it decluttered. IT WORKS.
Tip 2: Do NOT have music playing while you’re KMing.
This will absolutely affect your mood. You can’t be sorting through all your clothes playing Madonna’s Vogue and expect to get rid of anything. You’ll just end up having a dance party telling yourself you’re slaying life in a tube top. Turn the music off.
Tip 3: Learn how to fold.
Seriously, I hate folding and putting laundry away, but do yourself a favor and learn how to KM fold. It makes a huge difference getting ready in the morning and actually finding what you need. It’s not hard at all once you get the hang of it. I mean, how adorable are tiny tots’ sweaters folded like this?!???
Tip 4: Go in order of what she says.
Clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous, sentimental items. This process is going to take everyone a different amount of time. I have only completed a few categories because we are renting. Once we buy a house, I plan on completing each category because I will feel more settled in our home. Everything that sparks joy MUST have a “home.” That means every single thing you keep has to have a place to go. When you aren’t using it, it goes right back in the specific spot you made for it.
That’s the main thing to take away from this. You don’t just want all the things you have in your life to just look neat and organized. You don’t need 8,347,976 different organizers. You need to simplify and declutter. Some of you might love this process and others might hate it. It’s absolutely worth it in the end because you will genuinely feel more at peace with yourself and your home. You won’t have this nagging feeling like you need to be constantly cleaning/organizing your home. It will be done. Forever.
Those who have read the book: What was your favorite part? What part did you roll your eyes at and say, “Umm, yeah right, lady!?”