Yay, spring is here! It was warm for weeks and now we're in coats again! Yay!
At least the sun has been out, the trees are blooming and the tulips are coming up -- I just hope they survive these cold nights. Even though we have a few more chilly days in the forecast, I'm in full out spring-mode. It's time to decrapify my friends!
This time of year you'll hear me use that term a lot but I can't take credit for that brilliance. It's so funny because I see it everywhere now (it's an awesome word) but it was a sweet reader about seven years ago or so that first used it in a comment. I emailed her immediately and asked if I could take her word because…brilliant.
Anyway. It's about that time. I mentioned last fall that I had been reading a little book that has completely changed how I look at decluttering and organization in our home. I haven't even finished it yet but I can honestly say it has changed our lives.
I was in full "tidying" mode last summer and paused to finish up the kitchen renovation. Then the holidays hit and I wasn't even going to attempt it then. Now I'm ready to complete the process. The book is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I tell everyone I know to wait until life is quiet to start it -- before the holidays is not a good time. I say that because if you are like most, you will want to tear through your entire house within the first few pages. She speaks to our reasoning for stuff in a way I've never heard before. It's truly eye-opening.
I didn't go in the order she recommends at first, which goes back to what I just said. You'll just start filling bags with stuff. :) But now I'm starting from scratch and starting with the clothes, per her instructions. The author (Marie Kondo) recommends bringing all like items from all over the house to one spot before you start deciding what you will keep and discard.
I didn't do that last time because it felt like too much work, but the difference when you do it is staggering. There is one big reason for this -- she believes when you see the sheer volume of similar items you have in one place, it changes the way you look at what you love and really want to keep. She's right.
I started with the t-shirts. Just MY t-shirts. I think I counted 50-something? I usually only wear t-shirts at home or in bed so why I have so many is beyond me. The reason I love the way Kondo thinks is that her process is simple. It's not about what you've worn in the last six months, it's not about what fits perfectly, it's not about what you want to fit into again…it's purely about what you LOVE.
Does the shirt with paint stains on it from high school bring you joy? I have one that does. I kept it. Does the shirt that's stretched out and ugly bring you joy because it sparks a happy memory or it's super comfy? Keep it.
I laid them all out on the bed and this is what I'm talking about -- I don't need this many t-shirts!:
I found I loved about half of mine -- not because I was like OMG THIS T-SHIRT IS AMAZING but more because it just made me happy to wear. It is SO much easier to decide what to keep when you look at it that way. I used to think about what I wanted to get rid of. Now I decide what I'm going to keep. It's different, I promise you.
I did the same for my sweaters, pants, even socks. Then I tackled the biggest section -- the hanging shirts:
I got rid of about 60 shirts. I went through them on the bed and then hung them all back up, and then went through them again and grabbed at least ten more to discard (when I say discard I mean donate or sell).
The mantra in your head the whole time should be do you love it? I've added a second question too, and that's is it useful? I mean, we need to be smart about this. You don't adore everything in your house, but if it serves a purpose and you use it -- you keep it.
As I went through the clothes that's what I asked myself as I touched every item. It works.
I started with the t-shirts and folded items:
As I waited for a few items to get washed I went through the Bub's closet and dresser:
Then finally tackled my hanging clothes:
It is such a good feeling my friends. Your mindset changes over time and now when I'm out shopping I bring a lot less home. It has to be something I LOVE and I have to know what I'll do with it -- when it comes to decor that means I need to be able to bring it in the house and know exactly where it's going to go.
Kondo talks about a specific method of folding clothes -- she goes so far as to fold underwear and socks but I don't think I'll ever get to that point. But I've actually always used her method for our shirts. I was ahead of the game for once! Ha!
If you watch a video of how to do this, it seems to take forever. Here are the basic steps:
1. Lay the shirt face down towards you.
2. Fold the sides in (if sleeves are long fold them down the length).
3. Bring the bottom of the shirt up and fold.
4. Fold one more time into thirds.
The Konmari method actually folds it twice after that third picture -- so the shirt is even skinnier. I don't do that because I think it takes up more space in a drawer (folding in in two is less thick and takes up less vertical space).
Changing the way you fold clothes sounds trivial, I know. But there are two reasons I've always done it this way -- first, you can fit a TON more in your drawers:
I have nearly 30 t-shirts in this drawer and can easily fit another ten.
The biggest reason I fold and place them in drawers like this is that you can see the shirts. When you fold them and place them in the drawer you have to lift them up to find the one you want, then the pile gets tossed around. This stays so much nicer. I can attest to it. :)
As I said, her folding method looks tedious when you see it in pictures and videos (ain't nobody got time for that crosses my mind) but I have it down to seconds for each shirt. I use both hands and flip the sleeves and sides back, lay it down either on a surface or my chest, fold it in half, then one more time. It takes no time at all.
I will share more about the Konmari process as I go through it -- have you read this book? Did you change the way you folded clothes? Do you fold your socks? (Gotta admit, it does look really nice!) I'm hooked on this book and it has completely changed the way I look at clutter in our house.