I am not a tidy person. Clean? Yes. Tidy- No. I’m forever having ‘clear outs’ only to find my room covered in clothes the week later. And not just clothes- bank cards on the floor, handbags shoved in the corner and make up all over my dressing table. While it never used to bother me when I was younger, I’ve started to find I can’t relax when my surroundings are anything but calm. It was time I got some help, and thats what led me to The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying.
Marie Kondo has dedicated her life to tidying. She believes that through tidying, you can live the life you want. It may sound dramatic, but it’s more rational than you think. If you see yourself being the type of person who comes homes, practices some yoga and takes a relaxing bath after a stressful day at work, by having surrounding that allow you to do this, and belongings which reflect that life, it all becomes easier to embody. To create this space, and to tidy (she believes you only have to perform this big tidy once), you must simply only keep those items which ‘spark joy’. While I may not have a spotless flat, I learnt a lot from Marie’s book. Here would be my top take aways.
1.Think why you truly want things.
While I find it hard to truly see each item as an object to which I must thank (Marie frequently thanks her belongings, especially before discarding them), I did see her point. Why buy beautiful things, only for them to be shoved in a cupboard, creased and crampt or never used. It made me realise that the appeal of things in shops is often confined to them being in the shops- that lipstick may look great on a glamourous stall, but shoved in my make-up box it starts to lack some of its lustre. By having less belongings, presented well, they did indeed seem to have more life in them…And by only keeping what I truly love, I’ve started only to buy what I truly love. No more ‘but it was in the sale’ over here!
2. Once you get rid of something and regret it- you realise it’s okay.
The world doesn’t end and you live on. It made it easier to get rid of things and risk ‘regretting it’ once I realised this. I was actually surprised by how little I noticed the objects I had removed from my life, and the relief I felt getting rid of them
3. Don’t feel guilty for getting rid of something.
Whether it’s because it was gift, you paid a lot of money for it, or you’ve not used it ‘yet’, let go of the guilt and let it go. I was surprised by how much of a weight off my shoulders it was getting rid of those things I had felt guilty about getting rid of. Even looking at them everytime I opened my cupboard had been making me feel stress I hadn’t realised. If you really can’t bear to part with those designer pieces, try selling to a new home on Versitaire Collective or donate items to charity for a dose of feel good.
4. Let go of the future. Let go of the past.
This idea really resonated with me, because I didn’t realise it was something I was doing. I get hugely nostalgic and often I was keeping thing as some kind of tie to the past and that time. By the same token, I would keep things out of a fear I may need it in the future. By letting go of both, I found myself only holding on to objects that I needed, allowing me to be much more present in the now (mindfulness- tick).
5. Cleaning really can help you see the path to what you want.
I never doubted cleaning would improve my life and calm my thoughts, but I didn’t realise how much of a profound effect it could really have. I was sceptical to say the least. But now the space around me is clear(er) and I’m not weighed down by all these things I think I should need I’ve found it easier to do the things I really want, and see what I want more clearly.
While perfecting the technique may take a long time (this one big clear out Marie suggests can take around 6 months…), I’ve found that even my mini clean has changed my life for the better, and with my new mindset, there should be less stuff to hear out in future anyway….
Find Marie Kondo’s Book here: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever