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Heads up messy people, this book is for you!

marie-kondos-the-magical-art-of-tidying-up

I was browsing through Chapters on my lunch hour about a month ago and this book caught my eye. I was in the middle of decluttering my home, still unpacking boxes from my move that happened months before (I know, I know…I’m such a procrastinator) and needing a little extra motivation. So on a whim I bought this book….and I’m SO glad I did!

This quick, easy read will change the way you think about your home and what is in it. My favorite tip is the konmari folding technique. I was skeptical at first but man does it ever save space and make organizing your clothes so much easier.

I was a hanger, NOT a folder. My drawers were almost empty and my closet was jam-packed FULL…until this book enlightened me! Now my drawers are being used, my clothes are accessible and my closet actually has room for the jackets, skirts and dresses that can’t be folded. Nothing is stuffed and my closet doesn’t make me claustrophobic just looking at it.

The technique is simple. Fold your tops, pants, shorts etc into tight compact “squares”. Don’t worry, this will not cause more wrinkles (I thought it would too at first). Lay the squares upright so all are visible when you open your drawer. You can google images of the konmari folding technique, there are tons! Check the random one below I found on the web:

SONY DSC

This amazing folding technique is just one of many tips in this book. I strongly suggest that if your home needs tidying, decluttering or minimalizing you should head to your closest bookstore and pick up a copy. You’ll be glad you did!

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Minimalism

have less

This quote is exactly what Minimalism is all about!

I have never thought of myself as someone who has a lot of stuff. I don’t impulse shop, I don’t collect and I don’t put a lot of sentimental value on “things”. But, as I was moving houses last fall, I felt suddenly overwhelmed with all the stuff I had.

  • Stuff I rarely used but had to find a place to store in my new home.
  • Stuff I forgot I had (therefor clearly don’t need).
  • Stuff that was missing parts (it’ll show up eventually).
  • Stuff that I was given as a gift but don’t really have use for (I can’t possibly get rid of gifts, righhhht?).
  • Stuff my son has outgrown
  • Stuff, stuff, stuff

STUFF takes up space, it takes up time and it takes up energy. As a full-time working, single mom who lives in a small house….space, time and energy are things I don’t have an abundance of. And who wants to spend all their time and energy on meaningless STUFF anyways??

Since the new year I have been going through my home (and those boxes I still haven’t unpacked months later haha) and deciding whether to keep things based on 2 criteria

  • It this useful?
  • Is it beautiful and makes me smile?

If it doesn’t meet that criteria then I toss it, sell it or donate it. This process is quite satisfying and freeing – for real!

For all those of you who are sentimental and just can’t possibly think of getting rid of those precious souvenirs (the concert ticket from your first date with your university boyfriend, the dried roses from Mother’s Day 2008, your grad 1997 sweatshirt)…I challenge you to let go of the past and focus on your bright, beautiful future! I never get too stuck on the past. I keep the memories in my head, learn from the experiences and move right along to bigger and better things. There will be more posts about leaving the past in the past later because this seems to be a challenge for some people. Stay tuned for that…

One category that is a tricky one is GIFTS. How can you get rid of that stuffed Mickey Mouse that your neighbour brought you back for shoveling their snow when they went to Florida? Or the scarf you got as birthday gift from your friend but goes with nothing you own? The key to allowing yourself to let go of these gifts is this:  Remember the purpose of the gift in the first place. The purpose of the gift was to show that you are appreciated, to make you happy, to make you feel good. If the gift did this at the time that it was given, it’s purpose has been served. You don’t need to keep it forever. If it doesn’t fit into your life, donate it to someone who will have a use for it.

The best part of minimalism is that it frees up your wallet. After working so hard at decluttering your house, you will surely think twice before you buy that floral serving dish that is on sale at Pier One (because you have 3 serving dishes at home that already serve the purpose). Remember a sale doesn’t save you money, it’s costs you money!! More on this soon too. You might make a few bucks by selling your old things. And you won’t be spending money on storage units for all your stuff. Isn’t is sad that we have so much stuff that we have to buy more stuff just to store it in?

What will you do with all the extra time, space, energy and money that you will gain by living a minimalist lifestyle? My son and I plan to travel, travel, travel!

MORE EXPERIENCES, LESS THINGS – My motto

Stay tuned for more tips, advice and benefits of Minimalism….