It’s that time of year again! Even though we are in the middle of a snowstorm on this first full day of spring, I’m still feeling the desire to spring clean. If you have also been feeling the urge to weed out, organize, and clean, read on to learn about an approach that can
have a profound impact.
The book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo came out the fall of 2014 and has become a New York Times best-seller, but I’m still surprised by how many people still aren’t familiar with it. I remember reading the book while sitting on the beach over Labor Day weekend and feeling eager to get back home to start organizing. Following the “Kon Mari” method that Marie teaches, I began by organizing by clothes. The first step in the process is to discard any item which doesn’t spark joy. Sometimes all I needed to do was touch something to elicit either a feeling of, “Yes, I love to wear this!” or “Ugh. I don’t want to wear this!” Other times I tried things on to help me access what would stay or go. It felt good to pass some clothes on to friends and the rest I donated to charity. I weeded out so much that I no longer need to put out-of-season clothes in storage.
Once you have pared down to items that you love, the next step is to store them so there’s a place for everything. Marie suggests folding clothes and storing them upright so you can see each item. I followed her method for my sock drawer and love the difference it has made! I’ve maintained this orderly system ever since. I must confess that I found some of her methods, for instance how to fold and store T-shirts, over-the-top, so I stopped there, despite her recommendation to tidy once and for all in one fell swoop.
Once the spring cleaning energy swept over me, I picked up her book, watched some of her YouTube videos, and am immersed in the process again. And yes, I’ve learned to fold and store T-shirts in the recommended way. I have now tidied my closets, drawers, books (although I probably need to be more ruthless here), and have made a huge dent in organizing papers. With two home offices in addition to household papers and an enormous recipe collection, this is taking some time. My husband caught the tidying bug and had a shred fest over the weekend. So far he’s freed up an entire filing cabinet drawer.
Part of the magic of this process is the feeling you experience from this clearing. You feel light, getting out from underneath the burden of unwanted and unneeded stuff. This frees up your energy and creates space. For what? Well, you just have to wait and see. There’s always a surprise element with magic. I’d love to hear what, in addition to joy, the process sparks for you!