The storm of organization has been sweeping the country thanks to a sweet and petite woman named Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo is the Author of four different books all focusing on organizing and together they have sold millions of copies. She now has a hit series on Netflix where she helps families transform their lives by helping them “tidy” there lives, which in turn “sparks joy.”
Now if you are anything like me, you’re constantly worried that you’ll somehow become a hoarder and end up on one of those hard-to-stop watching reality shows where friends and family have to help you sort and throw out stuff just so you can walk around your own house.
Mainly this worry is rooted in the truth that I just have too much stuff. Which is true. We all do! Our culture is a consumer driven culture that tells us that more always equals more. Until we are swimming in more possessions than we know what to do with.
So when a show about how to organize and fold your clothes into neat squares comes along I jumped at the chance to change my future hoarder-self around.
After just the first episode I was convinced I need to start right away, and then my children reminded me it was dinner time.
See, as convincing as Marie Kondo is, that you need to dump all your clothes on the bed and hold each one to see if it sparks joy or kindly thank it for what it has done for you before throwing it in the get-rid-of pile, there just isn’t enough time of in the day to do that and also do, well, necessary chores, like feeding your kids.
One thing that is different about Kondo’s way of organizing is that instead of organizing by spaces like bedroom, kitchen etc., you organize by categories.
The first category is clothes. It’s almost like she knows that is my worst area. No matter how hard I try, I can never keep my drawers folded and in order. I tend to dig through them and then they stay a disheveled mess till the next wave of organization hits me.
And let’s not even talk about my closet… It has the best of intentions, holding all my clothes where I can see them, but it is usually sabotaged by my ability to over stuff things in there.
The worst part of all this is that I am also in charge of all my childrens clothes, which means their drawers and closets suffer the same heartache as mine.
So I was determined to fix this problem, armed with sweet Marie Kondos words ringing in my ears. She actually, isn’t fluent in english so she has a translator which means mostly I just read her words in subtitles, but you get the point.
Now again if you forgot, Marie Kondo’s advice is to dump all your clothes on your bed and go through it one by one. I decided instead to go drawer by drawer and stop when necessary because toddlers need snacks and emergencies happen like the dog eating their snacks instead.
I started with my daughters’ drawers first because if anything was accomplished I wanted it to be their stuff first. So I dumped out one drawer folded and stacked it the Marie Kondo way, where you can actually see all the clothes, and took a break. See my goal was simple, just get somewhere. So I did just that, and within only a few days I had successfully organized all three of my girls’ drawers and cleaned out their closets. Not only was I excited, but so were they!
Nothing is sweeter than seeing your seven year old excited that she can find her socks in the morning! Ha!
One thing that was actually really helpful was asking myself if something really “sparked joy.”
A lot of the time, we ask ourselves, “is this useful?” or “will I need this again one day?” and it causes us to hold onto things we really don’t need in our lives. Part of organizing is letting go and then donating it to someone else who maybe can find it useful.
If you are wondering if I ever tackled my clothes, the answer is yes, well sort of. I started by just picking out ten items I could clearly see hanging in my closet that I knew didn’t spark joy or that I hadn’t actually worn in forever and cleared them out. That helped give me courage to tackle my four main drawers of clothes and I’m happy to say they have been folded and organized in way that would make Marie Kondo proud.
So if you want to start organizing but you don’t think you have time then the best thing is to just start. You may not have a whole day to dump all your clothes out but you can give 15 minutes to organize one drawer or pull out some clothes in the closet to donate.
One thing that is truly wonderful is that once things are organized, it does make it so much easier to live your life and it sets a good foundation for your children to learn now how to care for their things, which is really worth me learning how to re-fold clothes into tiny squares.
Ashleigh Rood is an East Coast transplant and currently a San Diego East County resident. She is a military wife, mother to three girls and founder of Rosy Sunset.