| By Amelia Stolarz |
I’d like to tidy up the entire planet. I would go anywhere if there were something that needs tidying. -Marie Kondo
We wake up each Jan. 1 with a resolve to reclaim the lives we put aside during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
Each of us has a different idea of what that will be – healthier eating, more or different exercise, a body, mind or spirit makeover, to work on our career or personal life, or tidying up our personal space.
I found it intriguing and off-putting at the same time. I was fascinated by Kondo’s austere, no-nonsense approach to purging her material possessions and tidying what remained.
On the other hand, it was harsh and unnerving to me.
She categorized all of her possessions into various categories such as books, clothes, electronics, etc. Category by category, she corralled these items into a pile and systematically went through and purged all items that didn’t provide joy or weren’t deemed necessary.
It was fascinating to think you could “zen”ify your life to that extent. However, I couldn’t do it, even though part of me wanted to. But I did walk away with a couple of ideas that are keepers:
- It’s all in the fold. Kondo gave life to inanimate objects – such as socks. “Treat your socks and stockings with respect,” she writes. They should never be rolled up into balls as this is a time that they should “rest” and they can’t get any rest bunched up. She suggests folding them in half and then again into thirds – adjusted for the size of the sock. I initially found this whole tirade on sock folding to be humorous – although I doubt that humor was her intent. However, something about the idea resonated with me and my socks now “rest” in my drawer nicely folded in neat little rows. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Be resourceful with storage containers. Kondo disses buying commercial storage items to tidy your space. “Basically, the only storage items you need are plain old drawers and boxes – you don’t need anything special or fancy,” she writes. She suggests using items you already have in the house for storage such as shoe boxes, the boxes your electronics come in, or any square box or container of the right size. Use them to corral items under sinks, in the pantry, or as dividers in drawers. I immediately took to this idea and I’ve re-purposed many a box to a new organized life. A rectangular tin box that once held a chocolate bar now sits in my kitchen drawer holding all of my measuring spoons. When I bake, I take the whole box out of the drawer and everything is right there.
The book is full of good ideas. I suggest reading it if you have a penchant for organization – and might enjoy some unintended humor. If you’ve already read it, let us know what ideas you liked best. Happy 2018, everyone!
Amelia Stolarz is a lifelong organizing guru, an avid gluten-free baker and a Certified Public Accountant.