Since so much of my daily life revolves around cleaning, organizing, and planning I thought it was high time I let all of you into this (slightly intense) piece of my world. This post is the first in my OrganizeIt! Series and a great way to kickstart the organization of your own space!
One of my co-workers has been telling me about this book his wife is reading to organize their house. He said it was all about purging and getting rid of things – this immediately piqued my interest. I LOVE a good clean n’ purge. When A & I moved from our apartment to our house-on-the-hill I donated a bunch of stuff to Goodwill – furniture we didn’t need, clothes, small appliances, a few small dogs. (I kid! They’re all still here.) And once we’d been in our a house for a while I started a box in the basement that I put random things in we don’t need and then bring it to Goodwill once a month or so as it fills up – it’s a great way to get rid of things a little at at a time.
However, the aforementioned book does not recommend that slow-and-steady methodology – The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up is all about tidying by discarding many, many things – and doing it only once in your life. Ever. And you do it all in 6 months. Sounds a bit outlandish, right? Tidying once ever? I was pretty skeptical, but I had to read the book. My house isn’t cluttered, but I love learning more about cleaning and organizing. I can’t help myself. I mean, a whole book about the art of tidying? How is this not necessary reading for me?
When I began reading it, I knew I was not going to be disappointed. The first few chapters made me laugh. I read quotes such as,
“When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and past in order, too.”
“There is a saying that a messy room equals a messy mind.'”
aloud to A, because he’s heard me say them verbatim as my justification for organizing the basement at 10:00 pm with a can of seltzer in one hand and small dog in the corner trying to break into his tennis bags to get all the tennis balls.
The KonMari Method developed by the author of the book Marie Kondo, advocates for throwing away anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” Sounds amazing, right? Who wants stuff that doesn’t bring you joy? And she also has her clients begin tidying by category. The first category, which I am going to tackle in this post (and tackled in my own house):
After I did the major discard (disclaimer: I did not thank my items for service when I discarded them, but I did try to only keep joyful items of clothing, which translated into lots of horizontal stripes), and learning to fold my clothes, (tiny perfect rectangles!) it was on to hanging clothes. The proper method? Arrange them so they rise to the right. You start with the heaviest and longest items of clothing first moving onto the lighter and shorter as you go right. According to Kondo:
“When you stand in front of a closet that has been reorganized so that the clothes rise to the right, you feel your heart beat faster and the cells in your body buzz with energy.”
I have a dressing room that’s off of our office, so that’s where my “closet” is. As you can see, it wasn’t terribly messy but it also wasn’t organized. I’m always haphazardly hanging things, trying to decide what I should hang, putting things into vague categories, and leaving hangers everywhere (and I believe on the floor in the back you can see a TJ Maxx tag, no shame).
I cannot tell a lie. I had not organized my closet before I began writing this post. So I was not really buying the quote above and I was fully prepared for some harsh criticism. However, while I don’t think that my body is quite buzzing with energy, I can say I feel quite satisfied after finishing my closet and that rise-to-the-right is pleasing to the eye. And it did give me more motivation to tackle other projects, which is exactly what Kondo says happens once you start organizing properly!
I’m slowly moving on to the other tidying categories in the book and sharing with you bits and pieces of the projects as I go!