Spring is coming and it brings with it an urge to spring clean, at least it does for me. Only thing is, it’s hard to clean when surfaces and floors are covered in clutter. Things that were meant to be put away have lain untouched for months, if not years. It doesn’t help that there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to put them, cupboards are full and surfaces are cluttered.
Now, my house isn’t a tip but it isn’t the tidiest home in the world either and the clutter makes me feel cramped and unhappy. I like space, I like a house filled with things I love, things I use and not with things that I don’t.
So I’ve heard about the KonMari method by Marie Kondo. Her method is that you tidy once, a big tidying marathon over several months. Then everything will have a place and you’ll just need to put things back in their place when you’re finished with them. She writes that if you “tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever”, but once your house is in order you’ll never want to go back to clutter.
She also advocates tidying by category, e.g. clothes, papers, other items, sentimental items and subdividing each category, for example tidying all tops at once. With the KonMari method you don’t decide where to store things until you’ve decided what to keep. To decide what to keep, you ask yourself if the item “sparks joy”, the idea being that eventually you’ll have a house full of only the things that bring you joy and that’s a much nicer place to live.
So last week I started, I pulled all of my tops out the the drawers and decided which ones sparked joy. A big pile of them didn’t. I worried I wouldn’t have enough clothes and then I realised, the ones which don’t spark joy never get worn anyway. Why am I keeping them if I don’t like them, they’re old and worn or don’t have nice memories attached? Am I keeping them “just in case?” Just in case of what? Just in case I suddenly decide I want to wear 14 year old, faded tops?
Once I decided what I was keeping, I folded my tops according to Marie Kondo’s folding method. You basically fold each top into a rectangle and stand them on their ends. They take up less room this way. It also means you can easily see what you have and, because there’s no heavy pile, things don’t get squashed and creased.
I was stunned by how much space there now was in my drawers. The T-shirts from two drawers now fit in one and with room to spare. The folding takes a little more time compared to how I normally fold but, if it means I now wear different clothes instead of the same stuff at the top of the pile, it’s worth it.
The next morning, it was nice to wake up and quickly grab what I needed rather than spending time searching through for what I wanted. My husband wants me to teach him to fold his clothes now!