Clean Hands, Clean Heart
That’s an old saying that I used to think my parents made up to get me to clean my room. What it means is that our external state is reflective of our internal state. It’s a variation on Psalm 24:3-4 Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. He who has not lifted up his soul to what is not true, and has not made false promises. (NLV)
My parents were telling me “Clean up your room and you’ll feel better.” They were right – though I would never admit it to them.
How many times have you looked around your room or home or office, shocked and dismayed at the clutter, and said, “Enough! I have to clean this mess up!” Then, one day or over the weekend, you do it. Ruthlessly purge, diligently clean and prudently organize your space. Neat and tidy. Feels great, doesn’t it?
Now, how long before you relapse into a cluttered state? A month? Six months? A year?
The Big Move
As a yo-yo declutterer, I looked forward to the move from my apartment into a condo – my own home – six years ago. This was THE opportunity to purge and get a fresh start. Two years later, my condo was cluttered, too. So I did the weekend whirlwind and solved the problem. For a few months.
Surely there’s a better way to clean up, once and for all, isn’t there?
The KonMari Method
Enter Marie Kondo, a Japanese cleaning consultant who developed a passion for tidying and organizing when she was five years old. As a teen, she began to study various tidying methods and ideas, trying them out at home, perfecting her system. She ultimately developed her own system, the KonMari Method – guaranteed to help you clean and declutter and organize your space – once and for all. She has worked with hundreds of people and claims that no one has ever back-slidden.
Marie Kondo’s book – titled “the life-changing magic of tidying up” – explains the philosophy, based on her experience, and the differences that make her unique Method successful. Summed up: “Start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.”
But first – Ms. Kondo recommends that you sit down and really think about the kind of home you want to have; to visualize it, in detail. Then go deeper; why do you want what you have pictured? How will you feel? What will living there do for you? She shares, with other decluttering experts, the concept that having a tidy organized home will distress, energize and motivate you to have a more satisfying life. As yo-yo declutter, I am longing to discover whether this is, indeed, true.
The KonMari Method breaks down the process, by category, in a specific order:
- Clothes first – by category: tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks/hosiery, under garments, handbags, accessories, clothes for specific events (swim suit, pyjamas), shoes.
- Miscellany and, finally
- Objects of sentimental value
The key is putting EVERYTHING from each category in a big pile on the floor. From every room, closet, dresser, storage room, car. If an item is overlooked in this initial foray, it goes in the discard pile (dirty laundry excepted).
You must pick up – touch, hold, consider – every single item. Keep it only if it ‘sparks joy’. If not, then discard it.
Once you have your ‘keepers’ it’s important to store them correctly. The KonMari Method prefers vertical storage for virtually everything.
Here’s an excellent and thorough blogpost describing the Method: http://www.drnorthrup.com/7-tips-to-organize-your-home-using-the-konmari-method/ And here are plenty of visuals so you can see it: http://www.popsugar.com/home/Proof-Marie-Kondo-KonMari-Method-Works-37622676#photo-37622676
The Vera Version (of The KonMari Method)
My plan is twofold: First, over the next couple of weekends, I will declutter the old-fashioned way – go room by room, cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer, and throw out everything I know is garbage. Or pack it up to donate or give it away. Second, I will do the radical KonMari blitz.
The truth is, I just don’t have enough free floor space to do it – right – now.