Friday, January 8, 2016

KonMari-ing my home

I’ve been thinking about doing a really thorough and liberating declutter for months, but always put it off for many reasons excuses, including but not limited to:

I have other more important things to do – work and writing
I don’t really have that much clutter
What if I get rid of things I need
What if I get rid of too much
But I spent money on it
And so it goes on

Mid-2015 I read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic ofTidying Up.  I don’t know if I wasn’t ready for it at the time, if I expected it to be like some kind of miracle so my expectations were too high (I didn’t feel the lightening bolt) or if Marie’s method just didn’t resonate with me.  I’m still not sure.

What I do know is that I am super keen to have a streamlined home that is a joy and pleasure to be in.  So whether it’s Marie Kondo or Peter Walsh (my first true decluttering love) or maybe a mixture of both, I’ll be making changes.

This could be a lengthy project, I don’t know.  I don’t want to let that stop me though; I want to honour the feelings I have inside that I desire to live a life of freedom, ease and space.  To achieve this I can see a lot of trips to my favourite charity shops (to donate, not purchase!)

Are you feeling like you want your home to be more elegant and simple?  I think it’s a combination of January feeling like such a lovely clean slate that I want our home to reflect that, and having just come back from our annual holiday.  My husband and I spent five nights on the Gold Coast in Australia and it was divine.  So sunny and relaxing.

More importantly though, holiday accommodation doesn’t have everything you own crammed into it so it feels very easy and peaceful to live in.  It’s a stark contrast when you arrive home and, even though you’re really happy to be home (because it’s my favourite place in the world), you can’t help but feel a little bit suffocated.

And I know that sounds so ungrateful when my home and its contents would be considered a palace by some, and that they wished they had my 'problem'.  So to start with, I'm changing my moaning to being thankful to the Universe that I have all that I do.  Every time I catch myself being negative about some part of our home that dissatisfies me, I immediately change it to saying thank you for that exact thing (or the positive part of it).  

It really works and helps me feel better, and it's helpful because you can't change something from a place of being unhappy it, you can only change it if you feel good about it.  Weird huh? FYI it's the same with your body - you can't change your shape by hating your shape.  By accepting your shape you are more open to change (see a previous post here about that).

But back to decluttering.  I'm getting started this month!

The audiobook version of Marie’s book has just arrived, so I’m going to take her on my walks and let the message soak in that way.

Let me know if you’re in streamlining mode too.  We can support each other!


  1. Hi Fiona,

    I am in the mode of decluttering all the time now, which is not the Kondo way, but it is working for me. Actually, I am in the habit now of letting go of at least 100 items every quarter -- that's 100 items net of anything new. I was inspired to start this when you had your own "100 items" challenge just over a year ago, I think it was.

    And, I'm not sure from your post if you are aware, however Marie Kondo has put out a second book: "Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up".

    I took a quick look at it in a bookshop yesterday and it looked like there were illustrations and so on about how to do things like fold in the "KonMari" way. More fodder for inspiration -- although I'm not sure it's very Kondo-like to have this second book published! :)

    Happy decluttering!


  2. I get in the mood to declutter every January. Last year I "Konmari'd" our house, and it took me about a month all the way through. I followed the process almost to the letter, and got rid of a LOT of stuff. And like Kondo's book promises, we haven't rebounded. It's nice having a place for everything. The only drawback is that, now that I'm in the mood to declutter, there really isn't anything to do! Enjoy the book!

  3. Dear Fiona,

    After hearing rave reviews about Kondo's book, I borrowed it from the library. The thing is I found it a bit disturbing because the author seemed very OCD about it all. It was very repetitive too. There were some good tips though and I agree with the overall message :)

    I've done my major decluttering a couple years ago and now I just try to maintain it. I don't tend to buy things for the house unless we use it regularly. My wardrobe is an entirely different story though! I need to stop buying clothes that don't work for me.

  4. Wow, I am just like you! I also read that book last year. Didn't quite put it into practice (even though I've been wanting to declutter for years now) and just a few days ago, decided to check out the book again & got the audiobook version this time from the library. I'm hoping 2016 is the year I finally declutter. Happy new year to you!

