Sunday, February 17, 2019

"Tidying Up" My Way

Please don't get me wrong. I think that Marie Kondo's method of tidying up works for some people. Maybe even for most people. For me, it was just a little too overwhelming. My messy closet was not as bad as it was two years ago. At that time, my precious, helpful daughter volunteered to come over and help. She did it without knowing just how bad it really was. I knew it looked bad and I knew that I was having trouble  finding anything that I needed in the way of shoes, handbags, clothing, basically it was total chaos and in need of a major overhaul. 

She went about it the same way that I watched Marie Kondo do it with families on her program. She actually took EVERYTHING out of my closet and piled it on the bed. Shoes went over in piles with handbags and belts. She had me sit down and pick up each item one at a time and put it in one of three piles. I had to decide if it still brought me joy. Was there a spark when I looked at it and felt it? If not, I had to say, "So long!" If it was still nice, it went in the pile for donations. If not nice enough to donate, it went in the pile of throw outs. Otherwise, she took it and put it on a hanger neatly and placed it back in the closet. 

Sorting out sleeveless tops, short sleeve tops, 3/4 tops and long sleeve tops, to jackets, slacks, skirts and dresses. I might add that she had it arranged by colors also. (Just a touch of OCD, you think?) I thought that we would never finish but actually it was not as bad as I thought. Until I came back and she had all of my shoes out in the Master Bathroom Suite. They literally took up the whole room and not to brag but we have a very large bathroom suite. 

My granddaughter, who was 4 at the time, came back and said to me, "Lola, you have a shoe store! Momma, can I have this many shoes, too?" Okay, so I had a lot of shoes. I admit that. I love shoes and handbags. I was told to sit down and try each pair on if they brought me joy. The extra component here was they had to fit comfortably for them to stay in my closet. Basically, I almost understood what she was saying. If they brought me joy and I could not wear them, then why do I have them? We sorted by sandals, flats, different heel heights, and of course her color fixation was still going strong with the shoes, just as the clothing. 
Yes, you really can!

Now, this same closet has the beginnings of looking like it did when my daughter straightened me out before. I did not have the heart to get her that involved again. I knew what had to be done. EXCEPT, with writing my book, and it being only me and no helper, I am doing it my own way. This does go against how Marie Kondo suggests, but it works for me. I am slowly working my way through the mess. I am actually trying on the piece of clothing if I think it sparks joy within me. Because, sometimes, once it is on my body, the spark fizzles out fast. I had to be honest with myself. Am I really going to wear it? Then it went to the throw away bag or the donation bag. 

Just so you know, I am getting about 5 - 7 outfits tried on each morning as I dress. So far I have 5 bags that have gone to a donation site. There will be more. I have some clothes upstairs also and when I go up, I take a few that I know do not spark joy and I have a bag already upstairs for them. The others, I bring down to try on or hang up as the case may be. This includes drawers of sweaters, tanks, sweatshirts and bathing suits. 

Never, ever did I think that I could fold the Marie Kondo method. One of our sons folds this way and one of our daughters does it the very same way. That was not a learned lesson from me. I am admittingly ashamed of my folding compared to theirs. Then, on one of the 'Tidying Up' programs, Marie showed a mother and a father who said there is no way they or their children could do that. She then brought in her own three year old to prove them all wrong. Her daughter folded a shirt as if it belonged on a shelf in a store. 

That is when I knew that I had to get with the program. My plans are to do the whole house. I can't begin to tell you how it makes me feel. Even in my office, I am working on the bookshelves and decluttering, along with drawers in the kitchen reorganized and it feels so much better. 

In our bedroom, I have decluttered my nightstand, the tops of two chest of drawers and have worked my way through 7 drawers. Of all the things that we have, I believe that we need to declutter our books. I plan on doing this by starting with my books and my books alone. Steve has many 1st edition books that are valuable. Then he has books that bring him joy to re-read. He must be the one to take that on. Actually, if I manage to get as many as I am thinking that will be going to the Library for a donation just from my piles, it will give him more space. 

As Marie says, "I can think of no greater happiness than to be surrounded only by the things I love." I can feel the love already and I have only just begun.

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