Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays with friends and family and are excited to see what the new year offers. I’ve started 2016 with a detox. Not a ‘juice only for five days’ kind of detox but a ‘declutter your entire house’ detox. My husband and I talk about our adventures in the latest podcast but I wanted to share more of my personal observations from the experience. It all started with a book… as most things do in our life. The book is called ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’ by Marie Kondo.
After getting the book from a white elephant exchange on Christmas Eve, we were both excited to read and get tips on tidying our home. So much so that we found ourselves sitting in a restaurant reading the book together (nerd alert). We read about 25 pages and were hooked. The next day we tackled our garage. Her method (as far as we understood) is to remove all of the items from a room and decide on what you want to keep by physically touching each item and seeing if it brings joy. After the garage, we tackled every closet, room, cabinet in the house. It took over our life for an entire weekend. We had bags and bags of stuff that was thrown away or donated. And then... I finished reading the book and realized we did it all wrong!
You’re supposed to declutter by categories: Clothes, Books, Papers, Misc. and Sentimental items. The order is important because you want to start with the least emotional items first. Also by sorting your items in categories, instead of a room/closet, etc. you get an accurate account of all the things you have/need and not just in that specific area you're working on.
So the next weekend, we followed some of her tips and decluttered some more. We got rid of all kinds of stuff in the house. Our closets now have tons of space, that we are in no rush to fill up. Our kitchen cabinets look like a display at Williams Sonoma. No longer are there mugs stacked on top of each other. And you know what? I LOVE it. I’ve always fancied myself an organized person but this is next level. My nightstand no longer has 3-4 books and magazines that I’ll read ‘soon.’ I have the current book I’m reading and that’s it. We don’t have 20 towels in case someone comes to visit, we now have 5 and that’s more than enough. Decluttering the house has us feeling lighter and more inspired to do things. My husband spent an entire weekend cooking from cookbooks that we’ve never cracked open! Talk about being inspired!
As I mentioned, it's not like we were untidy people before this experiment, but getting rid of clutter in the house feels so good. The openness of the space has taken on a new energy. Marie says in the book that to put your house in order, is to put your life and your past in order too. Starting this process in the new year is both liberating and cathartic. You'll find yourself reminscing and making peace with the past while preparing yourself for the future. I highly recommend you buy this book. It's a simple read that will quite literally change your life.