Although I am by no means a minimalist, I am often very inspired by the principles behind it. I believe that clutter causes undue stress and makes it exponentially more difficult to maintain a clean and organized space. In particular I like Marie Kondo’s, (the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding up) advice that you should only keep things that spark joy. Although David thought the idea was pretty cheesy, I know that it’s easy for your favorite things (those spark joy) to be drowned out by other things that accumulate. For example, for my birthday I received a beautiful china cabinet. However, since it is close to the door it often becomes a dumping ground for junk mail which detracts from its beauty. Another example is when I clean out my closet and find that some of my favorite pieces have gotten pushed to the back while things that do not fit or make me feel good are in the front. Having less not only streamlines your life but it also helps you more fully appreciate the things you have left.
I think that the key is changing the way you look at the things around you. Your possessions were meant to serve you not to be a burden. You should not feel guilty about donating, selling or getting rid of items that no longer serve a purpose. I specifically appreciated this advice as it pertains to gifts. She explains that the purpose behind a gift is as an expression of the giver’s feelings toward you. One a gift has been given it has already served its intended purpose and it is okay to part with it. Another piece of advice that I heard somewhere (not in her book) was to think of shops as a place to store miscellaneous things instead of in your own home. For example, instead of keeping lots of extra craft supplies, tools, power cords etc. around that you might use in the future you can part with those items and then if the need arises you can go to Hobby Lobby, Lowes or Walmart and purchase it again. Although this sounded very wasteful at first, she explained that she thought of it as paying them a small price to keep all of her craft supplies, small tools and miscellaneous items organized. In addition, it is possible that you might store something for many years and never use it. Or worse, it might become buried and then you go out and purchase a replacement anyways.
With that said, one of the major problem areas in our home has always been our dresser drawers. Even though I dutifully fold the laundry and put it away, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the clothes become a wadded mess. That is why when I saw a video of Marie Kondo folding clothes I immediately took everything out of our drawers and re-folded it. You can watch it here. I have tried many different organization methods and often find that they simply do not last or that they are more of a hassle than a help. However, after three weeks our dresser is still organized and tidy. I believe that the main benefit is that being able to see everything in the drawers keeps us from pillaging through for that certain item we need. Unfortunately, I did not think to take before pictures until I was almost done. However, David’s sock drawer has NEVER closed until I started using this folding method. I am proud to say that I have been able to keep the drawer closed for three weeks now. I hope that you feel inspired to tackle whatever problem areas you have in your home!
Thanks for reading!