Finding Bliss in Simplicity
Ask anyone about the art of tidying, the odds are they will nearly all mention Marie Kondo and her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After multiple rounds of decluttering exercise that do not seem to end, I decided to check out Marie Kondo’s book, her once-in-a-lifetime tidying marathon and every item that you possess should bring joy approach.
I was at Kinokuniya and picked up Marie Kondo’s latest book, Spark Joy, an illustrated guide on how to tidy, giving examples of potential pitfalls. Reading the first few pages of the book helped me recognised the mistakes I have made in the past and why I am decluttering all the time. I like her KonMari Method, very structured, leaving little room to stash away things that should be discarded.
I have been decluttering regularly for my multiple home moving. The focus of my decluttering exercise then was finding space to store what I have and discarding what I have no space for. It did not help as I am pretty good at squirrel away things. Many a time I bought things that I already own.
“Tidying marathon means completing the process of discarding, thoroughly and quickly, and deciding where to store everything that you have chosen to keep.” – Marie Kondo
Following are the KonMari’s six basic rules of tidying:
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your idea lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the right order – Clothes (clothing, bags, shoes, etc), books, papers (documents, bills, letters, etc), komono (miscellaneous), and finally, sentimental items (photos, letters, etc)
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy – You are not choosing what to discard, rather what to keep
Clothes 👗 👜 👠 👒 🕶
Following the KonMari Method, the first to tidy are my clothes and by category and not location. I took out all my clothes that I stored in my wardrobe, chest of drawers, including my autumn and winter wear that I store in the cabinet in the living area.
I went through the pile of clothes sorted by casual wear, business wear, home wear, autumn/winter wear, sportswear, lingerie, belts, etc. Picking up a piece at a time and placing those I want in my wardrobe and chest of drawers, putting the rest in plastic bags to give away. To my surprise, I ended up with four bags of clothing and belts to give away. Now, my wardrobe has some breathing space, I can easily browse and choose what to wear. Yeah!
Next in the list, my bags. I took out all my bags in my wardrobe, went through one by one, pick the ones I like and placed them in my wardrobe, gave one away and listed six on Carousell. Once the bags are sold, the shelves in my wardrobe would be more spacious. Can’t wait to get some cash back and a spacious wardrobe.
Next to tidy were my shoes. I have been keeping shoes that I do not wear and after looking at them individually, I realised that a pair has disintegrated which I threw away. I also gave away two pairs and put up two pairs on Carousell for sale. Now my shoe cabinet is more spacious and organised with shoes that I wear regularly.
Finally, I took out all my caps that I used to put aside and place them on top of my shoe cabinet that I may wear on my way out.
After tidying, my small chest of drawers at my living area that I used to stash my grey zone things is now empty. Following are pictures of my things to be given away after my tidying marathon.
“Rather than hiding things that fall into the grey zone, keep them openly and willingly.” – Marie Kondo
Books 📚 📘
Books are the easiest to tidy. I do not have that many as I switched to eBooks and eMagazines a while back. I removed all my books and magazines from my bookshelves and went through one at a time and decided what to keep. Discarded a few magazines into the recycle bin and placed the few books that I do not want into the plastic bag for giving away.
Documents 📑🗂 📰
I do not have that many papers to start with as my bills and bank statements are already in soft copies. I took out all my documents like tax and income papers, property documents, insurance documents, medical reports, etc and scanned the documents that I need to keep for future references. Destroyed the confidential documents and the non-confidential documents went into the recycle bin.
Komono (Miscellaneous items) 💿 🔌 🔋 🛠 ✂️ 🖇 🖊 📝
Tidying komono or the miscellaneous items is usually the most challenging. Komono are items like CDs and DVDs, Stationery, Electrical cords, Cables, Memory Cards, Batteries, Medicines, First Aid, Valuables (Cheque Books, etc), Sewing Kit, Tools, Hobby, Collectibles, Linen and Bedding, Towels, Stuffed Toys, Kitchenware (Crockery, Cutlery, Utensils, Appliances, Food Storage, Disposables, Plastic Bags, etc), Bathroom (face and body cleansing items, etc).
Tidying the miscellaneous items was not as challenging as I thought. I do not have that many miscellaneous items to start with. I am using most of them, except for the stuffed toys which I gave away a bag of them.
As for the kitchenware, I only left with the minimum after giving most of my unused pots and pans to my brother at my last decluttering exercise in May. I took the same approach, removed all the kitchenware from my kitchen cabinet. I organised the kitchenware and store them by category. After tidying, I have an empty drawer and two small empty shelves and my kitchen top looks neater. Yeah!
Sentimental Items 🖼 💌
My sentimental items are mainly photos and handmade cards and bookmarks. For the bookmarks, instead of keeping them, I am now using them. For the photos and handmade cards, I tidied them and put them in one box rather than keeping them in different storage boxes.
Within two days, I completed my tidying marathon. Now my home is more organised and neat. I am using what I have rather than storing them in the cabinet and most importantly, I feel happy and restful whenever I am home.
Key takeaways for me:
- Discard everything and pick what to keep – keeping things that I truly want or in the words of Marie Kondo, keeping things that spark joy.
- Tidy by category rather than location – helps to provide a full view of a number of things I have
- Every item that I keep should bring joy and serve a purpose – including my mini collection of Star Wars and Lego builds. Looking at them put a smile on my face 🙂
- After use, put back where it was taken from – best way to keep my home neat and orderly
“If you think that tidying up just means getting rid of clutter, you’re wrong. Always keep in mind that the true purpose is to find and keep the things you truly love, to display these things proudly in your home, and to live a joyful life.” – Marie Kondo
I am not a minimalist and not planning to be one. I am pursuing a life of simplicity, living a simple and happy life, enjoying the experience of living. 🙂
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