It has hit Netflix proportions – Marie Kondo and her “Magic of Tidying Up” have officially gone viral and everyone on social media is proclaiming their take on the movement.
We came across Marie Kondo’s book back when it launched, in 2014. The concept is simple, yet the implications and actual job itself is often overwhelming or sometimes even unappealing. Not to us over at CoolKid. We are always looking for ways to simplify our days; making cleanup easier, decluttering and organizing in such a way that makes sense and relieves all guilt of letting go of things that don’t spark joy.
I have watched a couple episodes of the show Tidying Up, and I have to admit, her process makes sense and seeing it play out on television was a condensed version of what we have been feeling and doing for 4 years. Its true, her method is supposed to be a month or less of a process, but for us over here reaching hoarder status (don’t judge!), it proved to be much longer in between parenting, cooking, managing schedules and the like. Its true, starting with items such as clothing and books do get the juices flowing and once you hit your stride, organization becomes much more important than holding on to just more stuff. If we are honest with ourselves, we all have clothes hanging or books collecting dust that have served their purpose, and its time to let go of them.
The most challenging part of the Tidy is definitely the mess that ensues during the sorting phase. Press on, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am at the point now where I am actually going back over categories of items and being even more selective to streamline all processes in our home. Do I really need 7 silicone spatulas? 6 whisks? 14 serving spoons of the same size? Books that my CoolKids have read and did not really like or go back to reread? Sometimes it feels easier to just live with the mess and do the best we can to clean around it and make it work.
I for one, was tired of just making it work. I wanted to thrive in my environment and actually enjoy it. Now, its true, my home sparks joy. It is easier to maintain because everything has a place. It is easier to clean because here is no clutter to shift around to reach surfaces. It is more fun to do laundry because it looks pretty and everything fits. Ok that may be an exaggeration but it is definitely MORE enjoyable and LESS stressful to manage a home that utilizes these Tidying Up principles.
Here are a few tips that we implemented to help us reach organization mecca.
Tip #1: If you need to donate large quantities of bagged clothes, books, kitchen items, I have found that the Disabled American Veterans will actually schedule a truck to come to your house, and pick up the items from your curbside! This has been a game changer, allowing me to gather a donation together, but never have to actually load it into my car and drive it anywhere haha. Super lazy I know but sometimes the bag would sit in my car for weeks before I made it to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Here is the link to schedule a pickup of your own!
Tip #2: Another way I have justified getting rid of things is to create age specific bags of items such as kids clothing, shoes and/or toys to give to friends or other CoolKid Mamas. I have been able to bless multiple friends with bags of great condition items for their little ones. Hand me downs are a blessing at any time, in my opinion.
Tip #3: When you are unsure about an items or multiple items, put them in a labeled storage tub in your garage. If you find yourself reaching for them or digging through the tub for that pillowcase you loved once, bring it back and find it a home. If the tub goes untouched for weeks, months, even up to a year? It’s time to let it go. One last sorting and call for that donation pickup!
Tip #4: Let’s talk bedding/sheets/blankets/quilts. How may pairs of sheets does each bed actually need? I usually keep 3 sheet sets per bed in our home. One flannel/winter sheet set, one cotton summer sheet set and one set of white sheets. The white sheets are typically used while one of the other two pairs are in the wash. When one set gets warn out or you find a set you like better, simply replace and donate the old to make room for the new. That’s what I love about this organization method, it doesn’t forbid you to shop or spend money, it just creates a more thoughtful approach to the items in your home.
Tip #5: Kids Closets. Each child in our home has a long and shallow closet in their room, with two sliding doors to conceal it. I found this to be a crutch for me, allowing a mess or clutter to remain behind closed doors. I removed the doors, added wire ShelfTrack systems by rubbermaid to incorporate shelving and hanging clothes storage. I added various storage tubs for toy sets and shoes as well as baskets and bins for other miscellaneous toys. What a difference. Now everything has a place and everything is labeled and easily accessed. Rethinking how a space exists is also another way to reimagine a space and hopefully make it more useful and accessible. Just because a closet is a certain way, doesn’t mean it cannot be altered or updated to fill your current needs. Thinking outside the box, or closet in this case, made all the difference in these kids’ closets.
Tip #6: Towels. We have slowly switched to all white towels/hand towels/washcloths. As towels were on sale I would pick up two or three at a time to help spread the cost out over time instead of making one large purchase. White towels are easier to maintain because they can be bleached, they look neater when stacked or folded and also it eliminated the pickiness over towel color when it came for shower/bath time. It feels fresh, clean and more organized simply by having uniformity. Try it!
I hope we can inspire you to get on the Tidying Up train and stop living in a way that is stressful and anxiety ridden, and step into this new JOYOUS season. It really does affect your overall mood when things are out of place, and we encourage you to give yourself grace through the process and start slowly, building momentum as you progress. Happy Tidying CoolKid Fam!