The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Before The KonMarie Method

Friday, July 31, 2015

The life changing magic of tidying up. This blog will be a long one, so if you don't want to read the whole thing just read the next sentence. Get the book and read it, do it, you won't be sorry. 

Part 1...The before story...(You can read part 2, my after story, here.)
This book is no joke. It's the real deal. It completely changed the way I look at my possessions. My life is changed because of this book. I repeat, my life HAS changed. My everyday life is calmer, my daily chores, routines and housework are so much easier and I am so much happier. My marriage is better and my husband is happier. 

It's okay if you just read that and are skeptical, I was too when I first heard about this book. But for $9 on Amazon I figured I'd give it a chance. I read the book in two days and really let it sink in. While reading this book I had giant light bulbs going off and I had many Oprah 'aha' moments! This stuff just clicked. There were also parts of the book that I took with a grain of salt. She is from a different culture so some things I don't identify with. I will not idolize my belongings and trust me, MY socks don't have feelings haha! And I get it Marie, you love to organize even when you were a 5 year old. But the good definitely out weighs the bad in this book. 

Now let me give you a little back story. I am a pretty clean organized person. Always have been. I have yearly yard sales and they always do well, and almost everything sells. I enjoy getting rid of things and never had a problem doing so. I always thought I was tidy, until I began this process and realized I was just an organized hoarder. The things that are brought to light and the terror shock you feel as you realize how much stuff you actually have and that your family of two has over 30 bath towels, is sickening humbling. Not to mention my 10 year paper hoard, the 200+ DVD's, the totes of holiday decor that never see the light of day, and all those beauty related items. The list just goes on and on.
Are you kidding me, I actually forgot how bad it was :(
I had my yearly multi family yard sale May 1st and 2nd of this year and didn't think I had anything else to get rid of, oh hahahaha I was so wrong!! If only I had a crystal ball. I starting reading my book that weekend. Six weeks later I had my "I cleaned my house KonMarie style" yard sale June 5th & 6th at my brother in law's house. It was unbelievable how much excess, non-joy sparking stuff I had
I told you...unbelievable. I also sold a lot of the more expensive collectables on eBay. Marie suggests donating everything immediately and not to let it sit around. But I could use the extra money and I am lucky enough to have a garage, so I just kept everything in there until it was time for the yard sale. I am pretty well disciplined and wasn't worried about digging through bags of stuff I decided I didn't need or want anymore. And guess what? I haven't missed a single thing I've sold since, win! After the sale anything that was left was donated and with my earnings I was able to pay off a credit card, double win!!

This book is so entirely different than any other self help, cleaning or organizing books I've read. She also teaches you how to fold and organize, really, like an adult. Her claim is that there is no relapse and no repeat customers. Organize once and you never have to do it again. This process can take about 6 months. I was done in about 6 weeks. But I have a smaller home and no children, so I have a little less stuff to begin with than most people. I also am a stay at home wife and do not work outside of the home, so I could devote all of my time to the process. 

Sort by category, not by room. She has a specific order that you declutter in. Starting with least sentimental items, they are the easiest to part with and, ending with the most sentimental items. Her reasoning behind this is that by the time you get to the harder items you've already been training yourself how to determine if it's something you really love or not. You get into a groove and it's a physical and emotional trigger that really let's you know if it sparks joy. 

Clothes, books, papers, komono (misc items) and finally mementos. These are the categories.

Tidy in one shot, as quickly, and completely as possible. 

Sort by category, not by location. 

Does it spark joy?
There are lots of great links, videos and worksheets to help you, this was one awesome printable I used. And here's the link to my Pinterest board with other helpful articles. Take everything in a category and lay it on the floor. This makes you actually see how much you actually have, it's disgusting shocking, REALLY shocking. It totally made me feel like a crazy hoarder collector. Touch every item and ask yourself does it spark joy? If it doesn't, get rid of it. That simple. Do you love it or use it or even need it anymore? If not, thank it for its service and let it go. Do not hang onto things just because you might need it. Chances are you won't. I of course ran into a lot of stuff that was just garbage too, and I'm sure my poor trash collectors were relieved when I finished my big purge too.
The best feeling is giving myself permission to let go of the things that are weighing me down from guilt and what ifs. It is amazing to me how much power your possessions can have over you. And that moment when you are able to take control of you life and home, that my friends, is magic. 

When I look around and only see the things that I truly love, that makes all this hard work worth it. Picture how you want your home to be. An oasis. A peaceful serene place. Somewhere clean and safe for your family. A place where you can always find what your looking for. How about a home that when you get unexpected visitors you can open your door with confidence and say come on in with a smile, instead or rushing around kicking things under beds and cramming things into already stuffed closets while praying that they don't dare open up those doors? 

My biggest 'aha' moment was when I read these words "we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of." Seriously! So simple yet so life altering, I had never thought of it like that before.

I'm a believer in this magic.

I am so grateful for this book and for a friends Instagram post with a picture of 100+ empty hangers and the hashtags #konmarie #sparkingjoy #thelifechangingmagicoftidyingup

Some before pictures...

The big paper purge, and everything in the boxes was shredded
Shredded papers and empty DVD cases
My husband burning papers outside while I shredded them inside
Photos that were duplicates, blurry of just double prints. Who in their right mind puts blurry photos in albums...apparently this girl did
109 items came left of my kitchen, I honestly don't know how that all even fit in the cabinets. I even KM'ed my Corelle dishes
67 items came out of my drawers and closet, and this was after I had already done my 1st yard sale just a few days prior
My husbands pile of clothes that he did himself without me asking him too. He said "your side of the closet looks so nice, I want mine to look good too." He's a keeper. This was 45 items
My out of control fabric hoard, and it looked like this for 6 years...shame on me
There are so many more before pictures but I think we all know what piles of crap junk looks like ;) so I'll just leave you with that.

I'll be posting an After The KonMarie Method next. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: Read part 3 here, my life one year later.

*These are my own opinions and I am in no way affiliated with Marie Kondo. I'm just another happy reader. 


  1. I can't wait to try it out! :) :)

  2. I can't wait to see your after pictures.

    1. I have a after post with lots of pictures

  3. I know exactly what you mean when after your annual yard sale you didn't think you would have anything else to get rid of...I told friends I cleared my house out (three bags to donate) before I started this process. Now I don't know what I was thinking looking back at pictures of my clutter house, and I am only half finished!

    1. It's funny looking back at pictures and thinking 'wow, I had so much stuff! Where did it even come from!' Good luck with being halfway done!! Good luck :)

  4. No, not shame on you; rather "WAY TO GO! on starting your wonderful adventure & inspiring us all!

    1. Thank you Chris :) it's a great compliment to be called an inspiration!

  5. Replies
    1. I know it's still unreal to look back and see all that stuff!

  6. Really very interesting and very valuable information about the inspirational nice work.

  7. I read this book about a year ago it was GREAT! I'm still getting rid of things today. I'm hoping to have my house in order by spring! Love your blog it helps me stay motivated!


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