Last Christmas (yes, 10 months ago) I received a wonderful little book in my stocking called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The book details the KonMari method of decluttering, which was created by a Japanese woman who has built this crazy successful business around helping people get rid of their stuff.
If you spend any time on Pinterest, you have probably heard about this, or at least mentions of it. I found it on there when I was reading about minimalist lifestyles. I was intrigued so I passed it along to my Christmas-list keeper, aka husband. I think he still regrets to this day buying me this book :)
Before I jump in to my review, a few highlights of the method:
Side note here – if you read the book, you HAVE to try the method of folding clothes that she talks about. You stack your clothes horizontally in drawers rather than on top of each other so you can really see everything and it saves a ton of space. Only downside is it does take a little bit longer when folding, but I’m getting faster! :) Just don’t start talking to your socks like she does. Girl crazy.
So I did this. Pretty much all while I was on maternity leave and I loved it. It was so incredibly freeing! Here’s a few takeaways from my experience.
I always knew that my husband was more of a pack-rat than me but kind of attributed it to the fact that he is nine years older and has just had more time to accumulate more stuff. I had no idea how deep this thing went. There were days that he would actually get mad at me for trying to make him get rid of things. Ms. Marie Kondo actually discusses the fact that you can’t force the people around you to adopt this philosophy with you, and I probably should have heeded her advice a bit more. Ben did end up getting rid of quite a few clothes, but all in all, he is not into it. In fact I think it stresses him out. I’m still trying to accept that fact that this is ok and we can still have a decluttered life with the exception of his half of the closet and his hunting stuff. I think I’ll get there but there are days that I want to just scream when the closet door won’t shut. Oh that’s just me too? Apparently I have bigger issues :)
I had so many clothes that I held onto but didn’t even really like because I was worried that I would suddenly wake up one day and like them. The odds of this happening were incredibly slim. So I just got rid of them. This was perfectly timed with a huge neighborhood-wide garage sale at my dad’s house so we jumped in on that and made about $150! Now I was getting paid for my decluttering. Not too shabby! Obviously not everything sold, but most of it did and St. Vincent’s took the rest. At the end of the day, mama got a more manageable closet and a pretty new swimsuit!
Had I planned on doing a blog post about this at the time, I would have snapped some before and after pictures. Next time I suppose. But we were able to get rid of an entire dresser y’all!
I have always had this horrible habit of settling for things (except for my husband, he’s way out of my league!). Jeans didn’t fit quite right at the store but I bought them anyway assuming I would somehow be able to make them work once I got them home. Obviously they sat in the closet collecting dust. A dress was too short to wear by itself, so I assumed leggings would be the best route but then it looked weird and awkward with leggings but I didn’t return it because I was too lazy. Not anymore folks! Sarah doesn’t settle! I am now super critical of everything I am considering buying and always try things on at the store first (unless I am lugging around a baby, then I might make an exception so I can get out of the store faster). If I don’t really love it, I don’t buy it. If I buy online and don’t like it, it gets returned. Even if I have to pay the return shipping, it goes back rather than staying in my house haunting me with the ghost of a purchase I should have never made. This is probably not that revolutionary for the average person, but let me tell you, it is for me!
We are in the process of re-doing our living room, which is something I have wanted to do since we moved into our house. We had third-hand couches of mine from college and a couch and tables from Ben’s bachelor days and I was so ready for big-kid furniture. But I am so glad that this really started after I read this book! We now have new couches and a beautiful chair and are in the process of getting new tables. I’m not stuck worrying if the new stuff will spark joy, but it’s been a great guiding principle and told me that it’s ok to go back to World Market for the fifth time to look at lamps because one day I really will find the perfect lamp and then this will be me:
Like I said, this may not be ground-breaking, but it really has been for me and based on the success of the book, I would say it has been for a lot of people. So I highly recommend it! I would loan you mine, but I already loaned it out to a friend so she can change her life too ;)
I would love to hear if you have tried this, or if my post has inspired you to try it. I will gladly share in your portion of garage sale profits but take zero responsibility for any arguments this causes in your marriage! Actually, maybe use that money for counseling when you realize you accidentally married a secret hoarder who says it’s called “keeping memories”. Riiiiiiight :)