Friday, 4 December 2015

Beginning to Konmari : Bedroom

My big sister clued me in on Mari Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and after one night of reading it on my Kindle app, I was convinced it would change my life.

I go through a reorganizing derby almost every quarter.  Furniture, artwork, toys, and what my family calls "coochie-coochies", name it!  Stuff seem to multiply in this house and then a little purge, and then another cycle begins.   It's been wasting my precious free time away.

I've read other organizing books.  Mari Kondo is different - she doesn't have tricks, she has a very convincing lifestyle change pitch.  And then pretty unconventional wisdom around it.  
I was in and I couldn't wait to start.

I thought my clothes would be a breeze.  Here's my main closet:

This plus a dresser drawer of underwear and pambahay on the other side of the bedroom, plus half a closet of old evening wear in another room, plus old clothes when I was thin or pregnant stored above this closet here.

Not a disaster area, but when I can't get dressed in ten minutes and those piles on the closet floor start to become a dump, it's time to purge.

Out everything went.  From every storage space in the home.  By the book.

Pile them on the "floor", says the book.
Probably because this way what I thought was a small capsule wardrobe wasn't small at all!

You're supposed to go through each item, touch it to decide "does it spark joy?".  If it's not an absolute yes, then out it goes.  

I thought this would be easy for me, with my regular purges and all.  But no.  I'm not a big fashion junkie - some folks at work don't repeat outfits for two months! - but I do love slightly expensive clothes so it was hard to let go of reasons like "this was xxxx pesos!"  or "but I bought this on that business trip to Shanghai!"

My wakeup call to get more decisive was looking at the clock: I had spent four hours in my bedroom and I wasn't done.  Nothing like wasted time to kick a working mom in the butt.

Progress began.  Empty hangers!
Freed pants and skirts!

By evening I had made progress.  It may not look too dramatic in pictures, but this is now every piece of clothing I own.  In one closet.  

No more travelling to other areas of the room to get dressed!

Just don't look too closely because that's my underwear in there too.  Socks.
Company shirts we're required to wear that I can't toss even if I wanted to.
I use that polka-dot bin to accumulate things I need to have repaired. 

I'm doing some experimenting to make my system easy-to-follow for our laundry woman.  Here are some hits-and-misses in the last three months or so:

This says "stuff you wear at home only" -  who would know but me, right?
So guess what, I have no more pambahay!  I've tossed them.  I now wear my cotton dresses pile for whenever I'm at home/going to sleep.  It's great!

This says "stuff for going out" - it only works now that there are no other confusing categories.
So guess what, I also wear these around the house too!  There's plenty to go around.  More than you think!
Mark the stuff you want folded instead of hung.
I marked these in batches for a month or so, since some were in the laundry.

HIT. (a recent update a month back)
Acrylic shelf dividers from the bookstore to achieve that "Konmari folding method" to keep the clothes' energy (you heard me) and make choosing easier (it works).
These stands make a custom-size shelf space whenever things are in the wash.
No confusion in folding for the laundry woman either.

Since I emptied out a whole dresser drawer, I was able to buy organizers for accessories and knick-knacks.  So now my old underwear/pambahay drawer looks this neat:

Now for my shoes, bags and accesories closet:

I'm not a big shoes-and-bags girl either, so this was fairly fast to organize.
I already had the hardware (boxes, bag hangers), so I just purged.

My daughter got in on the labelling with an Instax camera:

So worth the film expense (even with her beginner attempts).
I used to have photo labels printed at the mall.  Now - instant!

There's her little foot

Some hits-and-misses on this side of the closet:

I cut up an old cheap sock organizer to put belts in "vertical storage" like Konmari says

Konmari advocates removing your stuff from your handbag everyday, thanking them, and putting them on a place like this to keep them ready for the next day.
Okay who has time to do that every night?!  I tried it but ended up still schlepping the same bag everywhere for months.

So far so good for the last three or four months!  Not perfect still, but having an organised dress-up routine every day really helps me love my home and be a lot less harassed in the morning.  There are some things to keep at with our laundry lady when she doesn't take time to read, or match the shoes with labeled box, but that's all birth pains.

The best lessons for me?

Stop organizing by area, organize by category.  All clothes at once.  That way you'll only keep what you need even if they're in various places in the home.

Don't hang on to things just because they were expensive when you bought them.  Thank them for the joy they gave and move on.  Same goes for gifted stuff.  

Get rid of anything that doesn't spark joy.  Even if you think they might be useful someday.


Have you heard of the Konmari Method?  Tried it?  Tell me!  I'd love to have a support group.  I found A Momma Abroad through instagram and now I follow her feed for great inspiration.  Especially mom-inspiration, because Konmari doesn't have anything on children's stuff - the hardest!

On to the other categories in the house!
I've written about doing our books - it's been the biggest change in my house yet:

click here

Hopefully after this, I'll go faster.
But life changes rarely do!

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  1. Congratulations! The closets look great! I really want to read that book!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristina! So far so good!

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