Inspired by the book “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, we have declared 2015 “The Year of the Cleanse.” Tidying Up in Hilton Head should only take a year or so (sigh) and we will keep you posted about it every month. Hopefully, we might inspire you tidy up, too.
The Year of the Cleanse
The book has been on the NY Times bestseller List for several weeks, so I thought “Why not?” I was hoping for inspiration for a New Year’s resolution – one we might actually stick to for 12 months. So far, three weeks into the new year, this is it! The book is short, sweet and to the point with a specific roadmap of how we can navigate “The Year of the Cleanse.”
Discarding Comes First
In the book, Marie states the obvious: “One reason so many of us never succeed at tidying up is because we have too much stuff.” Sad, but true. Combining our Ohio belongings with what we already had here meant TOO MUCH STUFF! Where to start? Discard first, then organize what’s left. Sounds easy enough.
Discard and Organize by Category, Not Areas
This is a new one for me. Usually I try to organize a closet or drawer and lose interest along the way. Marie says to organize by category and store all similar items in the same place. Using a couple of different closets for your clothes? Not allowed. Keeping your books all over the place. Forget about it. Marie says the reason we have too much stuff is because we don’t realize what we actually have. When like items are stored neatly and organized in one place, it makes all the difference in how we feel about our surroundings, and ourselves.
How to Discard
“Start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely.” The key to discarding is taking everything from one category and putting it all on the floor. You will be shocked to see the sheer volume and duplicates you have. Each item must then be picked up and decided upon: “Does this bring me joy?” If not, it’s outta here! If that sounds a little corny to you, make up your own version. The bottom line is, if you don’t love, get rid of it.
Do Not Start With Momentos
Starting with momentos will only derail your efforts. Now is not the time to sort through your pictures and knickknacks. Leave those items for last, when you have become a discarding machine. Marie suggests you start with clothing, then move on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally, things with sentimental value. She feels if you reduce what you own in this order, your work will proceed with surprising ease. Sounds simple enough.
Tidying Up In Hilton Head Every Month
Each month, we will keep you posted about “The Year of the Cleanse.” We did as she said and started with our clothing. I was guilty of using more than one closet. Luckily, she suggests you sort your clothes by category, so it hasn’t been too overwhelming, so far. Starting with tops and ending with shoes, we have learned many things along the way. Did you know folding your clothes is the best way to store most of them? I have always hung up most of my clothing, so that was a real change for me. It really does saves space. I will tell you all about it next month.
What does John think about all of this? Read his hilarious take on it here. If you have too much stuff, consider picking up a copy of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and declare, along with us, 2015 “The Year of The Cleanse!”