Have you ever looked around your home and felt like the walls were closing in? Like you needed more storage for your belongings or that regardless of how much you cleaned, your space still remained cluttered and disorganized? I will slowly and hesitantly raise my hand because as much as I hate to admit it, the truth is that while I am pretty neat, I too could be more tidy.
Clutter and general messiness is not only a very unattractive trait for any IT Girl to have, but studies have shown that it can also be linked to stress related illnesses such as chronic fatigue and depression. At the center of being a feminine woman lies the ability to keep your home as clean, peaceful, and visually inviting as possible. Your home is your sanctuary. You prepare for and wind down from your day there; do most of your soul searching, meal preperation, and pampering there so it is only normal for the state of your surroundings to directly effect your mood and overall wellbeing.
According to Marie Kondo, Japanese organization consultant, creator of the KonMari method of tidying and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” maintaining a neat and clean living space goes beyond properly finding places to put all of your belongings. It requires downsizing and discarding things in a very swift yet systematic manner; keeping only the items that bring you joy in an effort to make your life easier and prevent reaccumulation.
For this latest installment of The Art of Being a Lady I took inspiration from the minimalistic approach of the KonMari method to give you 10 steps to tidy your living space.
Identify your reason for tidying and be specific. Envision the person you always dreamt of being and verbalize or write down how decluttering will help you achieve that goal.
Examine what you own. Take inventory of what is damaged, ill-fitting, in need of repair or otherwise unappealing. Most of the time these items can be thrown away immediately because if you truly needed them in their full capacity, you would have gotten them fixed or tailored to reintegrate into your normal everyday rotation.
Do not buy more storage. This does not make your place any more organized, it only hides your junk and provides you with more room to collect things. It is easy to get sucked into splurging on modern looking shelving units complete with cute little sorting boxes, however, this creates a vicious cycle of collecting and purging.
Discard by category not by room by starting with easier less sentimental items first like clothing and accessories, followed by books, old electronics and so on. Gather EVERY single item in that category into one central location and swiftly decide on which items you are going to trash again only keeping those that bring you joy. When you declutter in this fashion you take away the risk of missing hidden stashes of that particular category in other places of the home.
Keep only items you absolutely love and that are pleasing to you both visually, spiritually and functionally. Yes I love the sight of a full vanity stuffed with my favorite makeup brands, but on closer examination, some of my mascaras are expired and more then one nail polishes were found to be bone dry inside of the bottle. The point is that if I cherished these old items so much then I would of course used them right? Right.
Do not feel guilty over not keeping every sentimental item. The KonMari method stands firm on its philosophy regarding sentimental items. The memories brought on by the circumstances surrounding the item are more valuable then the item itself. Trash those letters from your ex-boyfriend. Donate that ugly sweater your great aunt by marriage knitted for you. Out of the hundreds of vacation pictures you took on your last trip, keep 5-10 really good ones to developed for your album and get rid of the rest.
Regift AFTER you’ve gained permission. While your family and best friends love you, they may not share your same style or excitement over your used things. Unless you have an unwanted supply of vintage Chanel suits or Hermès scarves, do not show up at your next family get together with a huge bag of hand-me-downs unless there is an agreement between both you and the recipient. Most people do not want to take on the task of sorting through and possibly having to donate your unloved items or risk having your junk become a part of their junk. When in doubt, drop off you gently used items to your local the Goodwill or homeless shelter.
Buy what you need and MAYBE 1 more when it comes to household goods like food, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Keeping bulk quantities of common household items take up valuable storage space. Do not apply for that Cosco membership just yet unless you are raising a large family or planning a huge event.
Find a resting place for each item without buying additional storage. Store all of your office supplies and stationary together instead of in multiple locations throughout your home. This makes finding items easier thus cutting down on stress and keeps your line of vision focused and clear.
Appreciate what you have regardless of what you paid for it. Take care of all of your possessions through proper upkeep and maintenance. Be thankful for the clothes on your back the shoes on your feet and for your your now tidy and organized living space.
What method do you use to keep your living space clutter free and how has it helped you? Leave a comment and lets discuss.