Jamberry Nail wraps are great, but having tidy living space makes me feel like I’m winning at life.
And on the other hand, nothing dampens my mood, creativity, and (lets be real) my ability to be a nice person, faster than living in chaos. Just ask my husband… when the counters and table surfaces are covered in junk for too long, I am noticeably less charitable.
So last weekend I tried something gutsy. In an effort to win at life, I tried the Marie Kondo tidying method. Ever heard of it? Marie Kondo is a Japanese tidying consultant who boasts a 3 month wait list of people waiting for her help. Because of the high demand, she wrote a book, which quickly became a best-seller. Her method is pretty extreme, but magnetic as well. She only wants you to keep items that ‘spark joy’ for you.
Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Throw all your clothes on the floor (all of them).
With vigor, I took all of my clothes and threw them on the ground in the living room. When I say all, I mean ALL. She says you can’t leave anything out. Old prom dresses. Jackets. Honeymoon lingerie. Pants, shirts, dresses, etc.
Be amazed. You never know how much you own until you throw it all on the floor.
Step 2: Pick up each item of clothing individually and ask yourself, “does this item spark joy”? If it doesn’t, discard it.
This is when the feeling of ‘overwhelmed’ entered the scene. I just made a huge mess. Did I have the energy to even put all this back up, if I abandoned ship? Throwing it all the ground was the easy part. So, I coped by sitting on the couch and surfing the web, which made this
little project last hours longer than it should have. However, I bet this overwhelmed paralysis is normal, so if you are going to try it, budget in 2-3 extra hours for procrastination.
What does it even mean for pants to spark joy? It started getting easy when I could bounce ideas off my husband.
“Wes, I like these pants, but they stress me out because they fade blue ink onto my hands throughout the day”
“Jess. You just said they stress you out. That’s not joy, toss them out.”
Soon enough, I was on a roll, tossing things out, and sorting them into discard piles. If it was worn and old, it went to goodwill. If it was a non-joy-sparking but brand name item, I put it in a separate pile, to send to Thredup or Twice, two of my favorite second-hand online shops. May as well get paid to declutter! (…by the way, by clicking either of those links, you get free store credit to treat yourself…)
After a few hours, here is what I had chosen to throw out.
Some of these things were actually quite sentimental. See the navy dress with light blue piping? I graduated from 8th grade in that thing. Would I fit into it today? No way.
So instead of hanging onto it like I have been doing for the past 12+ years, I gave it a hug, and I thanked it for its service to me. I know that sounds super weird, but Marie Kondo says we should thank our clothes and then let them go. For some reason, personifying them like that gave me a great peace and made letting go of them feel ridiculously freeing.
Step 3: Fold and put your clothes away. But be super fancy about it.
Fancy folding? Well…before I explain, look at my new workout drawer.
Doesn’t that make you wanna work out?
Here’s the gig. She wants you to fold your clothes so they can stand upright in your drawers, thus enabling you to see all of your joy-sparking clothes at once.
Now that I’ve done this for a week, I am absolutely sold on it.
So how do you do it? This video shows Marie Kondo herself folding an underwear drawer. I would never attempt to write out instructions for this when you can watch her do it.
I feel excited to get dressed each morning, because all my options are life-giving, and they are neatly organized in a way I can quickly select. I only have what I want and need, and there is no clutter bogging me down. It feels refreshing and energizing. Now I want to do this to the rest of my home, which … I think I will!
You should give it a try. (Snag a copy from Amazon here).