Tag Archives: Marie Kondo

“Spark Joy” Reignites My Will to Declutter

In my last feature for the paper, I wrote about how using the Marie Kondo method of decluttering my home has impacted me as an organizer to my core. She encourages us to keep only the stuff that makes us happy. This is actually a tall order, and not an insignificant psychological feat. While I was on my organizing kick last year, I hit a wall when it came to the paper purge, and the whole process got put on the shelf. Then I hit critical mass, with the excess stuff of having two growing children cluttering up my basement and work space.

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As I continue to work on “the purge of all times”, it is easy for me to get sidetracked and lose my motivation. Luckily, Marie Kondo’s new book, Spark Joy arrived just in time. I’m in the middle of it, and have to stall the urge to put it down, just so I can go get rid of some more unwanted stuff. This book is much more in-depth and descriptive, complete with illustrations on how to fold your clothes properly to maximize drawer space.

I’m eagerly anticipating reading Chapter 6, about getting rid of paper. I’ve built this task up so much in my mind that it has paralyzed me. I’m afraid I’ll shred something I may need down the line. Yet, if I’m being honest with myself, when was the last time I actually needed to reference one of my paid bill statements? I can’t remember. Surely, going through this category of stuff will feel just as liberating as shedding the bags and bags of clothing I did last March. Wish me luck, this duty is next on my list.


Tips for Getting Organized This Year

In Sunday’s Life section, I wrote a column about my own home organizing challenges. Even as an organizing professional, I still wage a battle against clutter on a regular basis. I hope that you’ll find some of my ideas about how to tackle that looming mountain of stuff in your living space, inspiring.

i clearly labeled bins in my basement, after purging two truck loads of stuff.
I clearly labeled bins in my basement, after purging two truck loads of stuff.

My Two Favorite Organizing Books

Yes, I have just two favorite home organizing books. I’ve read many, but only two have actually changed the way I think about home organizing. This is the best time of year to gear up for organizing your living space to better fit your needs. You’ve just accumulated more wonderful possessions from the holidays, and now you need places to put them.  In next Sunday’s paper, I’ll write more in depth about the process of purging. For now, here are  two book recommendations, as you consider what to get rid of and how to fit your new belongings into your daily life.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book really has changed my life for the better. Her determinant for what to keep and what to toss is, does it spark joy? Not only did this help me get rid of lots of excess, but it stays on my mind as I shop, so I am less likely to buy impulsively. Kondo also encourages you to purge by category of item, not by room. This was a game-changer for me. I’ve got her newest book Spark Joy, due out on January 5, on order and I am so looking forward to its arrival.

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My next favorite is Organizing From the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. I love this book because she really delves into how to arrange your living spaces so that they make the most sense for how you live your daily life. She also gets specific about filing systems and how to store all kinds of items. Morgenstern encourages you to think of your spaces in terms of zones, and how you use them. For example, a living room might have zones for reading, watching TV and doing homework. Then you work off of that footprint for where to put things you’ll need to access for those activities. She compares it to the way a Kindergarten classroom is organized. I just loved that principle and it has really stuck with me.

I hope the approach of the new year has you motivated, energized and ready to improve your home’s function through the power of organization. We can go on this journey together.