Happy New Year! There’s no other way to say it, 2015 was crazy and not my favorite year. Losing my mom was incredibly difficult and I am excited to start 2016 with a new project. This all started this last summer when one of my dear friends wrote a facebook post about this book:
In case you have been living under a rock, this book is written by a Japanese professional organizer named Marie Kondo. She has created the KonMari method and she swears that if you complete decluttering and organizing using her system, you will never need to do it again. I asked my friend if she thought is was working for her and she said she had already filled 8 trash bags to take to the donation center. A few days later I saw a news story about the book where they interviewed some of her clients. I went right out to the library and checked out the book which sat on the nightstand for about a month until it was time to return it. I never even got past the 1st chapter, but I could see how this could be a game-changer in my life.
Since I travel for work I bought the audio book and listened on my next half-day car ride. I must admit that the first time I listened to the book I was excited and a little nervous, this woman has such a passion for discarding, folding and organizing; not to mention the fact that I am sure she didn’t have any kids or pets when she was creating her method. No one who has 2 kids has 20 minutes to spend folding 1 pair of socks (if you haven’t read the book, this is an exaggeration. This woman does have a major affinity for folding clothes though). I felt discouraged because I was sure I would never get the time to be able to complete this decluttering due to the fact that I work full time and have 2 under the age of 8. My house is usually a pretty big mess, I am one of those people that spends 3+ hours cleaning my house before you come over only to tell you “sorry for the mess” as you walk in the door.
Doing some reflection, I had an epiphany about what I had just listened to; I realized this is how my mom lived. One of her most repeated pearls was: keep only what you need and everything must have it’s place in the house. My mom did keep an impeccably clean house (after my sister and I moved out of course). This realization connected me to the KonMari method emotionally and I vowed to complete the process in honor of my mom.
I have now listened to the book several times and each time I learn something new. One of the things that has tripped me up about the process is the uncertainty about the amount of time it should take me to complete. Marie Kondo says the method must be implemented all at once for it to work but how long do I need? Over the years I have accumulated a massive amount of “stuff”, I would never have enough time to declutter and organize my whole house in one fell swoop. I got the opportunity to take some time off from work and thought this would be the perfect time to complete the challenge.
My first day off I dove in head first and threw all of my clothes in a pile on the bed in the order she specified. After hours of handling each piece of clothing I had filled 4 giant trash bags of clothes to donate and had learned how to fold everything, my drawers looked great. The next day I continued by taclking my hanging clothes. I don’t know why but I hit a wall, the task ahead seemed so daunting. I was sure I would never be able to complete the entire house in the allotted time.
An email from my Aunt changed my course when it was revealed that my mom’s house in Colorado had been put under contract and everything needed to be cleared out within the next 2 weeks before the new owners took possession. This was my family home since 1995 and I was devastated by the thought of not saying goodbye to the property 1 last time, not to mention the fact that it would be SO much work for my sister and her fiance to take on all by themselves. With my husband’s support, I booked my trip to Colorado to spend a few whirlwind days cleaning out my mom’s house.
I believe that had I tried to take on this task prior to listening to this book, cleaning out my mom’s house would have been 100 times more difficult to complete. I would have wanted to keep everything in the house and ship it back to my house in Canada which would have been a detriment to my relationship with my husband, not to mention the fact that it would fill my house full of more “stuff”-adding to my frustration. I was able to get the house cleaned out and Marie Kondo’s pearls of wisdom even helped me to say goodbye to a place I loved with all of my heart.
So what the heck does this have to do with my 2016 KonMari project? I got busy with everything and was not able to complete any more decluttering and organizing at my house. I recently joined a facebook group whose goal is to complete the project by July. The admins created a schedule which seems super manageable and with the support of 2,000 other people like me I figure I can get this done. Today marks the first day of the journey. I am excited about what 2016 will bring and hope I can make my mom proud with everything I do.
If you are interested in the breakdown of what we will be doing each week for the next 6 months, check out the schedule:
What’s your experience with the KonMari Method? Have any of you experienced the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up your own life? Share and comment below!