I work part time right now, only three days a week. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up on a Saturday, did my clothes on Sunday and Henry's clothes and many toys too.
My front room was quickly filling with things that were destined to leave my house. Although I was working through categories, as I encountered things in the house that obviously did not spark joy, it was so easy to add them to the pile of my clothing trash bags. The pile was beginning to look like a small mountain.
I worked that Monday and Tuesday and that Wednesday was a "snow" day for the Richmond area and I was not so secretly excited to stay home and continue tidying. Once the process starts, it feels like you want to use vacation days to be at home, working with the magic.
The easiest category for me was books, because i had already done my books the year before. My most intimidating category was papers but they went so quickly that I was super surprised.
Marie Kondo says that when it comes to papers, they aren't going to ever spark joy so just throw it all away unless its absolutely necessary to keep it for a while or indefinitely. I put my important docs into a 3 ring binder with plastic sheet protectors. I held onto my tax files from the past few years and that was it. So amazing and so simple.
I had also started the konmari process in my art classroom where I spent my planning periods on the Tuesday before, going through my categories there, clothing (smocks and aprons), books and my file cabinets. It went great there as well. Gaining momentum, I realized that this process only gets easier as you go along.
In the past, i have had problems in with avoiding paper/ finance related Issues. They give me anxiety and this causes me to freeze. My inaction has always frustrated me and confused me as I am capable of juggling lots of other things in my life. But, now that I do not have a pile of papers in a box and a file cabinet full of unknown contents weighing on my mind, the few paper items that I need to take care of feel way less intimidating. It's hard to be disorganized when you don't have to go looking for important things. Everything I need is in one place.
The next category is komono, the Japanese word meaning miscellany. Here is the order that Marie Kondo suggests:
CDs/DVDs, skin care products, makeup, accessories, valuables, electrical things, household equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods/ food supplies, other things, separate category specific to each individual (for me: art supplies)
So, after books and papers, I started through the next list of categories.
I was so surprised by the skin care and makeup category. I truly believed that this wouldn't take me much time but as I pulled out the toiletries from the bathroom, linen closet, purse, and kitchen, I realized that this was a big job.
I decided to use some of the advice from the book, to visualize what the space will look and feel like. So, I thought of a spa. I thought about what I wanted my daily routine to feel like, smell like, look like. Bathing, grooming and spending time on the toilet is such a large part of life, I wanted to create a space that felt calm and beautiful. I wanted it to feel like I was on a vacation, near water.
So, the sorting began as Henry went down for his afternoon nap. As I started to discard and sort, I placed the items by category and then decided to gather each category into a plastic bin for storage.
The bathroom, once emptied of its contents immediately felt cleaner, although I hadn't wiped one surface.
Each family member got a zipper pouch bag fir daily use items that could be stored under the sink. Other daily use items are in the bathroom and backup stashes are stored by category in their bins in the closet. It's a gorgeous closet now. It's a simple system now. Items that can be removed from packaging get to be in their simplest state, like bars of soap and qtips and towels are folded with the konmari folding method and stored vertically.
Finishing each category also gave me a boost of energy and a sense of accomplishment like nothing else ever has.
I know that not everyone struggles with these things and it may even seem silly that my new linen closet and bathroom could bring me such pride and joy but, to me, it has changed my life, my daily routine.
My very organized sister explained that this is how she has always naturally arranged her life. when she saw my picture of the finished product, she wrote to me that she uses and has always used this category system.
I found myself scratching my head about why I have been unable to take the advice of the people in my life who already live in the way Marie Kondo describes in get book. My own husband has preached to me the exact tenants of her belief about things and their potential for weighing us down with attachment and fear.
I don't know why i couldn't hear this before now and change my ways but at least I am able to let this message transform me at this time in my life.
Marie Kondo wrote that she believes that it is fate that brought the book into my hands, and I think it's true. I also think that through sharing the joy that I am experiencing, that the fate of others in my sphere of influence: friends, family and even social media strangers, can be changed as well.
She writes that we have three options when it comes to putting our homes in order: do it now, do it later or you can ignore it until the day you die.
I don't want to live another day without my home reflecting the lovely life I have been given. I trust this konmari process completely. It is the only thing I have ever found that has inspired such drastic action. I am filled with gratitude.