Okay, so the title of the book is really The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and anyone who knows me is probably wondering if I have lost my mind by writing a review let alone having read the book. But that is also okay, people can surprise even themselves and decide to do something different.
I will admit that I was suspicious and even joked about the ‘magic’ being some crazy ‘dark magic’ because tidying couldn’t really change anyone’s life. Could it? Well, I am only 5 hours in on a 3 month –weekends only- journey. I came up with the number this past weekend when I calculated how much time I spent from pulling stuff out of the closet and some drawers to putting things away, either back in the closet, drawers, garbage can, or plastic bag to be donated, minus the time I took to help my elderly neighbor and make several cups of tea. So that is it, 5 hours, what I am willing to dedicate to this concept of cleaning.
Here’s how it went. I read the book last week and discussed it with a few people. One had read it and has very little ‘stuff’ but she is a teacher visiting our country so she is somewhat in travel mode. She has been to my house though and even remarked about how much stuff I have. I hadn’t noticed it being too bad but I live with it day in and out. Anyway, I proclaimed my intent publically to her and a few others-not that anyone is heading over to my closet to see if I was true to my word but that’s cool, it made me want to follow through.
Day of the 1st round:
Making an event of this by getting dressed for the occasion meant I had shorts, tee shirt and had laced up my nicer sneakers—nothing fancy and it turned out kind of funny, more on that later.
I thought I would need some music for inspiration and so I grabbed the iPad and started scrolling through Pandora radio. Hmmm, which station? Sara Brightman, Sara McLachlin, Dolly Parton, Jake Shimabukuro, Annie Lennox, Clearwater Credence Revival Disney, Lana Del Ray? Too many decisions already, I was wondering if this decision was difficult then would I be able to get through a bunch of clothes. I decided on CCR to start and then thought I would turn to Lana Del Ray if I was getting surly about the project or maybe Dolly or Disney if I was feeling like Cinderella and needed the pep. Not a big deal but I had to laugh when the first song was Journey’s ‘Don’t stop believing”….I took it as a sign and kept on believing I could make a dent in all this stuff today.
Outfit on: check
Music on: check
Now for the piling. I made the bed and put down a dark color sheet and began grabbing the contents of 6ft worth of shirts hanging on the right side of the closet and the contents of 3 drawers. I dumped them all on my bed so I didn’t have to get down on the floor and hurt my back. I grabbed the ironing board to use as a folding station and set about touching all the items-not at once- to see if they sparked any joy or not.
I started out with a couple of easy items, the first two items were easy, just seeing them sparked nothing, so in the plastic bag they went. Not bad! I felt like I was on a roll, I could do this. Well, I wasn’t five minutes in and I had to rip off the tee shirt I had dressed up in for this occasion to try on something that sparked joy but I needed to know if it fit. Sadly, it did not, so into the donate pile/bag zone. I thanked it and hoped that someone smaller than me could find some joy in it. From there on out though it was pretty much me in sneakers, shorts, and a bra because that exact scene played out over and over again, so much for dressing up. I was grateful to have the house to myself though.
I kind of sorted and then once I had a pile that needed to be put away or folded I would dive into that process so I could see the pile getting smaller. This helped me keep the momentum but I am ADHD so maybe it was that, I don’t know, but I was moving and didn’t want to analyze the situation—progress was happening!
Folding ‘Konmari’ style is not new to me, I don’t know where I learned that before- probably Pinterest or some organizing book- but I do love seeing things like that and with timer running I quickly began folding around the cat who decided this was a cool new place to view the world. It’s all good, cats and dogs make life more entertaining. Lots of folding and refolding at times depending on the item. Surprisingly this intentional folding turned out to be kind of fun. I will see how I feel next weekend when I take out the left side and another 3 or 4 drawers.
I have already decided there is no dark magic in this process, it’s really about making decision. As an ADHD human that can be sticky but I think doing this in the earlier part of the day will help me beat decision fatigue. I already feel better about those decision I made yesterday. Probably the hardest decision was about my tropical shirt collection-maybe 1 or 2 don’t spark as much joy as some of my most vibrant one but they will make someone else’s day brighter I hope.
Next weekend will be the dresses, pants, shorts, plus jackets and those few items in the “I don’t know yet” pile from last weekend. Not exactly the method described in the book but I have to adapt it for me and be okay with the results or I would either not attempt this or end up with anxiety trying to make it perfect. I don’t want to do that so I will go with the flow and find peace with what I do accomplish over the next 3 months. This way I won’t have the nagging feeling about decluttering the house during the hot summer—I hope to enjoy the house while doing other things during the summer.
Take a look at the book, Life Changing Magic of Tidying yourself if this interests you: I surprisingly thought it was awesome!