I have been on a big decluttering kick lately. It started with me breaking down and reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I have the kind of personality that resists things that are popular but I’m glad I finally picked this one up.
I was hyper organized during my high school and college years, probably to the annoyance of my roommates. But marriage to a person who liked to hold onto everything and also struggled with organization made it very hard to stay that way. Once I was divorced, I found that my standards regarding clutter had relaxed somewhat. I still wanted to be organized but was a bit overwhelmed with my new life, so things weren’t always as put away as I would have liked.
When I picked up this book, I was two and a half years into a new marriage and had moved from an apartment to a house about six months earlier. We had mostly unpacked and had developed some good routines for running the house, but there were definitely some areas that needed help. My clothes had just been shoved into the closet any which way, my craft cupboard was empty while the supplies sat in boxes, and a pile of various electronic items lived in one corner of the family room.
Kondo’s advice to declutter by category rather than location and all at once rather than a little at a time was intriguing, as was her instruction to hold each item and ask if it sparked joy to determine its fate. I didn’t try it out right away though; first I looked up the KonMari method on YouTube and started watching videos of other people who were decluttering using it. After a few of these, I sat down with my little jewelry box and took everything out. I was surprised by how much was in there and even more surprised by the amount that ended up in the discard pile. I felt so good putting just the items I loved back in the box and returning it to its spot on my dresser.
After that, I started decluttering different small categories of things. Each time I was very pleased with the results but it still took me a while to tackle my clothes, which is where Kondo recommends you start. But I finally opened my closet and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. After that I was pretty eager to keep going.
One of my favorite transformations was where we keep our linens. It was piled high with sheets, towels, blankets, and pillows. I had been thinking we needed a better storage solution for that area, but once I was done decluttering, the space looked just fine as it was. Another area that I am especially happy with is my baking cupboard. It had gotten completely out of control and now it looks perfectly organized and clutter free.
Click here for part 2, where I share more of my journey with decluttering and the KonMari method.