Monday, November 16, 2015

The De-Cluttering Project: What I've Learned

a low quality photo, but look! everything except out of season shoes and a few out of season skirts and dresses fit in one closet! bonus points for even having enough space for a dump truck parking space too. ;)

This post is part of a series detailing what I learned from reading Marie Kondo's book TheLife-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and how I'm applying that to creating a simpler, more focused closet of clothing. Check out the "Marie Kondo Monday" tag to see all posts in this series...

Things felt so out of sync last week that I never did take the time to continue the series of Mondays talking about my experience after reading Marie Kondo's book. We'll just call this series done after this post since a wrap up/lessons learned type of post was the last one planned anyway. So let's start that conversation with why I took on this de-cluttering project with my closet anyway - what did I hope to gain and did I gain it? This project started because I was feeling overwhelmed with life, with work, with being a parent, and mostly with stuff, and stuff felt like something I had the most control over. Pair that with some personal disgust toward how I've spent my hard earned money (since I already mentioned in a previous post that I work in a field that doesn't involve a large paycheck). That being said, I guess I was looking for some peace of mind and I thought simplifying would do that for me.

And did it work? Kind of. To really achieve the peace of mind I was looking for, I think I need to apply the same intensity level of clearing things out to items and spaces outside of just my closets. That's the whole point of Marie Kondo's book, I just felt like starting with my closet made the project feel manageable.

So even though my answer to the did it work question is kind of, I'm calling it a success. It was a great start that changed the way I think about personal belongings and the memories attached to them. For example, I finally was able to let go of that cute red dress that isn't even in style anymore that I wore for the first New Year's Eve I spent with my husband. Looking at it brought back really good memories from the beginning of our relationship, but I don't need that dress to bring those back - they're right there in my mind anytime I feel the need to get sentimental. That's a much healthier approach! Another win is that I have started to feel calmer, and I've become a lot more thoughtful and picky about the things I purchase.

But the work is not done! It's actually a little bit addicting and this de-cluttering project has left me motivated to extend it to other parts of the house. Marie Kondo's approach of gathering things by categories felt a lot more difficult to apply to everything else in my house, so I was really excited when I stumbled across a different fun way to approach the effort on Twitter. It's called the Minsgame and by the end of November I will have gotten rid of 465 more items. Sara, Anthony, Laura, and Heather are coordinating the effort and Sara's post does a great job of explaining the game, so if you're interested you should check it out! As I write this, I've already gotten rid of 231 more items (I'm working a little bit ahead). It makes it fun, and you should see how good my bathroom looks since that was the first location targeted for this game!

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