  5. Hello Fiona,
    I have read Marie's book twice (borrowed from the library each time). Although I love the book, I haven't been able to completely follow her method, but rather used it as an inspiration. This has been very effective along with Peter Walsh's tips particularly the one in and one out rule. Your declutter posts have been fantastic too getting me motivated!
    I must say, yet another awesome post which just resonates with me at the right time. looking forward to your next e-book.
    Rita from Victoria BC

  6. Happy New Year, Fiona!

    Per usual, your posts come at a perfect time :)
    I would love to keep a tidier home (both my physical apartment and my mental home) this year. This might encompass more than just decluttering in terms of getting rid of surplus possessions but also making sure that dish clutter in the sink, for example, doesn't multiply. I've found that my physical environment can sometimes reflect my mental environment as well.

    and best wishes for 2016, Fiona! may your new year be filled with love, health, and general wellness

    xx Lenna

  7. I have Marie's book in my Amazon wishlist and will probably buy it in a few weeks. I'm with you, I always put off decluttering or do it in small batches and never get around to my whole house. Her book has been getting a lot of press and so my expectations are already high, hopefully reading it will get my butt in gear to streamline and simplify. Btw, I'm a long-time reader from the Bahamas. I love your blog!

  8. When I first read this I had to put it away because honestly it scared me as it was so completely thorough :). I also don't think I was ready for it. I'm starting with my closet and loving the results!

  9. Hi Fiona

    Having already purchased Marie Kondo's first book last year, and having put her method to work with fantastic, permanent results, I went ahead this week and purchased the latest Masterclass version on Kindle as soon as it was released. Well worth it as it goes deeper and includes specific and helpful details for the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas not covered in the original book. The illustrations are basic however and there aren't too many of them, I expected more, but overall a great motivating read.

    I highly recommend owning or borrowing BOTH books, some repetition yes, but more than enough differing content in both to justify both.

  10. Hi Fiona-i so enjoy your posts-i feel like I'm in a constant state of declutteriing-especially eith 2 young children. Several things have worked for me to get that "holiday at home" feeling. First, we rented our home on airbnb over Christmas-every cupboard and wardrobe was cleaned out and boxed up. Shelves wiped down, windowsills scrubbed and only kitchen essentials were put back in and beautiful items-i even touched up all paintwork that had been bugging me. It was a big job but made me walk through the house with fresh eyes. Now I'm home and only unboxing what we need....ive culled so many books, clothes and toys. I still have lots boxed up...but will be discriminating as to what i bring back into my "holiday home" Airbnb was the best-forced spring clean and declutteriing motivation!! Mim

  11. You know that I think the main idea behind the KonMari Method is genius even if I happen to disagree with some of the points. Surround yourself with only things you love! I love me some Peter Walsh too! I hope whatever means you use that your home ends up exactly as you want it.

    I haven't been decluttering much lately as my home is pretty tidy already. However, I have come across several things that I don't use, didn't love, or were pretty worn from so much use and did let them go, using the fresh start of a new year as an excuse.

    I have been in the mood to organize recently though. I love pretty bins and crates and might shop for some soon. Maybe I'll visit my favorite store this weekend. I already ordered one bin on Friday and I expect to receive it tomorrow. If I love it, then I might purchase more for this one closet.

  12. Like you, Kondo didn't resoate w me, just Ok.
    I don't complain about my things bc that makes me feel ungrateful to God. Even when things break & need repair, I am thankful. The only way to never have a repair bill is to own nothing.
    Best wishes in finding a method that works for you. Gail

  13. Hi Fiona, I read the book last year and it made a huge difference in the areas of my home. Especially easier to retrieve a top to wear. I have also stopped buying clothing unless i absolutely need and feel great (brings joy) in an item and it suits my lifestyle. Have left the book out on a table hoping my children who are older will pick it up and read it. KAT :)

  14. Hi Fiona! Just reading her amazing book and I'm totally convinced! The woman is right! :-) I'm never been a "keeper" myself so I already know how addictive it can be to get rid of stuff I don't want anymore... but with the book I'm decided to go a step further! Let us know how it goes for you!

  15. The book is amazing and I am on phase one. I decluttered last year and I cannot believe how much I am actually getting rid of this time. I think the throw it out before you sort is the best plan. Once I sort and tidy, I can no longer see "clutter", but it is there, carefully hidden in a neat "unlabelled" box. For example, I very recently purchased a heavy duty blue pair of gloves, so that I stop destroying my hands with dust when clearing the storage area. Can't find them anywhere. I am sure they are in a logical place, just have no idea what my logic was on the day.

    Have a great 2016, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and your book.



Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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