Thursday, February 25, 2016

Decluttering to be slim

I love Peter Walsh’s book ‘Does this clutter make my butt look fat?’. I’ve read it a few times and listened to the audiobook many times. He said that in his years as a professional declutterer he came across many instances of people losing weight once they had decluttered their home. (I see he has a new book out too which looks great and gets good reviews 'Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight').

I can definitely see how this would be true. There is a definite difference in the way I feel when I've decluttered an area or a room. I don’t feel so bogged down, and this lighter feeling carries over into other areas of my life as well. I used to feel like a failure if I had to declutter again, because I thought I’d done it once. It was only when I realised that organising and simplifying is simply good personal hygiene much like brushing your teeth or taking a shower which you do on a regular basis that I felt better about it.

Sure you may do a big declutter like Marie Kondo says is all you need, but I do believe there is maintenance, because there is always a flow in and out of our home. And more than anything else, our home is a reflection of what’s going on inside of us.

If home feels messy and like you’re wading through things with cluttery corners everywhere you turn, how can you have clear thinking? When I think ‘I’m too busy to straighten out this room, I’ll do these other things first’ I invariably find I take more time than I might have because I can’t think straight.

I’m not following Marie Kondo’s category list to the T, but I am going through our home by category which is what she recommends. First was books, and I donated those this week. Then I started on my closet with my knicker drawer. Before, I just threw my undies in the drawer in a higgledy fashion and as a result was wearing the same ones over and over simply because they were on the top.  I'd organise the drawer sometimes, but mostly it went back to the way it was. So I tipped out the whole drawer (it’s not very big) and then folded them KonMari-style. I only got rid of one pair which had fringey elastic (not in a designer way) because I’d had a big clean-up late last year and bought some new pairs too.

This photo may be too much for a blog, but how pretty do all my folded knickers look? I also did my singlet/tank top/camisole drawer. I love them all so I just refolded and stacked KonMari-style as well. My bras were also good, they had been sorted out when I did my knickers. Socks, I donated a few pairs and arranged the rest.

So all my small drawers are done and I’m ready to move onto my three large drawers. I haven’t organised them in so long – maybe six months? – that all my summer clothes are mixed up with my winter woollies, and home clothes and out clothes are mixed up to. I’m sure it won’t take long, maybe an hour or two, but oh, it will be so satisfying…

Are you sifting through your home decluttering and simplifying like I am? Do you feel slimmer/lighter when you have decluttered?


  1. I may be the odd one on this, but I just could not get into Marie Kondo's book even though everyone is raving about it! I will say I do like how she folds clothes to go in the drawers.

    I love decluttering & reorganizing what's left. Sometimes I think I should become a professional at it. :)

  2. Maybe you should Tracy, I dare you to try - you'd be amazing at it.

  3. Fiona this is brilliant: "It was only when I realised that organising and simplifying is simply good personal hygiene". How true!

    I haven't been decluttering lately, the end-of-summer heat has been slowing me down but I'm looking forward to getting back into it.

  4. I have done this. Your knicker drawer looks like mine:) I can't tell you how delighted i am to put away laundry in my well organized space now. I have even rearranged my husbands drawers and I think he really appreciates being able to glance at his tee shirts and grab one without sifting through the whole drawer.

  5. I love this way of folding and find that it is an efficient way to rotate my clothes evenly so there is not too much wear on any one item. Plus, it just looks nice when you can open a drawer and see everything. Thanks for the heads up on Peter Walsh's new book. I love him!

  6. There was a sale on panties at clothing store Victoria's Secret on Sunday, so that morning I purchased 7 panties. My order arrived in the mail today, so I knew that I get rid of at least 7 past their prime tonight, but actually decluttered 11. A few of them were in good condition but were ones that I simply didn't love.

    I was actually going to stop there, but inspired by your timely post, I took my each new pair out of the plastic, snipped off its tag, and folded each one KonMari style along with all my keepers. Before they were crammed into the drawer. They do look nice and I hope to keep it so. Merci!

    I think what I feel after I have decluttered is more happier/pleased because I'm actually living more in line with my values. Maybe my decluttering is usually so minimal, getting rid of a few items at most each time and simply not a transformation, that I don't feel so much like a weight has been lifted off me or a dreaded task is over with. I can certainly see that for others though.

  7. Rose, thank you. I agree, the heat slows you down, and ours isn't a patch on your temperatures.

    Anonymous, I too do my husbands sometimes, but it is long overdue like my three large drawers. It really does feel nice putting the laundry away once you've organised a drawer!

    True, Stephanie, I like to rotate my items also.

    Michelle, how lovely your underwear drawer must be now. You reminded me of one of the things I also did when I tidied mine - I snipped all labels AND those little bows off. I keep a Quick Unpick (seam ripper) and a tiny sharp pair of scissors in my bedside drawer for just such a task. Most of the bows are right in the centre front of the waistband, where I do NOT need extra bulk or attention drawn (even if the bow is tiny), and often they become frayed quickly. So no longer do I have labels that tickle or scratch and all my knickers are bow-free (they look much better). It's the little things that make me happy. I love this sentence of yours too 'I think what I feel after I have decluttered is more happier/pleased because I'm actually living more in line with my values.' and I feel the same way. When you're already living in a streamlined way you won't get the big transformation, but you wouldn't want to start off again as a hoarder would you? (just kidding, I know you wouldn't)

  8. Its the little things isn't it, that make us content or very true. Sorting/decluttering is an ongoing process, clothing get tired looking and even 'stuff' we once really liked have their shelf life.
    Advice from big sis tells me that as we age it is particularly important to look crisp and fresh, as I approach my fifties, I really 'get it'. Sometimes that means a favourite sweater has to go.
    Thanks Fiona for more awesome inspiration!
    Cheers from Rita in Victoria:)

  9. Hi Fiona, thanks so much for your fab blog. I can testify to using the MK method of folding! I did my draws last summer and they remain neat and tidy, I still get a thrill when I open my drawers. Lovely partner thinks I am a bit mad but his stuff is all jumbled, just as he likes it so I say at least we are both content! Good luck with your decluttering, have to say I am enjoying the process even though it is taking a while but I try not to get too frustrated as I do have a job too ��

  10. My undie (knickers) drawer looks much the same, and I love it. It's so great to see everything I have at a glance.

  11. I was at the library today looking for a certain book & I ran across another book by Peter Walsh. I remembered you mentioning his name on this post, so thanks! I'm looking forward to reading it.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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