If you’re like me, you read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it CHANGED YOUR LIFE! If not, do yourself a favor and read the book. Trying to tidy up feels like a losing battle most days, but Marie Kondo has a beautiful new perspective on it.
I’m always fighting an uphill battle when it comes to stuff.
Let’s face it – Americans have too much stuff. My husband’s parents and my parents have houses full of stuff. Because of this, I’ve developed extreme anxiety about having too much stuff myself. I want so badly to be a minimalist, but I’m also not rich so I can’t just throw things away and buy them when I need them again. So where is that happy medium? That is where Marie Kondo comes in. Sort of.
In the book, Marie breaks down tidying up into categories. She has you start with clothes because it’s easy. You’re suppose to throw all your clothes in a pile and go through them. If an item of clothing sparks joy, you keep it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s out.
I know – as a parent, who has time to throw ALL the clothes in a pile?
I go through my clothes whenever I can (like during nap time), but throwing them all into a pile is a bit much for me. However, I do find time to look through my clothes and ask myself if the item sparks joy. And if it doesn’t, it has to go. Granted, I keep things that may work as maternity clothes for a future baby, and I keep things in the hope that I will fit into them again after said baby. But occasionally, Marie Kondo gets through to me and I realize I will want new clothes when the time comes.
Then I move on to our towels. We received really nice towels for our wedding, and I absolutely love them. They do spark joy in me, but are they practical? Not really. Do the other dingy towels in our cabinet spark joy? Not really. But do those dingy, old towels dry off my dog when he rolls in horse poop during a hike? They sure do! So perhaps this round, it’s function over form in regards to what stays and what goes.
And now I compile a donation bag.
Putting my clothes in a designated giveaway bag has helped me with the tidying up process. I place items to donate in there, and then I give myself a couple days before donating. This way, I’m sure that the article of clothing (or other item) doesn’t spark joy anymore. Then by the time I get to donating, I’m sure that these items are meant to be enjoyed by someone else.
Finally, let’s talk about socks.
Kondo likes to personify objects. You are to thank your purse after a long day and put it back in the closet. As much as I would love to do that, there’s no way I can empty the contents of my purse/diaper bag/book bag every day. It’s not going to happen, kinda like “fetch” isn’t going to happen. But what she says about socks – I can totally get behind.
I will often say, ‘It’s not good to ball up socks because the socks can’t rest this way.’ But what I mean by allowing the socks to rest, is the elastic will get stretched out over time and will wear out sooner if you roll socks into a ball.
You mean I don’t have to find my sock pairs when they come out of the dryer? I can just throw all my socks into a drawer? Yes, please. Free my socks!