Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Decluttering Journey

In Mommyland, I spend a lot of time picking up after (and with!) everyone in my family and cleaning. I would much rather spend my time hanging out with my family or working on my business projects than cleaning, but if my house is a mess, my brain feels cluttered.

It's a tiring, endless job.

I've tried Flylady's program to help my house out.

I've done the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Twice. Last year I got rid of over 200 bags (no, we're not hoarders), and this year my goal was to get rid of 2015 items, and that has long been passed.

Nothing I've done has helped me keep my house feeling picked up or less cluttered for the long term.

And then my dear friend introduced me to a new and popular method of decluttering called the KonMari method. I'd heard about it from a couple Facebook groups I'm part of, but never looked into it. My friend and her husband started the process of going through their things based on this method, and although they just did a major downsize a couple years ago, they were finding so many things to get rid of. I had to know more (I'm an organizing nerd), and began researching it.



I won't get into all of the details about this particular method, but it was started by a woman named Marie Kondo, a professional organizer living in Japan. Her method is drastically different from any other method I've heard of or tried. Many of the other methods say to declutter an item or an area (like a drawer or closet) a day, flip your hangers around in your closet so you know what you wear, or just declutter 15 minutes a day until it's all done. Kondo's method is much bigger and all at once. She has you do all of your clothes at once, then do all of your books at once, then go on to papers, etc. By doing this, you'll snowball your decluttering, gaining momentum along the way, and will have a fully decluttered and tidy house in about 6 months.

Crazy, right?

But her trick is this: if it sparks joy, keep it. If not, out it goes.

The trick makes sense, and seems simple enough.

My disclaimer: I do not agree with everything Kondo says or all of her beliefs. She wants you to "talk" to your belongings, like saying goodbye or thank you to them when putting them away or throwing them out. Now, I do talk to some inanimate objects, but for me, this was over the top different. I'm not saying she's wrong, but it was hard for me to get through the book at times.

So far in our family's KonMari journey my husband and I have both done our clothes and most of our books. I've also done some other areas, like the plastics cupboard in the kitchen or the kid's cubby for art supplies and school work in the dining room. I'll probably show some befores and afters in their own blog posts as I don't want to stretch this post on forever. I think our total is up to 5 bags of garbage, 7 1/2 bags of donations, and a recycling box full of papers....and we had just gone through these areas not that long ago!

But my question is: Is it working? Is this finally going to help my home stay cleaner?

And so far, my answer is YES.

How do I know?

This week has been very busy for us, with volunteering at church doing some painting, meetings for both my husband and I, a day off from school for everyone for Veteran's Day, and me being sick today.

But if you were to come over now, you'd think it was my cleaning day. The coffee table is clear, the floor is toy free, the kitchen counters are clear, and no papers or art supplies are scattered all over my dining room floor. And if things do look messy, it's a fraction of the time to clean it up.

We're all happier. We can find things easier, and it's easier to put things away now.

My husband and I now say "KonMari all the things!!!!" when we've found an area that's messy or needs some work:

A fun meme I found online

We're a long way from being done, but are really enjoying the progress so far. I can't wait to show you the progress we've made, and even the kids are getting excited about it. But we'll see how long that lasts ;)


What is your favorite decluttering tip? Do you have a method or system that you like to follow? 

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