For the past few weeks, I’ve been in full blown spring cleaning mode. Everything from my wardrobe, my handbags, my car, my blog .. they’ve all been well and truly ‘spring cleaned’. I just love this time of year as the mornings and nights get lighter, the air is cleaner and flowers are blooming. A few weeks ago, I ordered a few books from Amazon and ordered The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Having seen it do the rounds on good old social media, I was curious to give it a read and find out for myself if it really was magic. Having finished the book a couple of weeks ago and put some of the things I’ve learned into practice, I thought I’d share my two cents on it.
Now a little disclosure from me is that I’m a pretty tidy person. I don’t like mess, I don’t find cleaning too mundane and as an ex PA, I’m a well-organised person. Although I don’t consider myself a hoarder, I do get emotionally attached to ridiculously stupid things that in reality, serve no purpose and I just don’t need. I don’t really think I have a clutter problem but .. I am attracted to the idea of living a minimalist life. So what is this book really all about and what did I learn?
The book is written by a lady called Marie Kondo who is ‘Japan’s Expert Declutterer’ – really. The book adapts the KonMari method to your home which in a nutshell, basically teaches you how to let go of things you don’t need, keep your home tidy and make the most of your space. It’s filled with advice and tips that are easy to follow and also, quite practical.
One of my favourite things about this book is how well it’s written. Marie has a very charming writing style and comes across like a slightly bonkers friend. Her advice is very in depth, her steps are easy to follow and while most are common sense, they aren’t completely and utterly ridiculous .. actually easy to follow. She doesn’t dress up that it’s easy to declutter for some people and her writing shows a level of compassion for her readers who might find it a difficult process. It makes you warm to the idea of giving all her tips a shot, rather than just dismissing it as ‘one of those’ self-help books.
So after reading and giving some of the steps a try, how did I get on?
The main philosophy is about only keeping items which spark joy and I applied this to my wardrobe first and foremost because that’s probably my problem area from a hoarding perspective. As much as I normally harp on about ‘loving all my clothes’, the reality was there were only a few items in there that were of sentimental value. My wardrobe is now about a quarter of the size with all statement pieces/items that are practical and I’ve managed to make some dough by selling the items I planned to toss on eBay – bonus. Next, I tackled my drawers and was pretty surprised at how cluttered they were with absolute rubbish. Next on the hit list was the kitchen cupboards full of ingredients I’ve bought recipes I only made once and don’t actually need, Tupperware without lids to be found etc. My car was next on the list and I had 8 MAGAZINES from 2014 in my boot .. says it all. My bathroom was probably the worst out of everything; countless body scrubs, shower gels, old bits of makeup I truly had no intention of ever using – I had enough to do Project Pan for the next 5 years!
Doing this didn’t happen overnight. I took one room at a time and honestly, I do feel so much better now I’ve done it. I didn’t realise how much rubbish I had and how much I really could maximise my space. Even little things like getting ready and finding something to wear or getting something I need from the kitchen cupboard have been simplified now that I’m not swamped with things I do not need. Of course, this book won’t be for everyone. I bet there are some of you reading this thinking “pfft, that’s easy” or “why would you even need this book in the first place?” but it doesn’t matter how tidy you are or how much you think you are, it’s more about changing your mindset and approach to your possessions. I’ve since given a friend a borrow of this and they are looking forward to putting it all into practice.
Have you read this book or are you intrigued too? Are you a hoarder or do you hate clutter? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts below or you can tweet/instagram me at @whatamydid