My experience doing 3 rounds of Tidying
Part I of the KonMari series
With the recent Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo I embarked upon my 3rd round of the KonMari method. I think seeing how people struggled to transform their lives while living with too much stuff helped me understand where my own blindspots still were. I was holding onto things that came from a different lifetime. And my surroundings didn’t reflect what I wanted to do next. So I started decluttering, again. This time, I had help from my husband, who had watched the show with me and who also felt inspired to clear things out.
First round of tidying
My first round of the KonMari method began a couple of years ago when the first Marie Kondo craze happened. I, too, started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and not only began discarding stuff but also implemented her other tips: folding and standing things upright, hanging stuff in a colour-and-length-gradient, facing my beauty products backwards so I would have less visual clutter in the bathroom etc.
Imagine your ideal life
Marie Kondo suggests that before you start any discarding, you should visualize your ideal life. Having a clear image of what you want going forward will help you make strong decisions in the decluttering process. For me, I think in my first two rounds of Tidying, I stumbled right there at the beginning: a) I didn’t spend enough time getting clear on what I wanted, b) at that time in my life, I didn’t really know what I wanted anyway.
Will I have anything left?
Apart from not connecting to a vivid mental image of my ideal life, what held me back when discarding was something that I hear a lot of people say: What if, after getting rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy, there won’t be anything left? So I stuck to many things that I didn’t enjoy, but I felt I had to keep, just to be safe.
The main thing about round 3 of tidying for me was letting go of the past: I was confronted with past choices, activities, and memories in general. This time, I culled anything that didn’t serve me/us going forward. Because I had a clear image of what I wanted this year and this phase of my life to look like, I was able to make those decisions. Over the next couple of weeks, I would sometimes go back and still toss something I tried to keep previously but didn’t feel great about. More and more, I learned about what mattered to me and what I just didn’t want to spend time on anymore (like ill-fitting/low-quality clothes).
My personal conclusion
To me, doing that 3rd round of Tidying was definitely worth it. I think I needed the time to grow into the process, to summon the courage to get rid of certain things and to find out what I truly wanted in life. Only from that clarity was I able to be decisive and confident going through my stuff. Many things I found tedious the first time around, like folding or emptying my purse everyday, now, with less stuff and only things I like, have transformed into pleasant daily tasks — sort of like rituals that keep me grounded. Apart from that, having had to go through way less stuff overall, as this was my 3rd round of decluttering, I was able to spend more time and energy on the organizing side of things. I perfected my folding and storing technique and found loads of new space open up, just by putting things differently into the dresser.
Should you do it?
So, for anyone who is thinking about taking the leap and doing the KonMari method for the first or the Xth time, I would definitely say: Go for it. Take as much time as you need, one category at a time, and, before any discarding, start with step 1 — your ideal life.
Over the next parts of my KonMari series I am going to share the lessons I learned, what I truly gained from Tidying with the KonMari method and tips on starting and finishing your Tidying journey!