Friday, December 5, 2014

The Magic of Decluttering

I came across a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and since I had all of Thanksgiving week off work, I decided it was a good time to try her techniques.  She is definitely more minimalist than I am, but her ruthlessness in getting rid of things that really aren't serving you any longer or bringing you joy is freeing.  She recommends you start with clothes, and one of the things she suggests that I had never done before was collect ALL your clothes from around your house and put them all in one place as you begin sorting. Typically I had approached clothes-culling by clearing out one drawer or closet at a time, but this time I gave myself an entire day and heaved all the clothes from the front coat closet to two different chests and the closet onto the bed, and looked at each piece with a critical eye.  Four bags to the Goodwill and one bag to the trash later, the clothes I truly wear and love are neatly folded or hung, receiving the proper care they deserve.  (And it only took a morning to do, not an entire day.)

After clothes, she recommends tackling books.  Again you are supposed to put all of your books in your entire house in one place.  That wasn't going to happen for me.  I live in a multi-level house with bookcases in every room.  So I first weeded out all the books in each bookcase to make the book collections more manageable.  Next I'm going to take a photo of each bookshelf so I can study what's left and decide if I need two books on the same topic when one will do nicely.  To my surprise, I had two copies of some books as it was -- one I purchased for myself and then another was gifted to me.  I had planned to pass on the extra copy but never did, so those extra copies have now found a new home.

After finishing with books, we tackle papers, then miscellaneous (gadgets, kitchen tools, etc., etc. -- this category sounds much too broad to me, and one that will need to be tackled room by room!), and lastly sentimental objects.  So this weekend, once I finish with photographing the bookcases and getting rid of the extra books, I hope to start in with papers.  However, I have a busy weekend coming up -- a special Christmas luncheon tomorrow, gifts to finish making, gifts to wrap and prepare for long distance mailing, and cards to address.  I love Christmas and all these busy little tasks that go with it!
Although it may seem like a crazy time for me to start the decluttering projects, in the midst of the holiday season, it is also a time when I have a extra time off work and I'm very home-focused so it makes sense to me. Let me know if you have tried Kondo's techniques.

Ash and Lys were home for a few days over Thanksgiving.  We put up the Christmas tree and decorated the tree and most of the house.  I still need to decorate my family room mantle this weekend and then it will be all set!  Merry Christmas!  


  1. I spent yesterday pulling everything out of my closet and drawers, trying on, and bagging the 'too bigs' (YEH!!!) to go to a resale shop. I'm also culling Christmas decorations as I put them out this year.

    1. That's great, Teri! Good idea about culling the Christmas decorations at the beginning, too!