Anyone who knows me, or follows me on social media, or reads this blog, will probably know that I am not the most tidy of people. I have tried to employ different methods over the years, but nothing sticks and nothing actually helps me get past the surface mess and actually make enough storage space and room for the things that I actually want to keep, store, show off. My room and the space I live in has slowly been irritating me, which coincided with discovering the Netflix show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ and my outlook on it all has changed.
I’ve reached that stage in my adult life where my relationship with the space I live in is changing. When I first moved into the house I live in now, I was so excited to move in to a painted, carpeted, fully fledged house of my own that I didn’t mind taking in all the old furniture family and friends had to spare. 3 years on and I am starting to notice things I would like to do and change to the house, things I need to sort and to decorate, and updates I would like to make.
The first steps in doing the house is definitely sorting it out and thoroughly tidying up. Part of that is to see what we have in terms of stuff and get rid of things we no longer need or want, and part of that is to see how much space we have in the house to do things we would like to do in terms of decorating and changes. I avoid spending time in my room when it is messy as much as possible. I know one answer is just tidy it, but before I couldn’t see that the amount of mess was probably linked to the amount of stress I felt about the house. I have kept it much tidier over the past few weeks, and I am now at the point where I am sorting and tidying the room as a whole. Cue: the KonMari Method.
Marie Kondo is a Japanese tidying up expert, organising consultant, author, and an all round adorable and helpful lady. Her KonMari method is infused with Shinto religious principles and focuses on what ‘Sparks Joy’. Instead of focusing on things you don’t need and want to throw away, you focus on things you like, and want, and make you feel happy. I am not someone who buys into the spiritual side of things, I don’t thank everything I get rid of and I certainly don’t wake up my books or have time with the space in my room, but I definitely think focusing on things that you like and want and need and that makes you happier creates a happier and healthier living environment and somewhere that you ultimately will enjoy living in much more.
So I’ve started to actively follow her methodology (minus the thanking and the meditation). I watched a few episodes of ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’, watched some YouTube tutorials on her folding methods, and I am on a mission to make the space I live in more joyous and organised. I’m not even joking, or over exaggerating, or being a tiny bit sarcastic, I really like this method, and have so far managed to get rid of a lot of stuff out of my room that is either surplus to requirements, things that don’t bring me joy, or stuff that other people would find more useful. It’s not been easy, there were some hard decisions in there, and there was a definite feeling of letting go of some things that I was keeping hold of for sentimental reasons, reasons that have lessened over time.
It has also allowed me to better organise the things that I do have into storage space that I now have free, or a better idea of using. I have a wardrobe, shelving unit, and drawers that are capable of housing the clothes that I had prior to sorting through them. Now as I have got rid of a decent section of my older, more tatty, or ill fitting clothes, I have reduced the amount of storage required and can fit everything into the wardrobe and drawers alone. This does mean, however, that I needed to learn to fold my clothes in a new way, and watching the method Marie Kondo uses has helped use the storage better and actually see all of the clothes that I own. I will hold my hands up and say this process is not quite complete, but it is already freeing up significant space in my room to re-jig furniture around and out of my bedroom, thus making the space feel less cluttered and more relaxing.
It’s also forcing me to go through papers and trinkets I have collected over the years too. I have a habit of holding onto bits and bobs whilst travelling, maps and tickets and postcards, and then never actually doing anything with them. I purchased proper under bed storage boxes with the view to sorting and storing what I want to keep, and hope to finally get around to using the scrap book I bought years ago to house some of this stuff in a better, more interesting way. It will also make me realise what is hiding in bags and boxes around the house and make me sort the important documents that are mixed in with these more sentimental things.
How does this change the way I look at the house? Well, I have been looking around and noticing things I don’t like anymore for a while. There are areas that still sit as they were when they moved in, with old furniture I had acquired. They don’t need decorating, or significantly changing, but they definitely need sorting so that they become more my/our own. The dining room sits largely untouched in it’s current state, and is more of a dumping room than a useable space, so sorting this, moving an extra piece of storage in there will create more useable storage, and display space for items bought on my travels. It also repurposes furniture no longer required in my bedroom and puts it to better use elsewhere in the house.
The start of this drive to organise the house was actually because of our kitchen. I love spending time in the kitchen. I really enjoy cooking and I find sitting at the table in the kitchen while food is bubbling away on the hob is a particularly therapeutic and productive atmosphere for me. Our kitchen is almost as it was when we bought the house (we painted a wall and inherited a butcher’s block) and is quite small. There are only two of us, so small hasn’t been a massive issue, but as we start to think about making the house our own, re-doing the kitchen has become a major focus.
The issue? It costs money and most likely means we would need to knock some walls through to make the pantry and outhouse part of the kitchen space to expand and make use of the rooms that don’t really work for us in their current form. It is also a big undertaking, and is a big adult decision we didn’t want to make before we knew that we were happy with the rest of the house and actually wanted to commit to staying there for long enough to make it worthwhile. Tidying, organising, and personalising what we have there beyond what we did when we initially moved in.