Once upon a time in 2015 I read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I loved the concept, but found it to be a pretty cold read and didn’t really connect with the author. Fast forward to a few months ago when I saw the trailer for the Netflix Original Series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” It only took one episode for everything to click. I finally felt like I could view Marie not as a cold, heartless woman asking us to trash all of our greatest, most prized possessions. The show really helped humanize the whole tidying process. I now look at Marie more as a friend who has seen the other side and knows how much easier and more fulfilling life can be without an endless stream of junk cluttering both my home and mind. Marie Kondo is my spirit animal.
I began my KonMari journey with the pantry. I have never kept an impeccably organized pantry, but it was never completely terrible. Selfishly I started here because I wanted to try out Target’s new Made by Design kitchen organization product line. Oh, the irony of purchasing a gazillion items in order to “KonMari” my pantry. I digress. The process was fairly straightforward and I liked the results.
I wanted to continue on, so I decided my dresser would be next on the list. I’ll admit – at first I thought I would *hate* the whole new folding schtick. How would I be able to keep up with it? And if I liked the folding method, would it even be feasible to implement for the kids’ clothes? There are simply too many humans living in this house to keep up with one more thing.
It took about two weeks when all was said and done, but with the help of Jake, I was able to get through all of the kids’ clothes. When I say “all,” I mean all of the kids’ dressers PLUS our extensive storage system of Rubbermaid containers in the attic. Over the span of 13 days we donated nearly 800 children’s clothing items to our local Goodwill. It took five separate trips. It was rough. And I wasn’t sure we would survive, but here we are.
Sidenote: I knew I needed a better way to track charitable donations for tax purposes, especially when I planned to donate that many items of clothing to Goodwill. After some quick research back in January, I found the totally free ItsDeductible app from the makers of TurboTax and I highly recommend checking it out! This app has dramatically changed how I record non-cash charitable deductions.
As with the pantry reorganization, clearing out our clothes motivated me to continue in my KonMari quest. Over the next few weeks I managed to keep up my streak and sold, gave away, and trashed strollers, car seats, diaper bags, baby gear, and purses with the help of some private Facebook groups and Craigslist. I stayed away from the more emotionally charged items (here’s looking at you, Netto CUB Crib and matching changing table still sitting in the attic) and stuck to clearing out the things that would make me happy if I knew they were actually being used.
The challenge at this point is to continue looking for opportunities to purge. It is far too easy for me to simply congratulate myself on a job well done, put a lovely checkmark next to “declutter,” and move on. But the only way the KonMari method works is if I commit to tidying every day, giving away all of the things we do not consistently use. Fingers crossed I can keep it up. Life is infinitely better with less…I just need to figure out how to remind myself of this when the bullseye comes calling.