If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo before, she’s basically my new favourite person. She is a Japanese organising consultant which I didn’t even know was something that existed prior to watching her new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She has previously written four books containing tons of organisation tips and has become a bit of an online sensation. Thousands of people all over the globe have been following her ‘KonMari’ method to tidy up their homes and I am no exception.
I live in a house share so the only spaces I live in that aren’t communal are my bedroom and en-suite bathroom. After just one episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I was itching to attack my own living space and put it in proper order. I was actually shocked at the amount of clutter I had managed to accumulate in one room and I couldn’t wait to feel a little bit more organised. Tidying my room is something I always tell myself I need to do but I allow myself to get lazy with it to the point it irritates me. Marie definitely follows the idea that a happy home equals a happy soul and I was ready for mine to feel cleansed.
Have A Vision or Purpose In Mind
This is an especially important tip if you’re anything like me and find it hard to motivate yourself to actually tidy up. I’m forever telling myself it needs to be done and then procrastinating for weeks on end. Marie always tells her clients to have a vision set in your mind of what you want to have achieved by the end of your tidying session. One example that was featured on the TV series was a family who were expecting a baby; they wanted to make room for their newborn child and have an organised home to bring them up in.
It’ll likely be a good few years yet before I need to think about having room for a baby but I did have my own vision in mind. I go through a bit of a vicious cycle in my mind where I feel anxious so I don’t keep my room tidy because I’m putting it off, which in turn makes me feel more anxious and takes a toll on my mental health. There are so many things in life that bring me anxiety so I really wanted my living space to be one less thing to trigger it. I envisioned me having a comfortable and tidy space to come home to so however I’m feeling that day, I can feel like I have a safe space. Having this to focus on and work towards really helped to get me out of that cycle I was talking about.
Your Aim Is Not To Get Rid
Marie has spoken about many experiences with her own tidying and referred to one particular time that sparked my interest. She said that when she worked in a book store, she became so obsessed with wanting to throw things away that she ended up having a nervous breakdown. This is when she came to the realisation that tidying up shouldn’t be about trying to get rid of things but rather finding things to keep. She always encourages her clients to identify the things that “spark joy”. It’s not necessarily important to throw out as much as possible but rather have a newfound appreciation for what you do have, parting only with items that you feel do not serve you anymore.
This tip particularly helped me when it came to sorting through all of my books; there was a time when I would buy so many new books and tell myself that I was going to read them all, only to never find time for them and leave them to gather dust on the shelves. I’m not a very big reader but it’s always something that I wish I could make more time for. Instead of throwing all of these books out, I went through each individual book and chose specific ones that I really want my future self to make time to read. I felt way less overwhelmed afterwards, feeling a little more like I can accomplish reading these books in my own time rather than being flooded by things I will never realistically read. Plus, I will be donating my unwanted books to charity so it brings me comfort to know that someone else can make good use of them.
All The Storage Boxes
The underneath of my bed was probably my biggest problem area before I started tidying. If I didn’t know where to put something, it would get shoved under there and forgotten about rather than being assigned a proper place. I was missing out on such a huge place to use as storage by using it as a dumping ground instead so I wanted to give it some function. I bought some under-bed storage boxes from George so that I could sort my belongings into categories, another thing that Marie suggests to do. These boxes are great for storing bulky items that take up too much space in your wardrobe and drawers; I assigned one box for bedding, one for coats and jumpers and another for miscellaneous items. I couldn’t believe the difference that it actually made to my bedroom as a whole just by having my under-bed contents in boxes. It makes me feel so much more at ease knowing where everything is rather than having to army-crawl under my bed to find anything.
Marie Kondo has proven that absolutely any garment can be folded into a neat rectangle that can be stored upwards for easy-to-find purposes. She folds everything from bed sheets to knickers and socks into these rectangles which I thought was a little excessive at first but it honestly helps you find everything so much quicker. It also looks so aesthetically pleasing when you open your drawers and everything is lined up in an orderly fashion. If you’re one of those people that constantly has to pull everything out in order to find one thing, you definitely need to follow Marie’s folding method as it will make your life so much easier. Marie also reckons that this helps your clothes to crease less as they’re not being weighed down by other garments, if this is true then I’m definitely a fan as I despise ironing. If you’d like to know how to fold each type of item then Reader’s Digest has compiled them all into one easy-to-follow post.
Keep It Minimal
“Mess encourages mess.” I’m not sure who originally said this but I’ve heard it often from family members and work colleagues. It’s so completely true; once you start leaving a couple of things lying around, they somehow end up turning into a room full of clutter before your very eyes. Before my bedroom clear-out I was such a hoarder of little random bits of clutter and I felt the need to display it all. I’d have so many little bits on my shelves and on top of my drawers that they’d end up getting overcrowded. Marie believes that surrounding yourself with bits of useless clutter can actually clutter your mind as there’s so many things around the room to focus on.
Once I had stripped all of my shelves bare, I decided that I wanted only the essentials put back on them. I got a small box and put any memorable items into it so that I can look back on them – again, it doesn’t mean you have to throw keepsakes away but rather give them a home. One of my hot spots for clutter was my bathroom sink; I had so many different skincare bits, dental care products and other random items that everything was almost falling off. If everything is constantly out on display, it can quickly start to feel overwhelming. It’s so much easier to separate these items into categories just as I had done with my under-bed collection, then store them away for easy access.
Do you have any organisation tips that you live by?