It's hard to start cleaning up clutter, but once you get started it happens so quickly! Last year I talked about the teachings of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo who wrote a housekeeping manual called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She inspired me to start folding my clothes vertically and get a better handle on keeping my home clean. While I haven't rebounded per say, I just had a temporary clutter issue caused by not putting things back in their place on a daily basis.
I read her newest book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up as a refresher course to get me back on track. Kondo says that, "Living in a clean and tidy space automatically improves your self-image and you'll find it hard to stand anything else. It can have a dramatic impact on your life. When you get down to business, it's amazing what a transformation can take place in just two days. You can do it very quickly once you set your mind to it." She advises to not buy any storage containers, she courages you to get rid of things instead of hiding them. Here are six rules from her book:
1. Reduce the Amount of Clothes You Own
Kondo recommends you do a "joy check" on your clothes, put them on and ask yourself will you really wear them again. If no, thank the clothes for the wonderful memories they gave you. In my closet I found a lot of clothes still in dry cleaning plastic bags that got lost in my closet. I started with skirts and shorts and now there's actually space between them in my closet which I never had before! I thought the tops would take me forever and I was really dreading it, but it breezed by pretty quick. I have a large bag to sell at my local thrift store. I got rid of all of my clubbing tops that I haven't worn in 10 years. I got rid of a lot of sequin dresses but kept the 5 sequin shirts I own. I git rid of all the clothes from Forever 21, H&M, Express, and BeBe as I've outgrown those stores. I got rid of all of my birthday dresses because let's be real, those were one time occasion dresses. Per Kondo's recommendation, I retired senior members of my bra collection. And I got rid of most of my necklaces. Then I tidy up the top shelves in my closet, folded the sweaters nice and neat to pack them away.
2. Declutter your Office of Paper
I have honestly never done this and had piles of paper at my computer desk. Kondo recommends to tidy by category (such as papers) instead of by room. The reason why is that "tidying by room doesn't work because people think they have tidied up when in fact they have only shuffled their things from one location to another. You can clear your mind simply by discarding all unnecessary papers. Keep the desk area relatively clear." I gathered all the loose papers I had in every room and threw most of them away and filed the rest.
3. The Bathroom Is The Most Public Space In Your House
Wow isn't that the truth, you don't want to feel embarrassed if a guest opens a cabinet. Kondo says, "Toilet related storage is where appearances matters most" and recommends storing everything in baskets.
I scrubbed the tile around my bathtub with bleach and threw away some old cosmetics. I'm going to make a better effort at putting away toiletries after I finish using them. Kondo says, "The toilet is your home's "detox area, thus it's important to keep the energy flowing through, so keep it uncluttered. Cleanliness is crucial. The ideal bathroom will have a fresh natural aroma." You can see how I organized my medicine cabinet here.
4. Make Your Kitchen Orderly
I did a major kitchen organization last year so I'm already following her recommendations. Kondo recommends that dishtowels should be folded and stored upright. I keep mine in a shoebox which allows me to see how many I have as I change mine seasonally. She talks about storing plastic bags folded to reduce bulk. I threw away a dozen reusable bags that I don't use. As instructed, I already keep all my plastic wrap, aluminum foil, parchment paper upright under the sink. Kondo says that "cleaning supplies are only of value if they are used. If you have any in your closet that have not even been opened, open them up and use them completely to do a thorough cleaning of all the storage spaces in your home." That was eye opening for me because under my sink is a graveyard of speciality cleaning supplies that I can't even remember what I bought them for. So instead I cleaned the outside of my stainless steel fridge. A couple recommendations I couldn't follow were to throw away all my cookie cutters that I never use. And she says not to keep soap and sponges around the sink because they create water stains.
5. Make Your Entryway Tidy
The first crucial impression of your home starts from your entryway. Kondo says, "I can tell the state of a person's closets the instant I set food in a doorway. Any home with a cluttered entranceway is bound to be cluttered throughout. It's preferable to keep as little as possible in the entranceway." She recommends to hide messy piles with baskets and boxes and dress up your entryway with something special." Here's my previous post on my entryway and my something special is art work I've painted myself.
6. Get Rid of Your Purses and Books
Kondo got me here when she asked, "Are you still hanging on to handbags that you once used every day but have since replaced with similar ones? This is very common. For clothing accessories accept the fact that you will never use them again and bid them farewell." While I couldn't get rid of my purses, I did clean my favorite summer purple Coach signature purse I've had for 10 years that was so dirty! As for books Kondo says, "Once a book has been read, it has already been "experienced." Take every book off the shelf and pile it on the floor. Don't start reading them." Luckily for me I borrow all the books I read from the library.
I've been using the Stylebook app for a couple years now which makes closet purging so easy! See it keeps track of what I wear and what I'm not wearing. Here's what I wore last month. I had to check my calendar to see why I wasn't wearing clothes on April 17 and 24. lol Turns out on the 17th I went bike riding with friends in Great Falls park so I was in activewear all day. And the 24th was a stay home and chill day. I do no clothing repeats in a month to make sure I wear my closet. It also makes shopping easy because I can check my closet from my phone to see if I really need a pink sweater or how many do I already own.
Shoe closet Jewelry storage Nail polish display
"The relationship I have with my closet has always depended greatly on the condition I keep it in. It's so easy to let things get out of control, to shut the door and hide the mess. I know that when my closet is chaotic I feel less confident in its contents. That dreaded feeling of "I have nothing to wear" usually stems from the anxiety created by an unorganized scene. When I stay on top of this, I'm able to find what I need, look the way I want to look, and project the image of that woman I aspire to be." - Rachel Roy
Shoe closet Jewelry storage Nail polish display