What do you do with all your stuff?”
Invariably, this is a question I almost always hear. And for good reason! Deciding what stays and what goes is probably one of the most difficult parts of the Going Tiny process. The reality is, you just cant fit it all! So how do you decide?!
When we made our choice to go tiny, we were living in a 3,600 sqft home! We’re talking 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, a full attic and basement! It was HUGE! And with a big house, came BIG stuff! Lots of stuff! As our house went on the market, I knew that things needed to go but wasn’t sure how to start. Then a friend recommended this book…
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I wholeheartedly credit this book for its help in the purging process! Marie Kondo’s methods were unorthodox but with a “100% success rate,” she knew what she’s talking about. The process was rather involved but was instrumental in making the purging process more successful and enjoyable. By following her guidance, we purged 65 13-gallon trash bags of clothing alone!
Here are a few other things I learned along the way!
Kondo suggested following a specific order of categories. This was a far cry from the conventional “organize by room” mentality. So for clothing – I gathered every single piece of clothing I owned. ALL OF IT. And went through it all at once!
Kondo harped on this so much that she warned that any clothing found after I had finished gathered them all, was to be automatically purged! Why so adamant? Because gathering everything into one location allowed me to stop the endless clutter cycle once and for all.
Gather. Purge. Put away. That was it!
Admittedly, this was where things got a little weird. Kondo asked me to consider my belongings’ “feelings.” So questions like, “Do your clothes enjoy being jam packed into closets and drawers, never seeing the light of day?” Or “Do your hardworking shoes enjoy being strewn about the house?” (I know… tin hat stuff.)
But on the flip side, considering my clothing’s “feelings” meant that I began to treat them better and had more appreciation for the things that I did have!
Sense and Sentimentality
Remember how I mentioned the categories earlier? STICK TO THEM!
It wasnt be long before I come across old photos or letters and yall… thats a rabbit hole you’re just not ready for so early in the process!
Sticking to the process gave me the confidence needed to get go through the more sentimental (read: difficult to purge) items later. So resist the urge and stay focused!
I fell in love with my closet!
By choosing to keep only those things that “sparked joy,” I suddenly had a closet that I was thrilled to look at in the morning!
Gone are the days of “I have nothing to wear….” because everything in there is something that I love! Paring down my closet not only helped me discover my own personal sense of style, but it also revealed the gaps in my wardrobe! Ultimately, by defining what I loved, I was free to confidently make choices that were in line with that moving forward! (For some great ideas on building a stylish and practical closet, head over here!)
Cleaning became so much easier!
I will be the first to admit that I’m a terrible house keeper. So I was pretty skeptical that I would never have to tidy again! But once the purging process was done, Kondo asked that I find a place for everything and return it to that place once I was done with it. It was such a mind-numbingly simple and obvious idea, yet it rocked my world.
Think about it – when everything has its place, there’s no questioning where something goes. This means piles of clutter are gone – and this is truly where “the life changing magic” happened!
Unfortunately, I still had to dust and mop (no miracles here folks). But once I put Kondo’s principles into place, I found myself no longer have to waste time running around putting things away! Its been absolutely freeing.
I could go on and on, but seeing as how Kondo went to the trouble of writing the book, Ill let her do that! Whether you’re looking to downsize and simply learn to live with less, I highly recommend reading this book as part of your journey!
Grace & Peace – Kelly