The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: part 2

To recap on my last post: I had decided to give The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying a whirl. I mean, why not? I had an interview for a dream job coming up and I thought I could do with a bit of magic.  Also, it’s always good to have something to do whilst you’re procrastinating. Plus, THIS is what my dressing table looked like:

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Kondo’s method involves getting rid of everything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’. Everything. I decided to apply common sense to this: I can’t say that toilet paper ‘sparks joy’ but it is pretty essential. Because getting rid of things is difficult for many people, Kondo recommends going category-by-category, starting with clothes, then books, then random stuff, then papers and memorabilia.

As someone who has moved house nearly every year for the past decade, I thought I had become pretty minimalist. I’m not the kind of girl who ~loves to shop~.  So imagine my surprise when I’d filled three bin-bags with clothes that I just didn’t like anymore.

I said goodbye to some things that had served their purpose: a flammable Princess Ana from Frozen dress I wore to a hen party. Outfits that made more sense two years ago.

There were some clothes that I’d been holding on to for a while for emotional reasons: pajamas bought for me by my mother. I asked for some for Christmas ten years ago and she obliged in typical ‘My mum’ excessive style by getting me four sets of them, plus a dressing gown and more slipper socks than a small branch of M&S. Although the PJs are worn out now, I haven’t wanted to let go of them because my mum died three and a half years ago and it felt too much like throwing away the last act of love from her I have left. But four pairs of worn-out PJs won’t bring her back, so they had to go. I still have the dressing gown. I’ll probably never throw that away.

After I’d discarded everything, it was time to fold the few clothes I actually had left. Marie Kondo has a special method: forget folding everything and putting it in vertical piles. It’s ALL about folding things so you can see them all at once in drawers. Other people have videos that explain this better than I can in words.

Next was papers. This is too dull to talk about. Books and random stuff: likewise. Apart from the fact I learned that it IS possible to have too many bottles of nail varnish. But look at my dressing table now! IMG_2662

 

So: does The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying live up to its promise?

Firstly: Marie Kondo swears that by using her method, you will never have to tidy again. This sounds like your typical self-help ridiculous promise that borders on being an actual lie, but the strange thing is: she is mostly right. It is one of those things that sounds incredibly obvious, but if you don’t have tons of crap, and if everything you own has a place, then it’s not that hard to be tidy and stay tidy. It’s been a month since I had the clear out now and my flat is 99% as tidy as it was on the day I finished.

Secondly: Going through the process does help you reassess your relationship with ‘stuff’. If you are lucky enough to either love or need everything you possess, that’s a great position to be in. I’m not sure if it’s life-changing, but it has definitely made me a little bit happier.

Thirdly: I’m not sure if it’s magical, but I did get the dream job. I’m not giving Marie Kondo any of the credit, but I will say that clearing out my flat definitely encouraged me to think clearly and cut out superfluous thoughts, which didn’t hurt.

So far, I’ve taken on regimes designed to improve my finances, my diet, and my home. What should I try next? Any life-changing ideas appreciated – please leave me a comment!

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

Over the summer, I made some big decisions about my life. I signed up for a Masters. I resigned from my job. I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go and how I wanted to live.

The only problem was that in the process of cleaning up my life, cleaning up my flat had fallen down my list of priorities. Tidiness was not a natural habit of mine. Clutter seemed to follow me around.

Time to try a new life-improving regime. I knew just the one: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s one of 2015’s big self-help successes. It’s been in Amazon’s best-sellers for months now. Seems like I’m not the only one out there who isn’t naturally tidy.

Kondo’s angle goes beyond ‘a tidy home is good to have’. She believes that the process of tidying is transformational,  changing YOU as a person. ‘You will feel more confident, become more successful, and be motivated to create the life you want.’

If you don’t believe her, look at the testimonials from clients! Some seem more realistic than others.

‘I finally succeeded in losing three kilos.’ – very feasible, if you imagine that the tidying process involved throwing away all of your food, and potentially your fridge and oven too.

‘Someone I have been wanting to get in touch with recently contacted me’ – less feasible, unless the tidying involved getting rid of your writing paper by writing that person a letter and disposing of it in a postbox.

Obviously, I was skeptical about the concept of tidying bringing benefits that extended beyond just it being nice to have  an uncluttered home. But in the interests of properly testing this: I had a big, important job interview coming up. One that I was very keen on. Why not see whether the tidying magic would extend to getting me a dream job?

For those interested in the tidying method, here are the core components:

  • Have a big clear-out and do as much as you can at once – don’t do it bit by bit.
  • Touch every item you own and ask if it ‘sparks joy’. If you don’t love it, throw it away.
  • Once you’ve decluttered, that’s the time to find a space for everything.
  • Fold your clothes in the Konmari way. Forget about your clothes sitting in piles in your drawers: they should sit in rows where you can see everything. How to do the folding is best explained by YouTube.

So: how did I get on? Did it change my life? Did I get the job?!!! I’ll save that for my next post. Don’t want to miss it? Subscribe via email.

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