Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

If you saw the tittle and said, "Uh oh, here we go again.... another person jumping on the 'get rid of everything' minimalist bandwagon." you are absolutely right.

I just read this book and it completely spoke to my soul.  Well parts of it.  Parts of it I think she is a bit extreme or even crazy.  But parts of it literally made my heart sing.  I realize every summer how much I hate stuff A. When I have to move it. (this is the first time in gosh I don't even know, 8 years? that I haven't moved in the Spring/Summer) B. Every summer when we go on our adventures we try and limit what we are going to take.  Every time I get home from such an adventure, last year being the most extreme when I only had less than 1 backpack full of clothes, that I don't need a lot of stuff.  I don't like a lot of stuff.

The whole idea of the book, in case anyone hasn't heard of the book and the Marie Kondo method, is the idea that things bring us down more that make we think.  To de-clutter our lives we should visualize what we want our surroundings to look like, then go through each and every thing we own.  Hold it, feel it, and decide if it brings us joy.  If it does, keep it, if it doesn't, get rid of it.  And then and only when you have gone through every single thing, find a place for it.

This is something that my mom taught me at an early age, "Everything must have a place , if it doesn't have a place then get rid of it."

So this blogpost is going to be the on going journey for me to de-clutter my life.  Two things will make this difficult and I don't she fully addresses this in the book.  1. My husband loves stuff.  And it is not worth putting a wrinkle in my marriage to touch his stuff. (She suggests that decluttering is contagious and that he'll start doing it to if I do my stuff.  Yeah right.  That idea doesn't stand a chance.)  2. I have a child and I am hoping to have more children.  So I need a lot of stuff.

But I am going to try to do all of this with any of "my" stuff.  So I am going to document this.

That being said there is one area that I completely disagree with her on.  Personal history items.  She says to throw away all letters, pictures, and such.  Although I am sure after my mom's experience of cleaning out my grandparents 5,000 square feet house, she'd probably agree more than disagree with this idea. But I know she has learned and appreciated her mother in different ways by going through and reading all the letters my grandma kept.  I am sad about the fact that I feel like so much personal history has been lost in our digital world.  But that's a blogpost for another day.

So like I said, I am going to get started.  I am going to start with my clothes.  Now once again, here lies another problem that she doesn't address.  Maternity clothes. I would hope they don't bring anyone real joy... No one loves being the size of a whale.  But obviously they are necessary.  And postpartum clothes are also necessary. Ugh.

But here we go......... I will be documenting the whole process.  The pile of clothes.  The keep pile.  The give away pile.  Wish me luck.

The idea is to put every single item you have of one category, in my case clothes, in one big pile.

She said don't listen to music, don't want tv, just go through each item and decide if it makes you feel joy.  (Once again sounds kinda hocus pocus) but I was shocked how I had feelings about each item.  Some items, even things that I use or wear very often, I have very negative feelings about.  So I did it.  I got rid of it.  Even my running shoes I had worn yesterday!  They are a half size too small and they make my feet hurt.  So even though I thought loved them every time I wear them I remember that I hate them.  So I just got rid of them!

I tried listening to music at first but I ended up turning it off quite quickly because it really did distract me.  Also something I actually started doing that I also thought was completely hocus pocus.... was items that were hard to part with, I thanked them for their service.  I know.  Weird.  But it worked.  Like my old Disneyland shoes?  Gone.

This is when I was almost finished.  The pink tote was maternity clothes, the pile on the right is the get rid of pile, and the pile on the left is the keeper pile.  (The clothes on the couch were maybes.  Most eventually ended up in the get rid of pile)

Here is the get rid of pile in the end.
6 super heavy garbage bags filled. (Forgot to take a picture)

And then I did the craziest thing.  When Jason finished his 8 hours of studying for the day, I made him help me load all of them into the car and we took it to the closest thrift story. I felt anxiety.  I felt guilty for not giving people I know the opportunity to have them first.  I felt guilt for not trying to sell some of the items somewhere.  I don't even want to think about the hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of clothes in there.  I knew if I didn't follow through completely there was a chance of a backslide.

So we did it.  We took all 6 garbage bags filled to the thrift store and I feel great.

Here's what I kept.

I know I know, I wish I had a before decluttering picture too.  I probably got rid of 30 shirts, 15 pairs of shoes, 5 dresses/skirts, and 5 pairs of pants.

I then went on to my "bathroom" stuff.  Make up, hair products, lotions, and such.  Half used products I hate, lipsticks from 2002, even jewelry that I never wear.  (Once again I felt guilty about throwing it all away but I knew I had to get rid of it today)

Once again, it felt great.

Up next?  Books, DVDs, and other things in our living space.

Then the kitchen.....

Wish me luck!


Chelsea said...

I read her book too but felt, like you did, that it was somewhat worthless when you have a family. Although being good about decluttering my personal stuff will hopefully leave by example for my kids...

GrayMatterAnxiety said...

This is a nice post and I think I'm going to try it. It was interesting what you said about not listening to music or watching TV, when I think of de-cluttering my life I always think about having something on in the background so I will definitely give this a go maybe even give the book a read. Thanks

Caralee said...

Good for you! That looks like so much fun! I think my closet is due for another one! I LOVE to declutter and organize, but my hubby also really likes stuff so I quickly learned I have to be ok with him having his"shelves/closets" that I won't touch, even if they do give me a little anxiety! :)