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  • Reflections on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The real magic of tidying

    I’ve been reading the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and implementing the “KonMari Method” described. It’s so fascinating that I’m turning my thoughts about it into a series of posts. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Reflections on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Chief Family Officer

    Throughout the book, the author often mentions that once her clients have implemented the KonMari method, they go on to improve their lives in other ways. In particular, she mentions clients who lost weight and clients who started pursuing their dream jobs.

    As I read these anecdotes, they had the ring of truth, but it wasn’t until after I was really in the throes of the KonMari method myself that I realized why:

    The process of asking yourself “Does this spark joy?” is also a way of saying to yourself, I care about what brings me joy, what makes me happy matters, and *I* matter.

    Once you place value on what you care about, you’ll naturally want to take care of yourself.

    And that truly is life-changing.

    Reflections on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Stockpiling

    I’ve been reading the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and implementing the “KonMari Method” described. It’s so fascinating that I’m turning my thoughts about it into a series of posts. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Reflections on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Chief Family Officer

    The KonMari method discourages stockpiling, but I can’t resist a hot deal on something I know I’m going to need down the line. It’s depressing and almost physically painful to imagine regularly paying full price for something because I didn’t stock up when I could have and consequently have run out of it.

    I do think that it’s harder to have the kind of stockpile I’m thinking of in Japan. Houses and apartments there are tiny. We live in a townhouse that’s not particularly big, but you could fit three Japanese bedrooms in our master bedroom!

    Where I think I’ve gone wrong in the past when it comes to stockpiling and tidying is not storing like items together. I’ve had cleaning items scattered throughout the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the cabinet under the wet bar, paper goods in various cabinets, etc. In doing so, I haven’t been able to keep track of how much of something I have on hand already.

    So now I’m following the KonMari method of keeping my stockpile in one place. All of my cleaning supplies are now in the cabinets under the wet bar. I’ve rearranged the personal care supplies to keep the shampoo bottles together, the lotions together, etc. I’m working on rearranging my paper goods stockpile – as I declutter and create space, I will have a large enough space in a closet to store all of our paper towels together. (Bulky items like that have been spread throughout the house precisely because they’re bulky.)

    Being able to see everything of one category that we already have helps me to see whether or not I should stock up when a sale comes along. For example, I now know that we are running low on body wash, but have plenty of shampoo.

    How do you manage your stockpile?

    Reflections on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Don’t tidy for others

    I’ve been reading the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and implementing the “KonMari Method” described. It’s so fascinating that I’m turning my thoughts about it into a series of posts. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Reflections on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Chief Family Officer

    When I first started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and got to the part about sorting and keeping only those items that spark joy, I wondered if the author was going to give advice on how to get other family members on board with the program. So I was surprised and relieved when I read that I should just tidy my own possessions and not worry about everyone else’s.

    I started with my obvious possessions – my own clothes, my jewelry, files, books, etc. And as the primary housekeeper, I have free reign to tidy and organize most of the house. So next I tackled the common areas, such as the utensils, pots and containers in the kitchen, the extra dental and other personal care supplies, and so on.

    I don’t plan on tidying my husband’s possessions – that’s totally up to him.

    But the kids … well, I’m going to teach them about tidying according to the KonMari method. They have tons of books and toys and baseball cards, as well as clothes and more. Not to mention super busy schedules. So the trick is finding time to tidy with them, and unfortunately that’s likely not going to be until Thanksgiving week, when they have the whole week off from school. Until then, our afternoons and evenings will be filled with homework and projects and sports and social obligations. But I’m going to start strategizing now about the different categories we can tidy that week (and if the opportunity presents itself, I may get a head start with at least one of the kids!).

    Have you tried the KonMari method with your kids?

    Reflections on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Storage

    I’ve been reading the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and implementing the “KonMari Method” described. It’s so fascinating that I’m turning my thoughts about it into a series of posts. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Reflections on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Chief Family Officer

    There are a couple of things about the KonMari method of storage that I’m finding work incredibly well – so well that I can’t understand why I never thought of doing them before.

