If you are struggling with organization, clutter, and keeping your house clean… do I have the book for you! Several weeks ago, I was browsing on my Nook and I found the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It is also known as the KonMari method. Since I have spent hundreds of dollars on decluttering and organizing books and it very obviously didn’t work I was very, very skeptical. I’ve read/done them all: Fly Lady, Motivated Moms, Side Tracked Home Executives, I know How She Does It, Managers of Their Homes, Managers of Their Chores, The Clutter Diet, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc. They required complicated systems and schedules, and they really didn’t address the core issues: the clutter. (Or, more importantly, why we have the clutter to begin with.) Most decuttering and organizing books are done by professional organizers and I didn’t feel like their systems worked with my big family. They have no clue what is takes to run a household of 8. I have 6 active kids, homeschool four, manage my daughter’s autism therapy, and I still have two kids under four. Did I mention I also have ADD and I am the daughter of a hoarder? This book is different. I’m telling you people… if this book helped me… it can help ANYONE! I wish my mom had Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo focuses on purging. It tells you exactly how to do it and in what order. It is simple and makes perfect sense: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), then mementos. It also is also very specific about what you keep. You are supposed to handle every item and ask yourself: “Does this spark joy?” I got rid of a ton of things that were practical but not beautiful. Getting rid of all the things that took up room but I wasn’t in love with actually got me excited. It made room for things I love and love doing. They have served their purpose and its time to let somebody else enjoy it.
We tweaked the formula for practical reasons: we still have a toddler and baby in our bed. So we did August and Charlie’s room first. Do you know why? Because his room was a cluttered mess. He hated being in there and was constantly pestering everybody else because he had no place to play. The amount of stuff we took out of what is now his “playroom” was cringe-worthy. The photos I took aren’t even a good indicator. Because you can’t see all of the items on the floor. I had a garbage bag of BROKEN TOYS (you can see it in the top right of my photo collage). His room is cleared out and waiting to be decorated. He loves it. I also couldn’t believe the amount of stuff I thought I needed but I already had it. It was a mess. Right now, his playroom is “function before fashion.” That will change soon. Purge first, THEN you figure out what you need for storage.
It’s getting ready to get cold in Oklahoma. August and Charleston had no clothes… I thought. I never had any idea what we had and then I would buy more. Which just added to the clutter. In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she suggests doing all of the clothes at once. We don’t have a room big enough to sort our clothes all at the same time. And so, that being said, I decided on something a little more radical. I knew that shoving the clothes in the attic or gradually purging would only sabotage me. So I put it in my dining room so that it would make us crazy and we would get it done. So far, its been effective (insert evil laugh here). Chris has a truck, so the Goodwill and Catholic Charities items are all him, and the baby clothes are getting sorted and consigned. There is also a 5 year gap between Alex and Landon, so if it doesn’t fit Alex, it’s getting donated as well.
When I told Chris about the book I knew he was doubtful. Just look at the list above. He has seen me get excited and then lose steam before. This time, it’s different. We are both so motivated to get all of the junk and clutter out of our house. We want to live in a home that is beautiful, clean, and organized. Our kids are so excited. Their rooms are getting cleared out and we are making a personalized space for them. This book literally has changed our life.
I started this blog to document the transformation of our home. I couldn’t get any projects done. Every room was so filled with clutter that we spent most of our days just managing stuff. We’ve had a housekeeper for years combat it. All she did was just clean and give the illusion stuff was organized. It wasn’t. I was frustrated and grumpy. I also had no time for myself or a creative outlets. Until I read Marie Kondo’s book.