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New Year Cleaning: How to Marie Kondo Your Life

At the ripe age of 21, I was starting to feel like my 10 year plan included a well deserved nomination to the TV show “Hoarders”. Every time I cleaned my room it would be messy the next day. There was clothing overflowing from drawers, hooks I feared would pull out of the wall from bearing too much weight, and a strange sinking feeling that I had no idea what I owned or where it was located. 
I knew something needed to change but I wasn’t sure where to start. That’s when I discovered “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. Today I will bring you through the steps I took to carry out the deepest clean and reorganization of my life. All I can say is THANK YOU Marie Kondo. 
If you are feeling like you own far too many things and need a hard core reset on your personal belongings, this post is for you. And while you’re at it, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this book. I will mention some of the key points from “the life-changing magic of tidying up” but it is by no means a complete summary of the helpful tips Marie Kondo has to offer.

Phase 1: Before You Start

Before we deep dive into the scary land of junk drawers and the might wear somedays, there are some important insights from our good friend Marie Kondo to consider. 
1. Tidying should be a special event. If you do it properly, you will not have to spend significant time cleaning every day. 
2. In the words of Kondo, “storage experts are hoarders”. Your initial focus in tidying must be decluttering your belongings. If you properly clear out your things, you won’t have to become an innovative storage expert. Everything will fit with the use of conventional methods.
marie kondo clean room

Phase 2: Discard O’Clock

Start your engines it is time to get rid of some stuff. I mean really get rid of stuff. Remember me? The hoarder? I read Marie Kondo’s book, applied her criteria to the best of my ability, and discarded an absurd amount of things. Some of the items I got rid of (donated, sold, threw away) are pictured in the images below.
trash marie kondo clean
trash marie kondo clean
If I can do it so can you. So where do you start?
1. Sort by category in the order listed below. According to Marie Kondo, this order has shown to be the most effective for discarding items. Starting with clothes builds momentum, allowing one to eventually tackle the most difficult of things to throw away: momentos with sentimental value.
    1. Clothes
    2. Books
    3. Papers
    4. Miscellaneous (aka junk drawers)
    5. Momentos
2. Take EVERYTHING out. My Grandma always said things have to get messy before they get clean and boy was she right. Empty every bin, drawer, and closet you have no matter the location in your house. Lay it all out in front of you and feast your eyes on the ridiculous amount of things you own. Do this for each category of things you are sorting through.
3. Choose what you are keeping. Note here that you are not choosing to get rid of things. You are choosing to keep them. The selection criteria is simple:
    • Does it spark joy? Hold each item in your hand and listen to your gut reaction. Does the item you are holding immediately bring joy to you? If the answer is no, it has got to go. The goal at the end of this process is to only possess items that truly bring you happiness. 
    • Has it served its purpose? Marie Kondo states that, “If you come across something that is hard to discard, consider carefully why you have that specific item in the first place”. The things we own serve a purpose in our life. If that purpose has already been served then it is time to donate this item or simply discard it. For example, if you are struggling to get rid of a pair of shoes you once loved with your whole heart but haven't worn in years, it is likely that they have already served their purpose in your life. Kondo asserts that you must thank the item for the joy it has brought you and allow it to be put to rest (a very philosophical approach but oddly effective). 
    • Are you able to appreciate it? Although a tad bit on the spiritual side, Marie Kondo believes that inanimate objects deserve respect and appreciation. If you have too many things, there is no possible way for you to appreciate each and every one of them. If you have an item you never use or cannot store properly, you are not appreciating it. Release this item.
4. The Gotta Go Category- No Excuses.
      • Random papers. I promise you don't need them. Condense papers you actually need into one folder.
      • Greeting Cards. New Years Card from 2016? Already served its purpose. Gotta go. 
      • Manuals for appliances. You will never use these. 
      • Shoe boxes and technology boxes. Come on, seriously why do we even save these?
      • Old pay slips. Bye. 
      • Mystery Cords. If you aren’t even sure what that cord belongs to, it has gotta go. You will never use it.
5. Tips on Sentimental items: joy is in the here and now. Pick your absolute favorite things, the ones that truly matter, and move on with your life. 

Phase 3: Everything Has a Place

1. Folding. Marie Kondo’s method of folding has completely altered my storage abilities. 
    • Fold clothing into a smooth rectangle.
    • Store as many things in drawers as possible. This prevents a closet from getting over cluttered with hanging clothes. 
    •  Store vertically. I have tried the rolling method and must admit that storing vertically is much more efficient. Not to mention, you can see all of your clothes more clearly.
    • Fold socks. I know this sounds strange but you can fit a lot more socks in a drawer if you fold them instead of bundle them. 
2. Keep it simple. Use the drawer space you already have. If you need some dividers, look for cardboard boxes or spare bins in your home. These work great for separating clothes within drawers. 
3. Give everything a place and put it there immediately after you are done using it. When you get home from work or school, put your keys, gloves, and boots in their place. Everything should have a specific place it is stored in. 
4. Purses and bags tip: store purses and bags inside of other purses and bags. This saves a lot of space and keeps your bags contained in one area. 
5. Store items of the same category in one place so you don’t forget what you own 🙂
marie kondo organize

Post Marie Kondo Review

I am thrilled with the results. I feel much less anxious in my space. My bedroom is now a place of peaceful solitude and comfort. It has been three weeks since I cleaned initially and you know what? My room IS STILL CLEAN. I feel like a new woman. A clean and organized living space is incredibly influential on mindset and productivity. This much needed reset has positively impacted many areas of my life.
I hope this post inspired you all to Marie Kondo your own lives. Happy tidying everyone. As always, thank you for reading. The support of this little online space means a lot to me. If you aren't already subscribed, I would love if you entered your name and address down below. New content on It's Mich is coming soon, I wouldn’t want you to miss a post!
Until next time,
xx Mich 
marie kondo clean

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