    One is store things vertically so you can see everything. For example, I had a banker’s box in which I kept our extra oral care supplies – toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, etc. Everything just got tossed into the box, and it worked okay, in that we always knew where to find a new toothbrush or tube of toothpaste, and I always knew where to put new items when I brought them home from the store. But in tidying the box, I found myself discarding lots of samples and old kids’ toothbrushes that are too small for the kids now. And I wanted to be able to really see what’s in there at a glance. I hit upon the idea of storing everything standing up in zip-top plastic bags, like so:

    tidied oral care box | chieffamilyofficer.com

    We had a similar arrangement with razors and Q-tips, which I kept in a different banker’s box. Everything was a jumble, but I was able to use more zip-top bags to group the men’s razors, the disposable razors, and the women’s razors together:

    tidied razor box | chieffamilyofficer.com

    Which brings me to another wonderful aspect of the KonMari method of storage: keep like things together. For example, I had jewelry in two different locations. I tended to only look in one location, so when I sorted through my jewelry, I realized I had many pieces I hadn’t worn in a long time simply because I’d forgotten all about them. I kept only those pieces that sparked joy, and then rearranged my storage so that everything is in one spot, and easy to see from above. And now every time I go to get my wedding ring, I put on another piece of jewelry (or two or more) that make me happy.

    Reflections on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Keeping only what sparks joy

    I’ve been reading the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and implementing the “KonMari Method” described. It’s so fascinating that I’m turning my thoughts about it into a series of posts. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Reflections on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Chief Family Officer

    One of the most important components of the KonMari method is to sort through your belongings and keep only what “sparks joy.”

    I’ve found this a surprisingly useful guideline to follow.

    Even when it comes to mundane items that really don’t have much to do with joy, I’ve been able to do thorough tidying because of the KonMari method. It definitely helps to sort by category. I think it’s because when you go through all of one type of item, you realize just how much of it you don’t use. So I sorted through my cleaning supplies, which were scattered all over, and realized I had three bags worth of hazardous materials to drop off. (Locals, here’s a list of locations where you can take your hazardous materials in Los Angeles.)

    The thing is, I’d actually done this sorting a few years ago and had acquired only a few new items between then and now. But the other items that had survived the initial purging and are now gone were items that “might be useful.” The kind of thing I felt kind of bad about getting rid of, since we might need it at some point. That’s pretty much the opposite of “sparking joy.”

    And what I realized after I’d sorted, discarded, and re-organized was that I felt genuine joy in those areas where my cleaning supplies are stored. All that’s left is what I actually use. And because I store like items all together now, I can see how much of something I have. For a practical, frugal stockpiler like me, that’s a deeply satisfying feeling.

    Reflections on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Tidying by Category

    I’ve been reading the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and implementing the “KonMari Method” described. It’s so fascinating that I’m turning my thoughts about it into a series of posts. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Reflections on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Chief Family Officer

    One of the important tenets of the KonMari method is to tidy by category, rather than location. For example, when it comes to clothes, you might be tempted to sort through the clothes in your closet, then the clothes in your dresser, and then the clothes you have stored, etc. But with the KonMari method, you pull all of your clothes out from every location, and sort through them all at once.

    I’ve tidied by category quite a few times at this point – I’ve sorted through my baking pans, my baking dishes, my shoes, my jackets, my clothes, my cookbooks, and so on.

    And I have to say, I think it’s a brilliant tactic. First and foremost, you see everything you own that pertains to that particular type of item. Under the KonMari method, you keep only those items that “spark joy” in you, and what I’m finding is that with everything laid out, I realize enough of the items “spark joy” so that I don’t have to worry about not having what I need.

    I’ll admit that it can be a bit of a pain to put everything of one type of item in a central location so you can sort them, especially if their original locations are spread out. In this case, it helps to narrow the focus so you’re only looking for one particular type of thing. For example, jackets are clothes but I keep my jackets in the coat closet downstairs, far away from the rest of my clothes. So I sorted my jackets independently from my clothes, in a totally separate session.

    The category I’m kind of afraid to tackle is cleaning supplies. Those are scattered throughout the house, in each bathroom, the kitchen, and especially under the wet bar. But I know that’s exactly why they need to be sorted as a category, so I can see exactly what we already have.