I am definitely not a minimalist! I came to this conclusion after reading books and articles by Marie Kondō and other organizational gurus who hand out pointers on how to keep your home tidy and neat.
I read about the Konmari philosophy, practiced folding and filing clothes, and even tried to get rid of things that didn’t “spark joy”; the last one was the hardest as I felt that almost everything in my house “sparked joy”.
Now this doesn’t mean I don’t agree with all those pointers, in fact I did agree with quite a number of them and have incorporated some in my life. Like folding and filing clothes the Konmari way.
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Honestly this wasn’t such a big deal since I’ve always folded clothes in a similar way, just not as compact, and I definitely didn’t store them in drawers vertically. I do now and it really does create space; enough space so that underwear, sock, and t-shirt drawers aren’t bursting at the seams!
I also like the idea or proverb “A place for everything and everything in its place”, regardless who this quote is attributed to. (Some sources attribute it to Benjamin Franklin.)
I like this idea so much I use the phrase all the time with my grandkids! Again this wasn’t such a big change, I’ve always had bins, baskets, shelves, etc. to store everything, a place for everything; but the trick is to keep everything in those bins, baskets, etc, hence in its place!.
And that’s where the next tip comes in! Somehow things seem to come out of its bin, basket, shelf, drawer, or whatever and make its way to the kitchen, family room, or any spot other than where it should be. That’s why it’s important to keep things in check well before it gets out of hand and you have piles of stuff in every room. So taking 5-10 minutes each day to gather up “stuff” and putting them where they belong really does make life tidier!
I also like the tip about spending a few minutes every morning making your bed. Having spent my elementary school years in a Catholic boarding school this was a chore that had become second nature until I had kids. Somewhere between diapers, bottles, and sleepless nights making the bed every morning was a chore that pretty much went out the window. This “bad” habit just sort of lingered until recently when I rediscovered that a neat bed was a great way to start the day!
Now for the part I can’t wrap my head around. The part where you’re supposed to go thru your stuff specially clothes and shoes and decide what to keep and what not. Most organizer gurus will tell you that if you haven’t worn or used it for 6 months it’s time to get rid of it. The Konmarie way talks about that sparking joy thing. Well I just can’t do it!
I tried, really I did! I looked at everything with a critical eye and actually tossed quite a few things. I tossed garments that had holes, stains, and were just too old and ratty to give away; I posted a few things on resale sites; and I dragged several large bags to the neighborhood Goodwill branch. But no I will not sell, donate, or toss out high end designer handbags, shoes, and clothes no matter what! Nor will I part with picutes and “artwork” made by my children and grandchildre. They all spark joy!
So where does that leave me? In my case it meant building the closet of my dreams, something I’ve been trying to persuade my husband to do for years. But that’s another story, one about designing your dream closet.
But back to this organization stuff. At the end of the day I decided to pick and choose the ideas I could incorporate into my life and add my own twist on how I wanted to organize my stuff. In short there’s no hard and fast rules on how one should organize one’s stuff; you must do what works for you no matter what the so called experts say!
Here are a 5 tips that work for me. You might find one or two that will work for you. But if you don’t that’s ok. Just remember to do what works for you!
- Make your bed as soon as you get up. It just takes a few minutes and starts your day neat and tidy.
- Find a place of everything and keep everything in its place. Take 5-10 minutes each day to gather stuff that’s found its way around the house and put it back where it belongs.
- Fold and place your clothes in drawers to create optimal use of the space. Try the Konmarie way!
4. Purchase or make drawer organizers to keep underwear, socks, etc. neat and tidy. It creates more space too! I even use them to keep leggings, tank tops, and camisoles neat and tidy. I also use eyeglass boxes to store eyeglasses and sunglasses. I purchased several sets of these drawer organizers from Amazon for my drawers and my husband’s drawers. I got the eyeglass organizer for Amazon too! Utilize jewelry boxes, earring organizers, necklace displays, etc. They not only keep things organized, they make closets fun and interesting too!
5. Keep drawer, shelves, and cabinets neat, tidy, and organized by putting things away as soon as possible. Fold and store laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryers and put dishes away as soon as you can remove them from the dishwasher.
6. Don’t let dirty dishes, pots and pans stack up while cooking. Clean as you go!
I guess the best way to keep a neat and organized house is to not let stuff pile up anywhere! Do you have a favorite organizing trick? Let us know we’d love to hear from you!