We are about to let out our flat on airbnb for a couple of weeks so I have been trying to look at each of the rooms through the eyes of our guests and getting rid of as much stuff as possible (you probably know by now that this is a constant narrative in my life!). If I invited you round for tea, you would probably say that I have a very tidy home. Usually there aren’t random piles of clutter here, there and everywhere and only one bowl of random bits, which sits on the hallway table. However, dark secrets lie behind a lot of my cupboard doors: the hallway cupboards, the wardrobes, the kitchen cupboards. Dark, dark secrets. Unfortunately, airbnb guests need to use these cupboards so there’s nowhere to hide!
The truth is that I’m not very good at keeping on top of my cupboards and I think this is because each one is full to its capacity, which means every time I want to use something from one of them, negotiating how to get the item in and out is like a Crystal Maze challenge. The bottom line is that we have too much stuff. When I first bought my flat five years ago I lived here alone and my cupboards functioned well but when Jules moved in just a few months later we didn’t add enough extra storage space to accommodate all of his stuff.
I am definitely one of those people that suffers as a result of disorder; I can’t concentrate and I’m not particularly productive in messy surroundings. Even if the room I am in is beautifully tidy and clutter free, if I know the cupboards are disorganised it puts me on edge (sad, I know). When I did my bedroom makeover a couple of months ago I cleared so much clutter out of the room, which felt amazing. However, I didn’t get round to sorting out the wardrobes and drawers so even though the room looked lovely and calm on the surface, unrest was lurking below.
And then everything changed when I watched this brilliant video by Heather about the KonMari method of decluttering…
Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ claims that: “The KonMari Method will not just transform your space. Once you have your house in order you will find that your whole life will change. You can feel more confident, you can become more successful, and you can have the energy and motivation to create the life you want.” She has a mile-long waiting list of people desperate for her services so there must be something in it, right?
Marie Kondo suggests that you don’t tackle a room at a time, but rather you divide your belongings into categories. So, I gave the KonMari method a go with our clothes, bags, coats and shoes. Stage one involved gathering every item from around the house – from the wardrobes, drawers, hallway cupboards, shoe box, hooks on backs of doors and underbed storage.
Stage two involved sorting through everything and trying to get rid of as much of possible. You are advised to hold up each item and decide whether or not it sparks joy – if it does, you keep it, if it doesn’t you thank it for its service and get rid of it. I worked through the shoes first, the bags next, Jules’s clothes after that and then mine. I managed to fill seven bin bags full of clothes, hats, shoes, jackets and bags that we no longer need, don’t wear or were worn out. I took three bags to the charity shop, I put one bag’s worth on eBay (I made £700!), offered one bag’s worth to my sisters and mum and two bags were recycled.
Stage three was all about putting the remaining clothes back into the wardrobe and drawers but in a considered way. I managed to use thirty fewer hangers (so you can imagine how cramped our wardrobe was before this) and the KonMari method is all about hanging the heaviest, longest items from the left to the right.
Watch Heather’s video to see how to fold clothes in the KonMari way – WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN DOING THIS MY WHOLE LIFE??? I can finally see my clothes and fit soooo much more in to each drawer.
All in all the process took me about four or five hours. You may think it is an over statement but I genuinely do feel that the KonMari method of tidying and decluttering has the potential to be life changing for me, which I will discuss more in a future post as I have already become aware of subtle differences just tackling the clothes category has made. I am a convert – thank you to Heather for her video that motivated me to get started! I have moved on since I wrote this post to do my kitchenalia and I will post again next month to give you my thoughts on just how life changing it has been.
What do you think?
P.S. Voting has just opened for this year’s Interior Blog Awards and I have been nominated in the Best DIY and Crafts category that I was so lucky to win last year with the help of all your votes. I would LOVE your vote this year and it will just take a couple of seconds. Thank you so much! Just click on this badge…