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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Another recent read...

The name Marie Kondo has been 'popping up' for a while now in some of the blogs that I follow. Marie's book, 'The Life-changing magic of tidying up' seems to have become very popular and I was curious. Not curious enough to buy a copy, but when the BCC library catalogue indicated that the book was now available, I placed a hold. I was #81 in the holds' queue, and it took a few months to get 'to the head of the line'. 
It's a tiny book compared to the other book I borrowed on the same day.
And it was a quick read. The person who translated the book from the original Japanese did an excellent job...the discourse isn't stilted in the slightest.
 But Kondo attributes 'things' with having feelings which to me was a bit quirky, but maybe saying 'thank you for your service' to a pair of shoes as you discard them helps assuage the guilt if you had paid a lot for them?? Lol
Now what has Kondo got to say about tidying/decluttering? I won't go into great details here; suffice to say Kondo has identified two reasons for cluttered houses. One is that we have too much stuff and secondly many of us don't put things away. Kondo's method is to divide possessions into her designated sections or categories, and, taking a category at a time, discard or keep. The criterion for keeping the item, is, if after you hold it, it sparks joy, the item can stay.  Kondo's method relies on discarding items first and only when all the discarding is done, start to organise the space. 
The discarding must be done in one fell swoop. 
Kondo suggests that clothing should be the first items in your 'tidying' project. Gather all items of clothing that you own into one place...the author suggested the floor...and then take each item, one at a time and if it doesn't spark joy...out it goes. Keep going until all the clothing has been examined and a decision made. And of course thank each item that you discard. 
Using this technique, Kondo then lists the other categories of your belongings...following this order, Books, Papers, Komono ( which translated sort of means miscellaneous) 

Kondo is quite disparaging about other methods of decluttering, especially any that allow you to declutter gradually...a little at a time. (I used the 30 days of decluttering a few years ago with some success, especially in organising what I kept). Kondo warns anyone who reads her book and doesn't follow it exactly...' Don't change the method to suit your personality' p 26-28) as you will fail. Oh dear...that counts me out! Lol
But...I did get inspired to declutter the linen cupboard...yeah not the correct order is it? 
The photo shows DH with the 4 large bags of sheets, pillowcases and towels that 'got the flick' and have gone in the local charity bin. Now the cupboard is manageable...there was so much crammed in there it was always difficult putting things away. We are now left with 2 pairs of sheets per bed in the house and that's enough I reckon. I also filled another bag with outfits that were bought for weddings etc and have sat unworn after the first outing,  in my wardrobe for up to 14 years...gone!! ( mother of the bride outfits bought in desperation as nothing suitable  had been found until just a few days before the wedding is a recipe for disaster!) 
And a heap of stuff has left my craft room for the same reason...not used and unlikely to be now...
I felt really good when all these kits worth a total of well over $500 went to Sunshine Linus! One lot of these quilt block kits were bought to help raise funds for Dr Catherine Hamelin's Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. But I quite disliked the fabrics and the designs in the kits...
At the moment I am working on a particular cupboard in the kitchen...the one where everything gets 'dumped' when a quick tidy of the bench tops is needed! :-/

This book has enjoyed runaway success if you look at the sales but to me it's very simplistic and Kondo obviously is not a crafter! Lol. 
One comment she made that did resonate with me was when she discussed the problem of others who sabotage a person's efforts to declutter. These are family or friends who declutter by 'dumping items' on you. My best friend has done this to me for many years. But 2 years ago, I started saying no. Best thing I've ever done! 



Kate said...

What counts, Maria, is that you decluttered even if you didn't do it according to Marie. Well done. :)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

This is an interesting post. I've seen that book written about all over the place. I know what you mean about the Japanese concept of things having feelings. I don't think so. I'm not sure I can subscribe to her method of declutter and disposal. However, if it helps to remove things from the house that are no longer needed...well, that's a good thing.

My daughter (45) is always trying to leave things at our home. She moves a lot and stores some things while in transition that never seem to make it back to her. The other day there was a box of spray paint in the garage. I told her to take it or it was going into the trash. She replied that I won't throw it away. Come trash day out it went. Boy that felt REAL good!!
xx, Carol

Jackie said...

Really, decluttering at your own pace and in your own manner is the way to go.

Every month I find a few items to take to the thrift stores here in my city and remove a few things.

Right now I think I may add clean linen closet to my extra cleaning list and do a bit of decluttering there. Thanks for the inspiration!!

God bless.

Barbara - said...

I simply could not identify with this book, so I'm always happy when I am not alone,. lol. She lost me somewhere around the "empty out your purse idea". And like you I am a crafter.

And frankly I am so busy in retirement that all I have time for is to clutter bit by bit. Yesterday I went through two of my dresser drawers to accommodate my weight loss.

Una said...

I could probably write a book like this because I am a bit of a tidy freak and good at decluttering. Sadly any space I make is soon filled up by Hubby. Sigh!

Michelle Ridgway said...

I have heard such differing opinions of this book. I think intention is the big thing and manageable steps and yes obviously not a quilter or a person with art supplies lol! Congrats on your efforts BTW xx

angela said...

I started with one room and was supposed to do a room every weekend. Didn't happen lol but I always live in hope. It will happen

doodles n daydreams said...

Oh funny you should bring this up now. I have just been in a cupboard looking for a craft item I 'put away' several years ago. Haven't found it yet but found all sorts of youth group/Sunday school stuff that needs sorted. I don't take either of them now. But I put it back in the cupboard and decided to leave it till another day, oh dear. Now I feel guilty.
By the way, in Japan shop assistants bow as they leave the shop floor for any reason, they are thanking the store with providing them with employment and income. I think this is a cultural thing and perhaps related to one of their religions.


margaret said...

I did have a sort out of embroierred pictures etc ad sent them to the local hospice shop along with some furniture but find decluttering difficult to do, they say if you have not worn an item for 12 months it should go well I have clothes from way back but also new things I have never worn maybe I should get rid of some of them.

Cat Lover said...

I have heard about this book but have not read it yet. We have just finished our big de-clutter and we are happy with the results. I think everyone should just de-clutter in their own way. What ever works for you!