Friday, April 3, 2015

The Year of Good Habits: Organizing

by Sofie Couch

January was the month of establishing good hydration habits. (Drink that water!)

February was the month of establishing good exercise routines. (BTW, I’m walking 2 miles every day. Baby steps.)

And March has been the month of organization.

 I’m always lookin’ for “the fix” – that one thing that streamlines my life, keeps dishes out of the sink, cleans the toilets, puts my socks in neat little bundles, etc. I was beginning to despair of ever finding such a silver bullet… until this past month.

It came in the form of a book: THE LIFE-CHANGING ART OF TIDYING UP: The Japanese Art of DeCluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.

I KNOW! It sounds too good to be true. How dare they suggest a book is going to be life-changing? How dare they suggest that the root of my organizational woes is all of the precious, er, semi-precio…, er, mostly good, er, okay, there’s a lot of crap in my house.

Great balls of clutter! So let this post serve as both a book review (I give it five stars, duh), and a summary of Marie Kondo’s “how-to” book on organization.

In short, Kondo maintains that we have too much stuff in our homes. Begin with your clothes. Put every stitch on your bed, then touch every article of clothing and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, you pack it up to give great joy to someone else, in the form of donating it, recycling it, or composting it. (I never suggest tossing stuff into the landfill.)

Then you rinse and repeat with books, mementos, etc. And the next thing you know, your whole house looks like Martha Stewart and her crew of elves paid a visit while you were sleeping.

Do I have more organizing to do? Sure. But now I know how to do it! My closet and drawers are worthy of a Pinterest board. My office has been streamlined and tidied to maximize efficiency. The laundry room is getting there. The cabinet under the kitchen sink? ‘Tis a thing of beauty.

Basically, you order by type: art supplies, pots and pans, silverware, books.... Books? What? I gotta get rid of books?

Gimme a break. I’m a recovering collector of semi-precious, er, kinda useful, er, okay, most of it is crap. I'm still hanging onto those books with all the strength in my little brick-layer hands. But there is something oh-so-liberating about filling those boxes and trash bags with stuff that will go elsewhere to serve a very useful purpose.

Happy De-Cluttering!!! (And check out that book. It’s truly magical.)


  1. Sofie. You are absolutely right. I got this bug this year also. It was a job but I emptied my closet and took half of the stuff to the clothing drop box. Ditto with the stuff in a few other rooms. Next stop the pantry.

    Maybe there is something in the water. Lol

    1. Must be! It's like that children's book about the greedy King who finally found happiness by giving away all of his worldly goods. Okay, maybe I won't go quite that far. Gotta keep my happy britches. But there's something to this "down-sizing" that has nothing to do with re-locating/changing addresses.

  2. Happy De-Cluttering? Isn't that an oxymoran?

    1. :) I think, in the past that might have been true. But now I've found great joy in tossing things!

  3. Sofie, Loved your post. De-cluttering has been my New Year's resolution but touching an item and asking if it brings joy is new to me. But like you, every time I take a bag of stuff out of the house I feel lighter and better about me and my life. I haven't tackled my books yet, but they're on my list. Not every book I own brings joy and removing several bags of books from my house would certainly create light and space, so it's on my to do list. Soon!