Since writing my first blog post about my New Year resolution to read one non-fiction book a month I have noticed two things;
- Part of the reason I find non-fiction more challenging to read is that it often requires a response or provokes taking action and quite frankly it’s hard to find the time. It’s not the simple escapism of a good novel, when it’s finished all you need to do is pick your next book. January’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ gave me a lot of tidying homework to do! I kept delaying writing this blog so I could finish tidying and report back!
- There are so many more people out there interested in tidying than I would ever have imagined!! Reading a newspaper on the weekend Marie Kondo’s book was in their top ten books this week. I have also come across her book on other blogs and quite a few of my friends and family said that they had read her book or were about to. So it is not just me that’s geeking out on this one!
I absolutely loved the premise of the book which is that if you do one good, humongous tidy up you should never have to tidy again. Do it once properly and you won’t have to do it again.
Now I know what you are thinking, this lady is living on cloud cuckoo land, and yes she does talk to her belongings, but her theory makes sense if you give her a chance! Untidy people fall into two categories or often both:
-they have too much stuff
-they don’t put things back after they use them
Discard by category
SO you start with one almighty clear out and you do it all at once, not by room or location but by category in a specific order. The last categories are harder to be ruthless, so you leave them until you have perfected the art!
-things with sentimental value (photos, letters etc)
Say clothes for example, you gather all your clothes together, from all around the house and you pick up each item in turn and ask yourself ‘does this give me joy’ or ‘is it useful’? If the answer is no you discard or donate. You then do the same for the rest of the categories.
Everything has its place
Once you have only the possessions left that give you joy or are useful you find a place for everything. Simple storage is the best. Now the idea is if you use something and then put it back in its place, you won’t spend your life tidying.
I has taken me a few weeks to go through the house and discard by category. It gave me a bit of a buzz and discarding became a bit addictive. I tried to disperse my donations among various charity shops so I didn’t seem like a crazy lady! I also had to reign myself in with my husbands and daughter’s possessions as they wouldn’t have thanked me for it! For a while if I picked something up my eldest would look at me with a panicky look and beg ‘don’t give it away mummy’!
The feeling of having less stuff is liberating and it is definitely easier to keep the house tidy with less stuff in it. The hardest part was sorting out things that weren’t my own. For example my daughter’s mountain of stuffed toys definitely does not give me joy but they do give the girls joy. Also I was discarding a load of photos and my husband caught me sorting them. He got all soppy looking through them and has stashed a pile in his bedside drawer!
Putting things back after you use them is simple if it’s just me but try telling the girls that! For example yesterday afternoon they were playing libraries and this mainly consisted of emptying a whole bookshelf and stacking them under the table! Bless them it took them so long to put them all back! I think like with anything you have to find a balance. Your home has to feel liveable for you. Perfection is not the aim, but instead having more time to focus on the things that are important.
I found it a really interesting book and surprisingly easy to read. Some of it I think you can take with a pinch of salt, for example believing your possessions have feelings! But she has some real gems in there too. Here are a couple of links to other blog posts about the book if you want to read more. And if you give it a go, let me know how you got on?