Monday, June 6, 2016

The Magic of Tidying Up

As usual I am late to this party! I kept hearing about this book by Marie Kondo so I thought I would give it a read.  I have to say that I am fairly organized and tidy so I wondered what Ms Kondo has to say that is taking the world by storm.

After reading this little book I have to say that she does not say a lot that has not been said before. I think people enjoy reading about organization more than they enjoy doing it.  This book does have a definite Asian perspective.  I can say this because my son lived in China for four years and I have a Korean Daughter in Law! They do look at things differently than we westerners.   If you live in one of the Asian Countries, you do not have big homes. I think most Asians would think all Americans live in mansions comparatively.  The Asians see beauty in simplicity. Westerners think Bigger is Better and you cannot have too much stuff.   And saying that, I have to admit that I have been intrigued by the tiny house movement that is popular right now. The younger generation would rather spend money on experiences than housing.  I really enjoy watching Tiny House on HGTV. It is amazing how much storage can be built into 300 square feet.

Ms Kondo's whole premise is this...if it does not bring you joy, Toss It.  She gives you permission to donate it but you cannot box up your mementos and send them to Mama's House.  I have found that I do tend to wear the same clothes over and over. They are clothes that are comfortable and make me feel good. So why do I have other things in my closet that seldom see the light of day.  In recent years I have worked on that! I cannot go along with her idea of folding all your clothes I hang my things up because I do not like wrinkles. And I have room to hang my things up so I am going to do that. She is not a fan of books either.  She would gasp at the library Marvin and I have upstairs. But I do read books over and we planned this room specifically for this purpose. Finally on page 126 she said this...Keep what you can properly handle. I think that is the key to a well kept home.  Some can handle more than others. I think the biggest problem in organization for most people is putting things away. Once you are finished using something, put it away. How many of us have an area in our home that is a dumping ground for things we are going to put away later.  She also recommends dealing with paper as it comes into your home. I do this every day when the mail comes. I have a simple file system in my kitchen where I keep things that need dealing with and the rest goes in the trash can!  Marvin is always amazed at the amount of garbage we have in our big container that goes to the street. I tell him that we have a tidy house because I get rid of things that we do not need or want! And Ms Kondo says the hardest  things to get rid of are mementos...Truly special memories do not go away if you discard the items associated with them.  I guess this is my biggest challenge as I tend to be sentimental.   She touched on hoarding also...she related that many people think they get security from hoarding but it often causes more anxiety due to the space all the stuff takes up in your home. I have always said that a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. The author related that many people sit down to do a certain task but they find themselves tidying instead of studying etc. Our mind wants a serene place to do its best work.

And I took issue with her idea of treating inanimate objects as if they are animate. She says we should thank our clothes, shoes etc at the end of the day before putting them away.  That is definitely an Eastern viewpoint. I have a dear friend who related that when she was in high school she had a closet full of polo shirts of all colors that she wore with jeans to school. She rotated the colors because she was afraid of hurting the shirts feelings!!

As a Christian I thank God for His blessings as I clean my home. Every Tuesday I wash the sheets on my bed and when I climb under the covers that night, I truly thank God for Clean Sheets. Marvin laughs at me but he waits every Tuesday to hear me say this.:)

So if you are curious, take a look at this book on Tidying it does have some helpful hints and tidying is always a good thing.


Sandy said...

Arlene, I officially know we are soul sisters. I could have written this post if I had read the book. I have put off buying if, because you hit the nail on the head with we like reading about it more than actually organizing. I have lots of Youtube videos about it so I had a pretty good feel for it. I ditto what you said on all of it. They were literally my thought!!!!
My biggie is the sentimental stuff. I have lots of storage at this house which is a bad thing for me, because all that sentimental stuff is neatly organized and labeled in clean bins in every closet. That will be my downfall if I ever have to move.
I wash my sheets on Mondays and yes, I love sliding into them at night and feel the exact same way. It is on the top of my list of life's pleasures.

Arlene Grimm said...

Well Sandy, now you do not have to read The review on Goodreads were mixed. It appears you love it or hate it. I have been purging my house bit by bit as I am packing things that can go to the little house when it is completed. I literally had enough things for two houses here. I am sure she would tell me to get rid of all my craft things way!:) I think I prefer cozy to is a cultural difference.

Terri D said...

We are starting to prepare for downsizing and have begun sorting and cleaning out. Too much stuff indeed!!

Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

You hit it on the head —we like reading about organizing more than we like doing it!

I hold on to things that remind me of special events because otherwise, I would forget about them! Good thoughts, but yes, I think she goes a little too far.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I like reading books on organization and I enjoyed this book. I didn't find a whole lot 'new' in it either but I did refold my tee shirts in a drawer so that I can see them all at the same time. These are shirts I wear just for goof off days! lol I hang most of my clothes too because I have plenty of room. You did a nice review of this book. And yes, I pray about every day things too. I said thank you for my flowers this morning! Sweet hugs, Diane

Mildred said...

After moving several times during John's illness in the past few years, I have learned to let go of many things I thought I never could. It is much easier to clean with less. We go thru our things a couple of times per year and donate what we no longer need. We love to donate to the Humane Society as it helps homeless pets, too.

Arlene Grimm said...

Terri, good luck! We pared down when we moved here. Leslie Anne, I was tickled when I read a blog post by Martha Stewart where she admitted that her craft room had gotten out of control so even she has a problem with maintaining order. Diane, I was encouraged to go through my closet again with a more critical eye. Mildred I have heard it said that Moving is almost like a house fire for getting rid of things! That seems a bit drastic but I know I would rather toss some things than move

Barbara said...

I admit I do like to read organizing books. I read this one and like you, I am not a folder. I have gotten rid of almost all my books but that is only because I do not have room in this tiny apartment. I am much better about giving things away. I don't normally thing what if I need it again someday. I just know I don't have either room or use for an item and off it goes to be enjoyed somewhere else.

Arlene Grimm said...

Barbara, if i lived in a smaller space I would definitely decrease the amount of my STUFF.:) I like to have an orderly space and clutter bothers me to no end so good for you in your effort to keep only what is needed!!