Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Weekend with the KonMari Method

MORE MORE MORE. It's what our culture screams at us everywhere we turn. We have become convinced that we need the next best thing, the newest upgrade, and multiples of... well... everything. I have fallen prey to this too many times to count, and this weekend was the first time in a long time that I took action to reverse the problem. 

You may have heard of a popular little book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and now her companion book Spark Joy. I first saw Life-Changing last spring, flipping through it at Barnes & Noble over spring break. I took notes on my phone, made a mental list to go through my things when I got home, and then it slipped my mind.


Fast forward to last November when I spotted it at the local discount bookstore and decided to take the plunge. I flipped through it again, taking mental notes, and sending three bags to the local Goodwill the following week. However, it was not until last Friday that I decided to follow the rules and give my things an overhaul. I've been very convicted about both my spending habits and my accumulation of things, and it was time for stuff to GO.

I tracked my progress on Periscope at @baileyjrobert, so thank you to those of you who followed along! Pardon the messy apartment but hey, talk about a slice of real life, right? You can also catch the recap on katch.me/baileyjrobert if you missed it :)

Once you get through the who, what, and why of the KonMari method (named after author Marie Kondo), the first area to tackle is clothing. I have to admit I cringed a little when I first started.

Step 1: Bring ALL of the clothes out and lay them on the floor. ALL. OF. THEM.

So that's what I did. Every sock, shoe, costume, sweater, you name it, all of it went on the floor in my living room. I divided them into piles by type for easier navigation, but Y'ALL. It was a hot mess and it felt oh so good! Every drawer emptied, every bag unpacked, every hanger in a pile by the bathroom. All of the clothing articles I owned found their way to my living room, and not all of them found their way back to the closet. 

While the KonMari method wants you to simply discard everything, I had three options: to donate, to sell, to trash. Some things simply weren't worth even donating, from over use or wear and tear, so those got tossed. Others were gently used and still in style so those have gone into a pile for an Instagram sale soon to come (once Mom goes through it of course!). Lastly, the donate piles were by far the most full, with three 33 gallon trash bags FULL. 

I'll spare you the pictures of the bags and piles. If you've seen one trash bag you've seen them all ;)

At first, sorting felt overwhelming, but I what I really appreciated was the guide Marie Kondo gives and the question she has you ask. When confronting an item, especially one that is not an automatic YES or NO, simply ask "Does this spark joy?"

I had trouble being really indecisive about some items, so into the KEEP pile they went. But then when I would put items back on a hanger, I would ask myself again, "Is this worth keeping? Does this spark joy? Why am I keeping this?" 

Sometimes, lets be honest, clothes have sentimental value or we feel guilty getting rid of what was a gift. However each item serves a different purpose, and as the book put it, some items' purposes are for us to let them go. Freeeeeeeedom!  

So far, I have only tackled clothing and toiletries, putting my bathroom/closet in order. Everything has  a place and is in its place, all of my clothes have room to breathe and hang on the top rack (such a feat!), and I feel lighter already. Making moves to simplify life and get rid of the excess is going to be a game changer.

Now to keep myself from bringing more in ;) But The Contentment Challenge Round... two three four whatever.... is another post for another day.

Have you read either of these or tried the KonMari method?
How did it work for you? 
In what ways are you simplifying life this year?

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