Marie Kondo wrote that viral little hit called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read it a few years ago when it came out and it was SUCH a fun read! Granted, I love organizing to begin with, but this book ignited such a passion in me for cleaning (and yes I laughed out loud typing that sentence, hahaha!). I KonMari’s my house in Tampa which was perfect timing because it was right before we moved to France.
Now Marie Kondo has a new show on Netflix based on the book where she goes into people’s homes and helps them get them in order. It’s kind of like a MUCH less depressing version of Hoarders. I got Adrien to watch it with me and now that he’s on board, we’ve decided to tidy up our place in Nice– Marie Kondo style! 😉
So far we’ve done the kitchen in full, a couple places in our living rom, I did about 1/2 of my clothes, and we’re working through the rest of our house bit by bit.
I talked about this on social media and a lot of you said how your organization habits never stick though you really wish they would! I personally think that our external environment is a reflection of our internal state. If your outside is frazzled and messy, chances are your inside feels that way too. I also think if you start by organizing the outside, the inside can transform.
Here’s a few habits & best practices that have worked for me in the past in terms of making organization stick.
1. Make a list of what you need as you go.
As we worked our way through the kitchen, I had a notepad where I jotted down what I needed to get in order to complete the space. For example, I want a small box or bin to keep dish towels in so they don’t end up in a ball in the cabinet. That alone will solve the temporary nature of the organization of those. Know what your weak points are, and address them ASAP!
2. Be realistic in your changes.
One thing Marie Kondo swears by is organizing your closet by color. Here’s the thing. I know I’ll never stick to that. I hang my stuff according to the season (sweaters & long sleeve stuff is on one side, summer stuff is on the other), but sorting by color is just more detail than I need in order to feel good and organized in my space. If I tried to force myself to stick to that, I know it would NEVER last and that’s just gonna make me feel discouraged. Be realistic with your own habits too!
3. Don’t be afraid to JUST do a little at a time.
My personal style of organizing is to not sleep for 24 hours and do everything all at once, lol! Adrien? Not so much! We’re working at a comfortable pace, basically tackling one small project at a time. This is NOT an “all or nothing” game. Start small, do something that doesn’t overwhelm you, and slowly, gradually add on from there.
4. When you get overwhelmed, stop, and do something super easy.
I loved this practice. Let’s say you’re emptying your closet and feel completely overwhelmed by the quantity of stuff you have to sort through. Take a deep breath, pick up something you know for SURE you want to get rid of. Just one item. Start with that and then go from there. Starting with an easy decision (either a ‘keep’ or a ‘donate’) can bring this process back into perspective.
5. You can do it cheaply!
We didn’t buy fancy boxes & trays for storing items. I found different sized storage boxes in Ikea that range between $2-$5 each, and I bought about 25 of those which cost under $100. Other boxes I found super handy are shoe boxes, iphone boxes, my apple watch box, and Birchboxes (finally, a use for these!), and some other random sturdy boxes I found laying around. On a hilarious side note: Marie Kondo’s website has sets of 6 boxes that cost $89. LOLOLOLOL! #no
6. Keep it ALL in perspective.
Worry less about following the rules of any one method, and set yourself free to adjust the rules according to what will be the most sustainable for YOUR life. We have a few mandatory pieces of “clutter” in the form of all our filming equipment. It doesn’t fold up very easily and is always visible in one room or another. We just have to choose to let that go for now because it’s not going anywhere, haha! But the point isn’t to be perfect. The point is to find improvement. Keep that in perspective while you’re going through the process yourself.
Over to you! How do you feel about organizing? Have you read or watched Marie Kondo’s book or show? What’s been your experience so far?