A while ago, I wrote about decluttering, clearing out my space, letting go. I accepted that it would be a long process, and it's still ongoing. But I thought I would check in about what has happened with the spaces I've already cleared.
I relied to a great extent, although not completely, on Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I did not follow her recommendation to do my whole house in a short
period of time. For one thing, I share my house with another person who
is not invested in this process. For another, I did not have that big a
chunk of uninterrupted time.
I started with the bedroom (or
really, my half of the bedroom), then moved on to the linen closet, the
bathroom, the kitchen junk drawer, the bookshelves, and finally my
writing office. My writing office is the room where most of my stuff is,
especially papers. I have been going through these papers a little at a
time. I've made progress. But I still have a long way to go.
the areas I cleaned up first have, for the most part, stayed neat and
clean. The linen closet looks just as it did when I first reorganized it
months ago. My side of the bedroom has stayed neat, and so has my
bedroom closet. The kitchen junk drawer is still organized. I do love
the restful feeling I get from clean, uncluttered spaces. Marie Kondo
swears that with her method, there is no backsliding--once you apply her
method, your space stays organized. So far, it's working for me.
me, her best tips were: winnow down your possessions first, keep only
what you love, and organize them so that you can see your entire
collection of any given item at a glance. (For example, fold socks in a
drawer so that you can see them all when you open the drawer, without
having to paw through them.) While I don't fold my clothes exactly the
way she recommends, I have found a way to fold them so that I see them
all at once. Which really does help me realize that, for example, I
don't need new socks. I used to think I did, because the same two holey
pairs were always at the top of the drawer, but now I can see all the
pairs that used to sink to the bottom. Seeing everything I have has also
prompted me to use things that were formerly hidden away in closets: I
hung up a few pictures and posters that had been stashed away before.
thing that helped a lot was using all the little boxes and plastic
trays I had previously been saving without being sure why. I cut the
tops off of them and used them inside drawers to organize the contents.
This worked miracles in the kitchen junk drawer: batteries in one box,
pens in another, rolls of tape in another, etc. Now we can always find
the scissors right away in that drawer.
One thing I wish I'd done
when organizing the medicine cabinet was to leave some space for new
medicines. When new medications are prescribed, I have to rearrange and
fit them in. If I'd left space in the beginning, this would be simpler.
are still hard for me to let go of, and although I've cleared off some
shelf space, I still have piles (the to-read pile, the to-donate pile,
the currently-reading pile, the finished-reading-but-needs-to-be-shelved
pile). That's OK. Marie Kondo urges us to aim for perfection, but so
far improvement has been good enough for me.