Saturday, 23 January 2016

Me an the Konmari Method of decluttering Part 1

Yes, I know it should be 'the Konmari method and I' but I wanted to share with you 'my' journey so far on this life changing way of approaching your belongings. Today's post is about Why? and How?

I have not read the book, I may be preaching to the converted, but from what I read on the net and a checklist I printed off Pinterest, this is how I am going for it.

First of all you have to decide to do this, it is a big commitment but the benefits are life changing and a sense of release, life is so much easier with less 'stuff'. Here are my photo's I have sorted so far and I have four more boxes that look the same! Perfect!

The reasons why?
First of all, know where I am in my life, you may not be in the same position but you will need to think of your reasons so you can move forward: I am mid fifties, scary when you see that in writing; two sons in their twenties, one of which lives away, the other came back home from Uni (twice, two courses) while he saves up to buy his own place; a puppy, well he is one now; semi retired; four bedroom family home we have lived in for 15 years; I am a naturally organised person living with an obsessive tidier.
Each one of the above things has a contributing factor to the way you live your life and how much clutter you have.

Things that prompt de-cluttering (in no particular order) are:
1. When you move house and until this house, we had moved about every five years during our married life, with hubby's job. This inevitably leads to a clearing out of items at regular intervals.  their home, or when your own children leave home.
2. When there are life changing situations like losing your parents and having to clear
3. When you have a change in lifestyle e.g. leaving work.
4. When you want to clear a room for decorating.
5. When your loft is full. This house is different we have lived in for 15 years so the loft has got to maximum capacity, despite a couple of semi clear-outs during that time.
6. New Year's resolution, this one has a lot to answer for!!

I had hit all of these in the last five years so 2016, no job and a full loft was the jumping off point!
Wanting to do it and knowing how to do it are two different things. I just needed simplicity and funnily enough the permission to let go, particularly of things that I deemed sentimental, (I'll come to that later) Just simply asking 'does this bring you joy?' was an eye opener, I could lose the guilt.
Think back to your first home and how little you had and then work out how the 'stuff' has accumulated over the years, this will help with how you keep it tidy afterwards. Having children, inevitably adds a lot of clutter that comes with them, which for some strange reason as parents, we feel we can't let go of!

Due to circumstances, most people's children are coming back home after University, it's a fact of life, jobs are scarce and houses are unaffordable so we have the boomerang generation of children that keep coming back. I don't have a problem with this, but it does have implications. Living with children is different to living with your child as an adult, they just have more 'stuff' and the fact that you sent them off to Uni with enough stuff for a home from home, means they bring it all back, or most of it!  I agree some of it gets ditched, but in our case, our son then when back to Uni two years later and bought a whole lot of stuff he looked after and doesn't want to chuck and nor should he! Hopefully he will get his own home and need it again in the future.

When we lost hubby's parents five years ago and had to clear their house, we kept a lot of photographs and things in boxes in the loft that have not been touched since. This is still to do.
I had also put all our photo's in the loft due to lack of shelf space and was worried about their condition up there.

I left teaching two years ago after teaching full and part time for 20 years and had amassed a lot of resources in that time (all teachers can relate.) I went on supply and thought I may need all of them and then when my son went back to Uni to do his PGCE I kept them for him. Now he is 6 months into his first job, the supply has dried up and I am not enjoying it any more, it is the right time to let go.

Our house is at that age where things start to go wrong and need to be attended to which can often prompt a clear out. In our case we wanted to make a second lounge for our son in one of our spare bedrooms, the 'stuff' has to go somewhere!

What to do with it all?
Contrary to what you might think, I don't simply bin things I have options:
1. eBay or Gumtree (if you can get cash back in, its a win win)
2. Charity donation
3. Re-use or recycle

If you have time, listing and selling things on eBay is great, you get something back. If it's a big item of furniture or delicate, I list on Gumtree or in the local paper. I try to fill 'known' charity bags that come through the door, but also there is a charity drive in drop off for the local hospice that we used a lot when we cleared FIL's house, they will collect furniture too that you haven't managed to sell yourself, so there are always options.
I can't throw a book away I have to donate and a lot of charity bags wont take these or bric-a-brac any more so I use the drive in.

I know the Konmari method advocates disposing of it straight away but I wait until I have a boot full before I drive into the city to drop it off.

So go away and think about it;
Are you ready to de-clutter and simplify your life?
Think about Why you have the stuff in the first place?
Where you want to start in your house? 
What do you want to do with it? 
Set up a tick list so you can see progress.
Set up an eBay account and Gumtree account if you don't have one. Buy parcel tape, Sellotape, cheap envelopes and packaging materials. Keep packaging you can recycle.

It wont happen overnight, it's not quick, but the happiness the process is bringing me is well worth it. Why not follow my Pinterest board on organising here.


Sandra said...

As you know I started my decluttering last year and I can honestly say without a doubt ... It's not a quick fix. It takes time but it's worth it. I adore her book, I've got several sentences highlighted. She's a common sense talker and I like that. Of course you have to make it work for you and I don't follow her to the letter but again that's how Decluttering works I think

Anne said...

Though I'm not in my fifties I'm precisely where you are currently. I'm at a place where I want the TIME to spend other than cleaning, moving and being hostage to stuff! I want to enjoy the people within our lives, breaking bread and doing other things in life.

I think that you left out the word... OVERWHELMING since it's not an easy task with all the variables you've mentioned that caused one's accumulation.

BOOKS - First of all we have built in the garden out front of our home what's called a Probably 4 or so years ago for our community. Since we work in conjunction with our small town library I'm always donating {especially hard covers} for their book sale fundraisers every year. I also use a second hand bookstore that gives us credit, which I've then used for the Little Free Library or given gift certificates off my credit for USED BOOKS only to other causes for fundraising. Thirdly, I donate books to our local hospital as they are always looking for books, coloring books/crayons, etc... {each hospital varies}, VASES for long term patients in for surgeries, etc... Lastly, if none of these are a help? Here in the USA most RECYCLING/TRASH/RUBBISH/etc... facilities have a space for people to leave perfectly good used items/leftovers for others to TAKE.

We're both on the same path, however I'm thankful I'm still working, have a young adult heading off to college, but I want to make the change before I end up losing my parents whom have struggled with medical issues the past 5 years and need to deal with ALL of their stuff!

I'm looking forward to reading more of your decluttering shares.