Is Tidying Up Really Life-Changing?

One of my [forever] goals is to be a more organized//clean person. I use the quote “creative minds are rarely tidy” as an excuse for not only my mind, but my bedroom, work space, journal, body [I don’t wash my face at night… I know, I know], etc to be very much untidy. I pretend to be proud of being a *dirty girl* because I literally only get sick every 5 years — I’m immune to everything.

But, let’s be honest… what unorganized person actually likes being unorganized? Um, no one.

I’m getting older + wiser, so I decided it’s time for a change — I’m ready to be a clean person!!!!!!!!!!

I bought the book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up about a year ago, ++ have read a few chapters here + there. It inspired me to donate 10 items every month [typically clothes] in 2017, but funny enough, Marie Kondo is totally against that. She’s all about tidying up in one shot, aiming for perfection. Eeeeeek.

Last week, I had a completely open weekend, so I decided to read the book cover to cover + fully invest in this project.

15 hours later… I can proudly say that I’m hooked on cleaning. Granted, it’s only been a week, so check back in with me in three months… BUT, for seven full days, I’ve kept my floors free from clothes + made my bed ; ), AND, I even get excited about keeping my room clean. [WHO AM I? A changed woman.]

10/10 recommend purchasing The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, but for those of you who want the ~CHAARG Notes~, I got you.

9 Steps To A Clutter-Free [+ JOYFUL] Space

#1] Visualize what it would look like to live in a clutter-free space. Be as vivid as possible. For me, I want a feminine + yogic + artistic space [bedroom] filled with…

  • candles, crystals, essential oils
  • books that I’m inspired by
  • tons of plants + flowers
  • happy folk music
  • art//photos on my walls from my travels
  • natural light + windows OPEN so that I can hear the birds
  • a comfy spot to meditate + journal
  • mostly neutral colors [white + bamboo + wood] with pops of color sprinkled throughout

#2] Discard everything that doesn’t spark joy. Two important rules: #1] one category at a time [Marie recommends the order: clothes, books, papers, miscellany, + mementos], + #2] place eveeeeeerything in that category on the floor + hold up each piece, one by one, asking yourself if it sparks joy within you.

#3] What to do when you are unsure if you should discard something or not? Ask yourself why you have that specific item in the first place — when did you get it + what meaning did it have for you… what meaning does it have now? For me, I had trouble discarding clothes that I might wear again… or clothes that are too small//tight that I might fit into again. There were some items that I hadn’t even worn ever, yet I had them in my closet for a year. Yikes. For those, I was supposed to say, “Thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me” ++ let it go.

#4] I didn’t fully follow the organizational clothing tips, + I’m okay with that. Marie shares a specific way to fold, but due to my dresser [I have like HUGE open spaces, rather than the typical drawer size], I stacked my clothes. But, I created my own rule to make sure I’m giving my clothes proper love : ). I have a section in my closet for ~worn~ tanks//tees//long sleeves//sweaters… ++ I can’t touch those clothes until I go through ALL of them. Again, check in with me in three months… but I love the idea of actually wearing everything in my closet equally! ❤

#5] This is important: The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it. I blame Amazon Prime for my addiction to purchasing books. I probably have… 50?… books that I haven’t read yet, ++ that number has only been increasing since I’ve been purchasing books at a faster rate than I’ve been reading them. ; ). No more purchasing books until I read all the 50+! It’s happening!

#6] Keep all your papers in one spot. This way, you’ll have the constant reminder to “deal with them” [whether it’s writing back to a friend, paying a bill, etc]. I keep papers that need attention in a basket near my bed.

#7] Sentimental items are the hardest thing ever to get rid of… + this is still a work in progress for me. I am such a sucker for keeping cards, photos, journals, + little trinkets from the past. While I was able to confine it all to one shoe box, I plan on going through that shoe box once a year to decide whether I should keep an item or not. Marie had a lot of good tips for discarding//organizing sentimental items, but her main message is that these items should be enjoyed all the time — example, instead of keeping a bunch of photos in a box [or on your phone ; )] that your rarely ever look at, hang up three of your favorite photos from a trip + discard the rest.

#8] Designate a spot for everything. No more drawers with pens, gum, coins, papers, sunglasses, + more… everything in my room now has a specific spot. This makes it super easy to not only place things back where they belong, but FIND things!

#9] Appreciate your belongings! I’ve truly gained an appreciation for everything I own. I also have a better understanding of what I own. I went shopping yesterday, ++ typically, I would try on anything cute… but this time, I only looked for things I needed [a phone case!] + things that I knew I would use a lot ++ that sparked joy within me [a new work bag!].

So — is tidying up really life-changing?

Yes.

I’m so glad that I took the time to invest in this project. Since I live with three roommates, I only dove into my room, so it didn’t take too long [Marie said the typical house takes six months… #woah]. I highly encourage you guys to grab the book + do it yourself! Let me know if it was life-changing to you ++ what you learned!

++ Elisabeth

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