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?

 

Posted in Minimalism

Letting Go – Part 1

For those of you who don’t know me very well yet, let me tell you a bit about myself.  I can appear to be full of contradictions.

I am, for instance:

  • Untidy but organized;
  • Calm yet intense;
  • An avid procrastinator and and equally big perfectionist

When I was a child (and a teen…and a young adult still living at my parents’ house), the state of my room would drive my mom nuts.  Like seriously nuts.  I still remember one instance in which my room was so untidy that even my dad came downstairs to help me regain control over it.  Eventually, my mom decided that in order to save her own sanity, she’d ask me to keep the door to my room closed.

But you know what?  I could find anything in my room.  It was an organized mess.  My mom once told me that she had trouble organizing her thoughts if the physical things around her weren’t in order.  In my case, I had to organize what ever was going on in my head to be able to organize the things around me.  Since I can be kind of intense and get into a whole bunch of projects at once, it would take quite a bit of time before my head was organized enough to be able to tackle my room.

I’ve never had trouble living in an untidy environment.  If you were to come into my house without previously announcing your visit, you’d probably wonder how I can find anything (or walk around without stepping on any toys, or sit on the couch without sitting on any clothes, or, or, or…).

I’ve always been able to totally chill even if there were some dirty dishes (or clean ones that had to be put away).  I’ve never had a problem with seeing loads of clean laundry sitting in the hamper, waiting to be folded and put away.  Floors needed to be swept (or vacuumed, or mopped)?  Bah!  It can wait.  Table needed to be wiped down?  Meh, I’ll take care of it later.  Bed not made?  Who cares, I’m going to sleep in it tonight anyways!  Clothes littering the floor (right beside the hamper, I might add)?  Not a problem, I mean, I’m going to pile them on the floor on Saturday to wash them anyways.

You get the picture, right?

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.  I realized that this change has kind of creeped up on me since having my first child.  I mean, it’s not just me that I have to organize now, I need to organize my days with the kids as well.

But, you know, I think I’ve found a solution and I’m going to share it with you…in part 2.

Are you a tidy person or do you live in an organized mess?  Have you always been that way?