This is a guest post by Lianne Benning
Yesterday I finally tackled a task I’ve meant to tackle for weeks now: I tidied a cabinet. There was loads of stuff in there that I never used but had some kind of plan for (but would never actually do anything with). Other than the 150 euros I found in there (I should really tidy cabinets more often), I threw out almost everything. I will not miss one thing I threw out, and I knew that beforehand, but I still procrastinated the actual tidying.
Lately, I was feeling a bit desperate thinking about my home. Even though I do clean and tidy regularly, it never seems to be how I want it longer than five minutes. There is always some little, insignificant object that is laying around somewhere, simply because it’s insignificant enough to not have its own place in the house. Or objects we just don’t bother putting away because we plan to use it in the near future. A few coins, paperclips, a stack of papers. A book meant to be read, a used water glass, a pillow I honestly don’t even like. In my house, it’s always a bit messy, and it’s driving me nuts. Even my boyfriend get a little agitated about it every now and then.
So what is the problem here? Why can’t my house be tidy?
Well. It’s actually very simple. I have too much stuff. You have too much stuff too, that’s why your home isn’t perfect either. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Things pile up. Magazines you meant to read a specific article in (but don’t), decorations that lost their glory, books you thought you’d read again, clothes that don’t really fit anymore (but you were planning to make them fit by losing a few pounds), gifts you never liked. It drains your energy even thinking about it, doesn’t it? Let alone living the mess it creates.
After I tidied the cabinet and threw out a bag full of things I’d never should have kept in the first place, I felt strangely relieved. And energized. And proud.
I’ve been reading about tidying lately. I know. It sounds like a dreadful topic to read about and to be completely honest, it is (in my opinion. If you happen to love it, I’ve got a good book for you). In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, tidying guru, Marie Kondo teaches you how to tidy properly, since not many of us have actually been taught by our parents how to tidy. There is a strategy that works. And it’s based on the fact that we just have too much stuff. If you want to keep your home tidy, the first thing to do is to throw a lot of stuff away.
There is a specific order for doing that. You tidy per category. Not by place. Very important. You start with your clothes. I just know I’m not the only one with too many clothes. Put everything you own on the ground, and I do mean everything. Shocking, isn’t it, to see how much you actually own? That’s the point. Most of us have no idea what we keep in our house. After that, you go through your books. Then you start sorting through your papers. Etc. If you want to know exactly how to go about Marie Kondo’s strategy, I suggest you read her book. I have. And although it’s not my favorite book in the world, it did change something in me.
The trick is to hold each item in your hands and really connect with it. Ask yourself: does this spark joy? Do I feel this item in my heart? If you do, keep it. If you don’t, it needs to go. It fulfilled its purpose. If you can’t throw it away, then bring it to a shop for used items. Of give it to a family in need. Do not, I repeat, do not store it in your basement (or in your parents’ house for that matter). It actually needs to go.
Sounds like a lot of work? It is. But just imagine you sorted everything and only kept the things that spark joy in your heart. You’d be surrounded by things you truly love and nothing more. Nothing that drains your energy. Energy is way too precious to be taken away by living in a messy house. I didn’t follow Kondo’s method yet, but I definitely will and keep you posted on my blog.
Will you join me?
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