Tag Archive | cleaning house

Putting My ‘Tidying’ Hat Back On

Has it really been 10 months since I went on a tidying hiatus and 8 months since I had a small post about the whole process? My goodness! Time to dust off the tidying hat and get back on the train.

A little over a year ago I read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. It completely changed how I look at tidying and keeping house. I have not, however, ‘completed’ her course in getting my own house in order. After making great progress last year, I hit burn out in addition to simply too many other things going on in my life that demanded attention. (That’s only partially an excuse. It’s also at least somewhat true.) You can click on the “Quest to Tidy” link to the right, listed under “Recurring Segments,” if you want to catch up on all of the posts written so far.

woman with hat reading a book

How I imagine I’ll spend time when my life is tidied up…

To get myself back in the mindset for this summer project (and probably fall and winter too…) I have been rereading Marie Kondo’s first book as well as starting in on her second: “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up”.

“So, let me ask you point-blank: Are you committed to completing the once-in-a-lifetime special event of tidying up?”
– Marie Kondo, “Spark Joy”

Probably not quite as committed as she’d like me to be were I one of her clients, and I already know from reading her first book that there are a few things she does I simply will not do (such as pare my book collection down to a single shelf or two of favorites), but I saw the progress I made last year and I know that if I’m a little bit hard on myself and don’t completely give up, I can certainly make a lot more.

Expect many more posts to come (including a spin-off mini-series on organizing your digital life, something Marie Kondo also inspired me to do), but for now I’ll leave you with this very important quote from the brilliant lady herself. It’s good to think on before you roll up your sleeves and take on the seemingly-giant task of tidying.

“The responsibility for mess and clutter lies 100 percent with the individual. Things do not multiply of their own accord, but only if you buy them or receive them from someone else. Clutter accumulates when you fail to return objects to their designated place. If a room becomes cluttered “before you know it,” it is entirely your own doing. In other words, tidying up means confronting yourself. 

In contrast, dirt does accumulate of its own accord. It is a law of nature that dust and dirt pile up. Therefore, cleaning means confronting nature.”
– Marie Kondo, “Spark Joy”

 

*Image taken from Pixabay, creative commons license, user Pezibear

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The Quest to Tidy (Week One): Diving Into the Mountain

The KonMari method has a lot to say about cleaning house, but there are two things that struck me the most when reading:

1) Stop tidying room to room. It’s endless. Tidy by category.

2) If it doesn’t spark joy, throw it out.
— I would add in that those things which are absolutely necessary and frequently used that do not spark joy are allowable, because I feel confident that is what Marie meant anyway. My toothbrush does not particularly spark joy, but it does give me nice clean teeth, which… kind of… does… so I suppose at least the result sparks joy? Now that I think about it, all of my ‘necessaries’ that don’t spark joy DO something that DOES. So. Well. Darn. Spark joy. Period.

tidyingIn “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, Marie Kondo talks a lot about joy (and all the ways we clean in which joy is never even considered). This completely changed the way I looked at tidying my house. I will talk about this more throughout these posts.

The KonMari method also gives specific categories to tidy, and the order in which to do them. There are a few times I haven’t (and probably won’t, seeing as how I’m still in the middle of this project) follow this… but I will give my personal reasons for doing so when we hit those points.

I’ll be honest. After I read this book, I was surprisingly jazzed up to clean house. I figured it would encourage me a little. I had no idea how much. So I spent the better part of a week waiting for the weekend so I could tackle step one. (I don’t have as much time in the evenings, so my ‘weeks’ in this project are, for the most part, weekends.)

So why is week one titled “Diving Into the Mountain”? Continue reading