Good Idea #1: Two tiny Konmari tidying tips

hey_good_idea_whiteAs a part of my blogging-made-manageable plan, I’m starting a kind of a series here today. Are you ready? The big-little idea is simply this: To chronicle sparkling ideas. Short posts with digestible fragments of fresh brilliance!

Here’s the thing – does this happen to you? – I often stumble upon a tiny brainchild, something someone says or I read or see, and something clicks – heyyy, yeah, wow – I’ve never thought of that – what a good idea! And for a few days it swirls around in there and maybe I implement it somehow once or twice or maybe I just make a mental note to be transformed by this magnificent tidbit but then… It falls out of my brain. Forever. Or until something happens to trigger the memory 14 months later and I’m like oh yeahhhh how could I have forgotten that??!! So, I’m going to air them out here. Like this:

Good Idea #1

If you’ve managed to find your way to this here bloggy, you’ve probably wandered the wild old web enough to stumble upon Marie Kondo, the quirky, unorthodox Japanese organizational star who wrote that book about tidying up? If not, here is a quick overview.

For me, she is everywhere – chasing me all over the internets and in my real life too, people really find this girl life changing. I’ve heard so much, I feel like I’ve read the book, BUT I have not. Although I am cautiously fascinated, as a, ahem, “treasure” collector, I’m also kinda terrified. Maybe someday… but not yet.

That said, two (possibly misrepresented) Konmari decluttering tips I’ve picked up through osmosis lead me to a wonderfully cathartic clothing purge last week, and I almost bought the audiobook. Almost. They are small perspective changes, but you should see my sock drawer now! For realz.

These are the tips:

  1. Choose what to keep, rather than what to get rid of.
  2. Remember, I CAN do without.

Number 1 – so simple, so smart. I’m not a minimalist by nature, quite the opposite, but I was under brutal siege by laundry and something had to give. Too much clothing. I went through my clothes a few months ago, so I was kinda skeptical, but hollaholla! It worked. I dumped out my whole sock/underwear drawer and one by one put back only what I truly like until I had a happy, manageable little collection. The rest went. It seems obvious, but I’ve always done it the other way around, painstakingly pulling out each possible pink slip and letting it plead its sad case. This was way less painful. I kept going and went through all my clothes, plus the kids’. Felt way too good. I actually want to do it again… I’m thinking toys are next.

Number 2  – the antidote to the “just in case” excuse. So often I hold on to things with this vague future time in mind when bright blue tights might be so perfect that I will gladly endure the torture of American Apparel’s unrealistic ideas about a normal human waistline. Telling myself that this probably will not happen doesn’t seem to help, but somehow reminding myself that if such an event were to transpire, I’d manage, works.

Clever, right?! I think so. We’ll have to see if it sticks. What about you? Any useful snippets to share?


2 thoughts on “Good Idea #1: Two tiny Konmari tidying tips

  1. Dakota Nyght

    I love your description of your process. I just got the book to re-read – despite my comment on IG, there were some things I liked about what she had to say. My mother has been saying “only keep it if it brings you joy” for years, but it’s much harder when you’re dealing with your stuff and your husband’s stuff and your kids’ stuff!

    I really like your thought about choosing what to keep instead of what goes. I don’t remember that being part of the Kondo’s platform (see, I totally need to reread it), but that makes so much more sense! I’m currently in the process of whittling down clothes… I don’t purchase new/new to me clothes very often, so I’m often scared to let go of essentials if I’m unsure I’ll need them later.

    1. Elena

      Lol – it is entirely possible that I have somewhat misrepresented the Konmari way, Dakota! But it does seem to work, so… I’ll let her keep the credit. 😉 I can totally relate to not wanting to get rid of basics… I had like 5 pairs of plain, slightly dated but fairly high quality dress pants hanging in my closet for years now, which I almost NEVER wear, but was afraid I might need although they just made me feel blahhhhhhhhh. But then… I mean, say I had a job interview or a funeral or whatever… I could make due, probably happier too, with some skirt or something. Gone. And I don’t miss ’em!

      And props to your Mama, btw! Mamas are so fulla wisdom. 🙂


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