Sunday, January 31, 2016

Decluttering Extraordinaire {Thank You Marie Kondo}

Those of you who are regulars to my blog know that I read a LOT. For those of you who are just popping by, 'tis true. I read a LOT. How is that possible with six children at home who have endless extra curricular activities, and (heaven forbid!!) social lives! You squeak it in whenever and wherever you can. I almost always have a book with me. The advantage? I tend to get a surprising amount of reading done --  and when I really don't want to socialize, it's very beneficial for avoiding/ignoring people. (Hehe!)

Lately I have also been enjoying audio books. They are great for when I want to do crafty things like knitting, or crocheting, for when I am doing the never ending dishes, or for anything else in life that doesn't require a lot of brain work. Recently I listened to the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It was so mind blowingly simple to me that I didn't even finish the book before beginning to follow through on her methods.

I'm not going to go into detail here on what her methods are. If you really want/need to know, you can go on Pinterest and find a wealth of information, as well as people who love and/or hate her book. Here is a link to a post on Your Vibrant Family that pretty much sums up my thoughts too.

Although I did find some of the book a little, shall I say, New Age-y, I got really excited about asking the question, "does it bring me joy?" It may have at one time or I wouldn't have brought it into our home in the first place, but hoo boy have I found joy in tossing things the last two weeks!

As Kondo suggests, I started with my clothes. By today's standards, I really don't have a lot of clothing. Partly because I hate shopping for clothes and partly because I rarely like how things look on me. Blech! Shockingly, I still managed to fill a garbage bag, and no my closet is not empty. My fleece pants and cozy sweatshirts always bring me much joy! :o)

Then I went off track. Where Marie suggests pulling EVERYTHING out, going through it piece by piece, and not putting it away until it has all been sorted, I ignored. Why?

1) I have seven kids (six at home)!!
2) I have two dogs!
3) I am already a neat freak. (Please note: there is a difference between neat freak and clean freak.)
4) Some things are very logical for me that perhaps are not to others. (In other words, I have always had like items ((mostly)) put away together.)
5) There are no guarantees that once I pulled everything out that I would be able to keep at it, or get back to it in a decent amount of time. (Children, and the occasional migraine tend to throw me completely off track.)

Friday completed week two of my declutter sessions. To date, I have taken ten (nope, not a typo) garbage bags full of former joy bringing stuff to the thrift store. But wait! There's more! Add to that multiple boxes, smaller bags, and baskets of stuff equalling a van load FULL. On the next trip (I had to go into the city again anyway) I brought some more that couldn't fit in the van on the first trip.

Reality? I am embarrassed. How did it come to this? I began to wonder if this was normal despite countless examples in Marie's book of people who collected way more bags than I had. So.... I started to watch a random episode of Hoarders on YouTube. Okay, so I am definitely NOT a hoarder.  Apparently I had never watched Hoarders before as I was five minutes into the show and so repulsed by it, I switched to music instead.

Next, I attacked the bookshelves. Eleven boxes of books made it out the door. I managed to dismantle an entire shelf, in turn making the rec. room just a tad roomier. However, our book problem addiction is not completely solved as the Engineer and I are not the only avid readers. There are several children in this home who think actually parting with books is a criminal offence! Check any bedroom or closet of the children, and you are sure to find enough books yet to refill the shelves that I emptied. However, those are the children's books -- not mine.

Crowded room.

Suddenly spacious!

Thus far, the entirety main floor and most of the basement has been gone through. Even the storage room that was atrocious when the appraiser came through, looks better again. There is still a rather large pile in one corner, but the brunt of that belongs to Nathanael. I am hoping he will make his Momma very happy by going through it when he comes home for reading week and only keeping what brings him joy. ;o) We'll see if he has time though. It IS reading week after all. He'll likely have papers -- or projects to work on.

I got the two oldest girls to go through their rooms. Peach was more than happy to oblige and happily tossed away. Beans, on the other hand, went through her clothes with some much encouragement. The rest of her stuff however, SHALL NOT BE TOUCHED. (Hopefully her closet full of books doesn't come crashing down on her head!) :o)

I thought Friday afternoon I would get at the younger girls' room, but our new futon arrived, so instead I put together it with some help from Beans -- and well, I will admit, I am doing migraine battle. So glad I gutted the class/craft room when I did!

No Futon.



  1. Well done!!! I do a big clean/purge when the boys are on spring break, and I'm already looking forward to it - thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Julie!! It's certainly a great feeling!


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