‘Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living’ – Peter Walsh
Recently I have been reading ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo. Marie advocates having a home for everything and keeping all similar things in one place. For example, all books should be kept together rather than spread around the house. She says that when tidying, you shouldn’t tidy a cupboard or drawer but instead gather everything from one category together and go through that. Her logic is that we tend to keep duplicates of things around the house which isn’t necessary and that by sorting category by category, you do the job once. Whereas if you sort a cupboard for example, it will soon be untidy again.
As I read it over Christmas, I was already in that frame of mind where I wanted to have a sort out. Actually, that’s probably why I bought it in the first place! I don’t know about you, but after a month of Christmas decorations, cards and presents all over the house, I have a real desire to simplify.
The first thing I did was to sort through my sock drawer. This was easy as I only keep my socks in one place (unless they’re in the laundry basket!). I took them all out and held each pair as instructed by Marie. I threw out 8 pairs which I never wear and which do not ‘spark joy’ (more on this in a minute). I then folded the rest neatly and put them back in the drawer standing up so that I can see each pair easily (again following Marie’s instructions). I surprised myself to be honest, I never thought doing something so simple would actually make a difference but it did. I now smile when I get a pair of socks out!
Marie is keen on everything that you have in your home being either used regularly or ‘sparking joy’. Her advice is to hold each item in your hands to see what emotion it brings. If you don’t feel anything, why are you keeping it? If all your socks are plain black you might struggle with this but for me, mine are patterned and in lots of different colours so it actually worked. Inspired I did the same with various other categories – toiletries, handbags, make up, drying up cloths, even plastic food containers. Of course, not everything is easy. Sentimental things, paperwork, the things you keep because you plan to use them soon. This is the point that I am at now and I’m not sure how well, or even if, I will sort these things but I am so happy with what I have sorted and I definitely feel better for it.
One of the things I took from the book was the idea that by clearing physical clutter, we also remove the clutter in our minds. From the straightforward (having a tidy, clutter free, home makes it easier to find things so we don’t waste precious time and energy searching. We don’t need to stress about mess because everything has a home. A clutter free house is much easier to clean and a clean home is conducive to good health) to the bigger picture that clutter, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional, actually stops us from moving forward and living the life we want. Clearing this clutter brings a sense of calm and allows a renewed focus.
So the tiny tweak this week is to pick a category of physical clutter, gather it all together, and go through it, deciding what to keep, what to donate or recycle and what to throw away. Remember to consider each item and decide what you want to KEEP, rather than what you want to throw away – honestly this makes it so much easier! Whether it’s books, jewellery or socks, give it a go and see how you feel afterwards. If, like me, you are inspired to do more, then great! If not, well at least you have had a bit of a sort out and have hopefully achieved something – maybe you found a piece of jewellery you’d forgotten about and are now wearing or you’ve cleared some space by donating items to charity. Whatever you achieve, it will be worth it!
Until next time xx
If you enjoyed this post, please like it and let me know in the comments. Have you read Marie’s book and been inspired to clear the clutter? Have you found that clearing physical clutter helps to clear your mind? Why not share in the comments and start a conversation!