My husband and I have seen a few of Marie Kondo’s Netflix shows about Tidying Up. Other than having some serious issues with the show– like really wishing there would be some discussion about not getting into over-consumption in the first place as well as the toll over-consumption takes on the environment, or talking about more practical ideas regarding donation– the show has sparked a few changes around here.
We are taking a couple hours each week, to “tidy up,” the results of which you can see in this blog. We have gone through our clothes, only keeping in our living pattern things that are working for us right now. (To say they “spark joy” is going way too far since I’m not yet in a spark-joy size. And we are keeping the clothes in smaller sizes in the attic until I can press them into use, so we have not gone through those yet.)
You can see a couple photos of our fancy Konmari folding below. We are liking it– first, because it is an efficient use of space, and second, because you can really see your options easily and make choices more quickly without rummaging through everything.
And below you can see before and after shots of the inside top of our dining room hutch. Because it is behind closed doors, it became a catch all for all sorts of things. Using the china crammed in there was a project every time. We started by giving the various sizes of votive candles stashed in there to our daughters, since we really use only tapers, which are stored elsewhere.
Then we needed another place for the holiday china sets, and realized that we could whittle down our family game collection that was in the bottom two halves of a huge display cabinet in our living room, and then put them there. This solution would be much better than relegating them to our basement, because we would never bother to go ferret them out from there to use them.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a “before” picture of the game mess at bottom half of the display cabinet, but you can see the “after” shots, with a third as many games on one side, and now the china in the other half. There is all sorts of lovely breathing room in there as well. This freed up the top of the hutch to make usable some of our nice things that we haven’t used much because they were inaccessible.
There is some breathing space in there too, which I am still deciding how to use, but that space will likely end up holding vases that are still out where they can be seen. Moving them behind closed doors will streamline the dining room a bit, but I also may decide to put some of my less used kitchen stuff in there. Anyway, these are fun problems to toy with finding solutions for, and I’m not rushing them.
Also a heads up, if you are a consignment store shopper like I am, this is really a good time to check out their over-flowing merchandise, since so many other people are going through this same process and getting rid of perfectly good things. I am now the proud new owner of some of the best clothes I have bought in a while… think sumptuously thick cashmere… yum!
These are minor changes made in a few hours each week that are improving our lives around here. We hope to keep up this slow pace of “tidying up.” All my earrings need silver polish and organization where they don’t tarnish so easily, and my multitude of scarves are still a mess, awaiting re-ironing and better organization. Eventually we hope to graduate to tackling piecemeal the larger, more daunting issues in our basement, attic, and garage.
Doing this for ourselves, especially in these places that no one but us sees, is much needed self love. It feels great to make ourselves a priority in these little ways, and the impacts of this work will ripple happily on into the future.