My year with Marie (Kondo)
*A personal reflection by the creative director, Crystal
It's been almost a year since I jumped on the #mariekondo bandwagon and I've never looked back. I set myself a challenge to declutter and organise my home in one year, and yes it took that long!
After binge-watching a few episodes of Marie Kondo Netflix series, I was inspired to tackle several areas in my home which had been neglected throughout the year. While some of her principles seemed a bit intense for me I found the premise behind them valuable. To be fair, I haven't entirely committed to her process nor read any books but felt confident enough I could make a good and lasting change.
Here's how I tackled our home in one year;
January- Master Bedroom; wardrobes & chest of drawers, bedside tables & ensuite cupboards
February- Kitchen cupboards & drawers
March- Fridge & Freezer
April- Office, papers, files, documents
May- Miscellaneous May. I used this month to consolidate storage containers and baskets.
June- All drawers and cupboards in our home including bookcases and other storage items
July- Spare bedrooms & guest bathroom
September- Outdoor areas- leftover tiles, chipped pots
October- Garage (this was a big job and required storage systems)
November- Garage continued
December- Month of grace
On reflection, here's what I learned this last year;
- Living with less does, in fact, bring me more joy. After decluttering my decor, books etc, what remained was items that truly mean something to me, pieces that connect me to a special memory or loved one. I no longer keep things for special occasions or just in case, instead, I was able to display my treasured belongings on my shelves and consciously use ‘precious objects’ in my every day living.
- Consuming Less. I’ve been more mindful about purchases made throughout the year and ask myself these three questions; Do I really love it? Will I use it? Where will this live? If I can answer yes to all of these questions then there is no hesitation and no buyers remorse. In addition, choosing what to wear has become infinitely simple. Working towards a capsule wardrobe for 2020.
- Living with less has made cleaning a breeze. With fewer things to put away tidying up has become less of a chore and takes very little time. I longer fear people just dropping by!
- Mental Clarity. Decluttering and organising our home one cupboard/drawer at a time has significantly reduced the level of stress and anxiety. Having clear spaces with loads of breathing room not only looks better but feels better. Each space feels restful to the eye and I feel a deeper sense of appreciation about what surrounds us. Clutter not only takes up physical space but mental space.
- Consuming Consciously. Since donating unused items, many bags of clothing, unopened linens 🙈 I was forced to look at my consuming habits. My personal philosophy is quality over quantity, fewer better things! I apply this principle to everything from clothing to beauty products to decor, books and furniture. This simple principle has changed the way I shop, look at consumerism, consume content and have a smaller footprint. Being conscious about wastage and landfill has become an important factor to our family since embarking on #MarieKon. Maybe it was seeing everything in piles which we had gifted, binned or donated- items that didn't serve any purpose or spark joy.
- A place for everything, and everything in its place. Once you've created space for the things that bring you joy, it's easy to see where the gaps are? Are you lacking storage? Need some new clothes that spark joy?
What didn’t work?
- Folding everything into little triangles. I really wanted this skill to stick. I now accept I'm never going to be triangle folder, and I'm totally ok with that! A combination of folding and hanging is working well so far.
- Declutter in categories, not rooms. I understand how this technique would benefit some people but I felt confident moving room to room.
- Holding each item and asking myself if it did spark joy. Admittedly I didn’t have a lot of things that I didn’t love so this step was pretty easy to navigate. I did, however, say a prayer of gratitude for all the things that were once a part of my life but no longer serve me.
Favourite Marie quotes that kept me motivated throughout.
" The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past" - Marie Kondo
The journey to decluttering and organising my home was not quick and easy. It can be quite emotional to discard things that you bought with right intentions but just never used, items which once held meaning no longer serve any purpose and stay boxed, to what end? I'm no expert organiser and consider myself a fairly organised person, but life does happen and we all get distracted. The biggest take away from this experience has been how freedom has ensued. Mental freedom and freedom of time. With less time spent cleaning, we're freer to enjoy the things and people that bring us joy.
Is getting organised and de-cluttering your home on your agenda for 2020? Be sure to download our Summer Magazine for some great organisation inspiration, tips and strategies. Have you tried Marie Kondo's methods, if so how did it work for you? Tell us your tips below?
*Disclaimer: I’m yet to organise my Christmas decorations🙈, this will be a project for 2020.