On Being Decluttered

Marie Kondo Book

Some people spring clean.  We usually January-clean.  Or get-home-from-international-travel-clean.

Coming home from a trip that makes us realize we don’t need a lot of possessions (or, if you’re Mr. P, that you have to start making your own baked goods).  When we came home from Christmas in Europe, I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  Enter a recipe for us getting rid of a ton of our stuff.

This book is serious business.  I thought I was a decluttering pro already, but I was shocked at how much we got rid of.

There is a great review and synopsis of Kondo’s method here in the New York Times.

Every space in our home has been decluttered and organized.  Every closet, every shelf, every drawer.  Our clothes, food, kitchen, craft supplies, desk, bathroom, under the bed, movie and music collection, cleaning supplies, papers & bills, everything!

Lessons We Learned

Keep only what makes you happy and let go of the rest.  I used to keep things based on usefulness.  But why bother keeping something I just kind of like?  If you worry about getting rid of a perfectly good thing, Kondo has an answer for that in the book.

Take everything out.  Kondo says bringing items together in one space is the only way that you get a true sense of how much you have.  For example, we took every book we owned and put them in the living room together.

This is why moving sucks.  I kept saying that over and over.  Moving already sucks.  But moving really really sucks when you have to transport so much stuff.  Seeing possessions out in the living room made me realize how much we didn’t need.

What’s left over makes us happier.  I was a little skeptical, but Kondo is right.  My clothes closet only contains items I really love.  There are no “meh” outfits anymore.

Everything has a place!  This was earth-shattering.  After getting rid of stuff, there was space.  Space to grow, breathe, and homes for our things!  When I get home from work, my laptop bag has a space in the closet.  All of my craft supplies have neat shelf space and are not piled on top of each other.

We did a bit each Saturday and it took a little over a month.  We started with clothes and books, then moved to papers, then all 3 of our non-clothes closets, then the kitchen.

I wish I’d taken photos of the living room mid-purge.  I had no idea we’d get rid of so much!