Posted in Minimalism

Letting Go – Part 2

This is part 2 of my series on my quest to tidiness.  You can find part 1 here.

But you see, lately, I’ve come to realize that I’m not as zen in an untidy environment as I used to.  I’m feeling myself being slowly but surely pulled towards needing my immediate environment to be tidy in order to function better.

So now, the question is: how should I go about becoming tidy knowing that it has to be:

  1. easy (well, relatively easy)
  2. quick
  3. sustainable

I realized that the best way to keep my house tidy and easy to clean was to have less stuff.  If I have less stuff, then it’s simpler to find a spot for everything (so it’s easier to put things away where they go).  If I have less stuff, then it’s easier to dust/clean/vacuum because there are less things to move around.  If I (and the kids) have less clothing, then I’m less likely to be stuck with ridiculously large amounts of clothing to wash because I won’t be able to wait as long between loads of laundry.

I realized that the best way to keep my house tidy and easy to clean was to embrace minimalism.

So I started researching ways to gain control over all of the stuff in my house.  Now, there are a plethora of books, blogs, articles, documentaries that address the issue of minimalism.  After a fair amount of research, I found one book that had a method I found really interesting.

The book is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  It’s author, Marie Kondo presents what she has dubbed the “KonMari method”.  It’s basically a two-step process:

  1. Declutter
  2. Organize

I know, I know, you guys are probably saying :”well, duh, didn’t you know that already?”.  But the important bit is that you have to declutter everything before reorganizing your stuff.  One of my problems, being a perfectionist, is that I try to do everything at once.  But that has never worked out for me because it’s just too much to handle at once.

The other major point is how she approaches the act of decluttering.  You see, instead of tackling this task room by room, she had found that going category by category is a much more logical approach.

Following her method, I will be tackling my decluttering in the following order:

  1. Clothing
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (misc. like DVDs, electronic devices, hobby stuff, cleaning supplies…)
  5. Sentiment

She works from what she has found to be the easiest to let go of to what is hardest to let go of.  Since each category is divided into sub-categories, it means that it’s something that very doable even with a baby, a toddler and a 4 year old running around the house.

I’m going to start working on clothing this week, sub-category by sub-category until I’ve reached the end of the list.  Then, I’ll tackle my kids’ clothing.  After that, I’ll be able to move on to the next category.

Guys, I’m ridiculously excited!

Look out for part 3 where I’ll go through the process of decluttering with more detail and talking about the “rule of thumb” to help decide what to keep and what to let go of.

Are you a minimalist?  How did you go about it?  How did you proceed?