It all started with a pair of shoes. Remember when I went away for the weekend, and the MR left for work, and Baby Girl had to get herself off to school? The dogs had all of 15 minutes to behave. But will dogs behave? No.
Cocoa chewed up my slippers and ate my shoes. That’s when I out-smarted her by putting my shoes in boxes and back in the built-in shelves.
Over time, I gathered a few more boxes, and before you know it, I didn’t remember I had any of those shoes. Cocoa was no longer chewing them up, but I wasn’t wearing them either.
Flash forward to this spring when I picked up some shoe bins at Walmart, and some labels online. My shoes held a fashion show, I took pictures, printed off labels, and we were good to go. Unfortunately, the bins stuck out too far, and I couldn’t see the pictures, and I didn’t like the way they looked. So I just up and moved them to the other closet.
I liked my new shoe boxes so well, that I went back for a few more. They were out of stock, but Fred Meyer had similar boxes and some larger “boot” boxes, as well.
These are a little bigger than I wanted, so I haven’t added the labels just yet. The shelves are a bit high, and we didn’t have anything on them before, so maybe it’s just fine.
Now I had the organizing bug, and when I was looking through the list of new online books at my library, I came across The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book sounded intriguing, so immediately, I downloaded it. I’ve read more than my share of organizing/tidying books and wondered if this could be as dynamic as the title proclaimed.
Kondo talks about how reorganizing your home causes dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. I laughed when I read “Tidy a little a day, you’ll be tidying forever”. I’ve tried that. My cupboards are full, I’m carrying the weight of a lot of junk. Tidying a little every day doesn’t help me get ahead.
Her basic premise is to keep only what you love, what brings you joy, and then put it away. She suggested starting with clothes, books, papers, miscellany, and lastly mementos. I’m still part way through my clothes. You’ll notice I didn’t say the MR’s clothes or Baby Girl’s clothes.
“To quietly work away at disposing of your own excess is actually the best way of dealing with a family that doesn’t tidy.”
Instead of backwards hangars, or asking yourself if you’ve worn something lately, she advises getting rid of anything that doesn’t touch your heart. So I’m guessing that those clothes that make you feel old, fat, or frumpy should go. I’ve donated three trash bags full already, and my closet is so empty.
I was able to put all my jackets and tops on one row and bring in my pants and skirts.
One of Kondo’s epiphanies is that people are storing their clothes wrong. By storing them on their sides (usually in drawers), they can breathe, get less wrinkled, and are easier to access. I have found a favorite t-shirt at the bottom of a stack looking squished and lifeless.
Paring down my number of sweatshirts, I was able to bring in my t-shirts and shorts, and have easy access to everything.
Another unusual idea was rolling your socks like sushi rather than rolling or folding them. I know I said I wasn’t messing with the MR’s stuff, but I used to have agnst about stuffing all the clean socks in one tiny drawer. Now his socks are organized by color and size, and I always have room for a few more.
He isn’t 100% won over on this change. But sometimes you have to appease your crazy wife.
Remember my new shoe bins? Look at that closet now.
I got rid of the wrap dress that looked so chic but wouldn’t wrap around me. Sometimes you make a mistake and just have to let it go.
You may have noticed, I’ve taken Kondo’s advice to arrange your clothes so that they rise to the right, from heavy to light, both in weight and color. It’s sounds a little hokey to me, but why not give it a try? I’ve been organizing by color for years.
All this purging has eliminated the need to store out of season clothes. When I packed things up, often I’d forget to unpack them—especially when we had a particularly cool rainy spring and summer.
As I said before, I haven’t finished all my clothes. I still need to take a look at my jeans, my workout gear, scarves, jewelry and sweaters. Sweaters will definitely be a challenge. Kondo says to dump everything out on the floor and then pick it up, touch it, and you’ll know if you want to keep it.
“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
I’m a little fearful of tackling the books; we have a lot; and I don’t want to dump them all on the floor. Perhaps that’s why I like that she calls tidying a special occasion. Something you should dress for and not to be performed every day.
“I can think of no greater happiness in life than to be surrounded only by the things I love.”
I think I’d add the people I love, too. Either way, I’m working on it.
Any tidying advice you’d like to share?