My “art” of tidying up….

So, I’m ready the book by Maria Kondo – The Art of Tidying Up.  I’m only part way through it, and I am a combination of motivated, in awe and over-whelmed.  This woman is serious about tidying: her book is peppered with stories of her passion throughout life – at 5, as a teen (she’d race home from school and tidy for hours until dinner time!).  I like to be tidy, but Kondo is an entirely different level (which I guess is why she is the best selling author)
At the same time, her methods promise a future of bubble baths, weight loss, and a more productive life. So, sign me up!  My inner thoughts on how to de-clutter are 100% wrong compared to her. I do a little at a time, when I have time.  According to Kondo, “Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever”  Damn! Who wants that?!
Her method is hard-core and to do it all at once:  make it an event, set aside a good amount of time, don’t rush it.  I love the concept, but I’m not there yet.  I can’t just take an afternoon and deal with all of my clothes at once: my closet is big, organized, but there is a lot going on in there!  It is not an afternoon only project. So, I am going to combine her method with mine. Maybe this is a rookie mistake, but hey, I’m only 1/3 of the way through the book, but ready to go!!!  So, today is purse day!

Purse Day!
She is very specific about how things need to be done.

1.  Take everything out of its place (and you would do this by category, not by room).  So, I’ve gathered purses from my purse drawer, back of closet, beside my desk in office, mud room.  All purses are now aligned.  I have less than I thought, but for a girl that never swaps out purses, I guess it’s a shameful amount. I never go backwards on purses either – once I get a new one, I don’t seem to use an older one.
2.  Decide what to keep.  Self chatter involves “does this spark joy?” and “thank you for being part of my life”.  The approach is “why should I keep this” vs what to get rid of.
3.  After step 2 is completed, only put back what you decide to keep.

Ok…off to do it….back in a bit…

I’m back….literally 20 minutes later.  It was easier than I thought.  75% of my bags are NOT coming back in the drawer.  The interesting part was the crap inside the bags – it gave me perspective.  Hotel key from 2011, People mag from 2013 (Bethany is getting a divorce!), cheap lipsticks, expensive lipsticks – all garbage now due to my own neglect. I found $12usd, $20cad, and a homesense gift card, so not all is lost.  Even from that pile, I tossed so much – pens, hair accessories, random things not worth re-homing. If I didn’t need them in the past 5 years, it’s unlikely I’ll need them in the next 5.

So, my purse drawer was near empty!  Such a good feeling (see below!). In the midst of my enthusiasm, I dared to look to the right – to the cubby that holds over-night bags. So, I yanked them all out.  Again, easier than I thought: a few are staying, most are going.  They are now stacked in the same drawer.  I kept the Gucci bag with the tags on, but if it doesn’t make an appearance in the next month, it’s going too!



The pile of purses to go is big.  Kondo is always talking about throwing everything out – literally, trashing things.  I can’t do it.  Stay tuned for the free purse give-away!


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Your Mental List

How often, during the day, do we add things to our “mental list”.  I need to pay that bill, or get that gift ready.  Avoid cluttering your mind in one of two ways:

1. Just do it the minute that you think of it.  Don’t put the small things aside.  Send that email now, or make the quick phone call.  When we dwell on things, we spend more times thinking about them, than just doing the task.

2.  Make note of it.  A literal “note”.  It may be a piece of paper in your car, or a chalk board in your kitchen, or perhaps a task list in your phone.  It doesn’t matter:  do what works for you.  But – write it down, get it out of your mind.  Move on.

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