For years I’ve
struggled sucked at cleaning up the house.
I think this is mainly because we buy a lot of things without getting rid of other stuff.
We have A LOT of stuff.
When I clean I tend to make a huge mess, throwing away at least half of whatever I find in whatever room I’m cleaning up. So all this time I have been halfway ‘tidying’ KonMari style already. However, I’ve never done the entire house in one fell swoop.
I just see (e.g.) my son’s room – a complete disaster zone, covered in toys and clothes, like a bomb went off, and then I go to town on picking up all the crap that’s everywhere. The floor is covered in everything he owns, separated into piles: keep and trash. My son hates this, I do it about 2 times a year and especially around his birthday and present-giving holidays because I’m pretty firm in, when stuff comes in, other stuff needs to go.
I still haven’t gotten the gumption to do the entire house at once. I have a donate/yardsale basket downstairs and a donate bag upstairs from when I cleaned my room last month. Last week, I went through my daughters clothes after I finally bought her one of those plastic Rubbermaid dressers. I had just had her clothes folded in a crate/basket but that was piling up. I went through her clothes and not in her new dresser, there are only things that currently fit her, folded and stored standing vertically versus folded and piled. Putting folded things standing up saves so much space, and much less pushing things down in order to stuff them into a drawer. Today, I went through my daughter’s toys that have been overflowing in wicker baskets in my living-room. We still have two full baskets of toys, but also a full 30 gallon trash bag of stuffed animals that I can’t decide between trash and donate, but will not being living in my home any longer. I also went through my book rack where I had been keeping multiple notebooks from college, basically useless now, full of notes for whatever tests I was studying for at the time. I do keep my textbooks, not that I have many, but the well written ones I enjoy reading and the language texts I love. I went through the small basket I keep the writing utensils in, threw away dried up markers, put everything into my son’s pencil box and then I had an empty basket to use for the random collection of sunscreens and lotions I have on my table in the living-room. I went through and threw away a few of the empties and oldies, and put the remainder in the basket, which looks a lot nicer than a bunch of bottles taking up a table-top. Then I went through my downstairs ‘toiletries’ basket, bodyspray I use before I go out, I put salve and plasters in a zippy bag so I don’t have to run upstairs when the kids get a boo-boo. This basket was overflowing and now it’s organised, lotions put in the lotion basket, bathroom things put upstairs where they go. And I had my son try on all the jeans I just washed and about half of those went into the donate/yardsale basket because he’s gotten too tall for them.
I know Marie says not to throw other peoples’ things away, but in my life, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. Things will just keep piling up. O’s holey t-shirts and completely destroyed pants will just keep finding their way into my laundry room and back into the closet. Sometimes, and this sounds really old-school sexist, the woman needs to clean out her SO’s stuff for him because he’s… well, pretty much lazy, and on the verge of being a hoarder. For us this is mainly clothes, he has about 100 t-shirts, many from 12-15 years ago – high school – most of them have holes, are too small, ugly, out of style, etc. Basically, if I let him dress himself and keep all of the clothes he has, people would think that he’s homeless. He’s a skateboarder so clothes don’t last very long before becoming tattered. Pants? Ha! Usually they end up at the point where his bottom is hanging out where there should be a butt pocket. There are also lots of electronic crap that needs to get thrown out, we have boxes of cables that will most likely never be used ever again. Sometimes you have to throw your family’s things away, not only your own stuff. If you have a family, you probably notice nothing belongs to just the person who wears/plays with it, everything in the house belongs to you because everything ends up belonging to the entire family, not just one person. We have about 200+ DVDs that we don’t even watch, that we don’t have space for, to the point where I have banned even the idea of buying any more movies because we have literally nowhere to put new ones.
My husband’s closet is the next stop in my ‘decluttering’. Eventually I’ll get around to the movies we don’t watch, which would free up space for a few newer ones.
Cleaning is always going to be an issue for me. Especially with children messing everything I do in a matter of seconds. But I’m happy to say that I don’t usually have a problem with keeping material things versus throwing them away without remorse. The only things I have a big problem with letting go is baby stuff (I try to only keep a few outfits from special occasions, and baby books), and photos. Photos are memories I don’t want to lose. Of course, if I had pictures taking up a lot of space instead of one drawer, I would have to go through them and decide which ones I really want to keep forever. Which of them are most important.
I’m thankful for all the videos on YouTube showing me what the KonMari method looks like since I’ve been interested in her book but couldn’t find it for free and our finances aren’t doing too well right now so I can’t afford to buy it because it’s not a necessity. I’m happy to discover that minus the whole house in one day thing, I’ve basically been cleaning this way for the past few years. I think it’s probably a good idea for me to go ahead and go all out with the entire house instead of one room like I have become accustomed to. Marie’s right, a little at a time just doesn’t work.
If you are like me and can’t afford the hardcover book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by, Marie Kondo“, never get around to reading self-help books, or hate e-books…etc, the Audible version is available on YouTube, I don’t know for how long, but HERE IT IS. It’s almost 5 hours long, so you’ll have to account for that.