After listening to Marie Kondo's book, 'The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,' a couple years ago, my life truly was changed! My main take aways from it were:
1. Do a complete overhaul of all of your things at one time and get rid of everything that doesn't bring you joy. Taking everything out of your closet and piling all your clothes, paperwork, etc. into one place is overwhelming but invigorating once you're finished. Your recycling, trash and donation piles might be through the roof for a while but you'll start feeling accomplished as things go out your door for good.
2. Keep like items in one place. Don't have 15 different junk drawers or reusable shopping bags you shove stuff in and can't even find things when needed. Don't shove papers in various drawers in your house, toss cosmetics all together in 30 different boxes and bags or clothes and shoes in 5 closets. I was very guilty of this and I still have to remind myself to always empty bags or purses and put things in their place when I get home daily or they'll slowly start accumulating again.
3. Store things vertically so that you can see everything when in storage and you don't have to pull everything out to get to the items on the bottom. This was huge with clothes!
4. If you pick up her book (which I highly recommend), you'll hear her say it should take 3-6 months or a year so when someone says they finished in 8 hours I find it hard to believe they really followed her tips. Be prepared for a real time commitment if you want real results. I think she says not to have music or anything going while organizing but I actually listened to her audio book on repeat and found that helpful.
5. A big thing she says to get rid of almost all of is paperwork and notes. Knowing they served their purpose as you were writing them and when to let go is key. For me, instead of doing that with nutrition and professional notes and keepsakes, I have just been scanning them or taking pictures and organizing them in computer files so that they don't take up space. It'll just be a click of a button if or when I find they don't serve me and can delete them down the road.
Other lesson learned: Don't get married or move in with anyone or you'll have to start all over again. Kidding about this one but it definitely was a difficult adjustment moving in with my husband and figuring out that minimalist(ish) balance again. There's more good than challenges that came with purchasing a larger home and getting married but we have a ways to go in finding a place for everything and avoiding accumulating stuff just because we have the space. Learning the mind set from Kondo's book ('KonMari Method') is extremely helpful in continuing the process.
So what's Project 333 you ask? It's a trending minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with only 33 items for 3 months. When I first heard about it on the documentary Minimalist (check it out on Netflix), I thought 'That's ridiculous and only for crazy extreme people!' Then after seeing quite a few success stories I decided to give it a try taking the following into account...
• Things that DO count: clothes, purses, jewelry, accessories, sweaters, jackets and shoes.
• Things that DON'T count: underwear, workout clothes (when working out), lounge wear and sleep wear, wedding rings or other jewelry you never take off (FitBit). If clothes no longer fit or become damaged you can swap them out.
• I knew I needed time to really prepare so I gave myself until March 1st (beginning of lent) to start. Right now I have 33 things on the left side of my closet and everything else is far away. This is helping me decide what I want in my finalized 33 items. I'm blessed to have a giant closet so this is easy for me but might not work for all.
• While I think this is an awesome challenge, I don't plan on getting my wardrobe down to 33 items long term but do want to take this as a time to reflect on the right amount for me and get rid of clothes that are just meh. Knowing that I can wear only 33 items will help empower and remind me it's ok to have fewer items you really love than a wardrobe crowded with meh and a few buried loves that take 10 minutes just to find. I would say part of this challenge comes from being a student and then not having a lot of money/being frugal as a young professional to purchase quality clothes. Instead, my wardrobe is filled with clothes I like to wear on rotation because most don't bring me joy but I can still handle wearing them occasionally and spending more money on clothes would bring me even less joy.
• I plan on keeping my closet clearly sectioned off for the three months rather than boxing everything up. This might not work for someone who would be tempted to wear more, but for me it'll help me to put more stuff in the donation pile as I realize I don't have any desire to wear certain items.
• Most importantly, this will free up time to focus on studying for my personal trainer exam, finishing a business plan for my wellness company (more to come on that in the next few months) and spending time with friends and family doing the things I love most!
Have you tried the KonMari Method or Project 333? Please comment or send me a message about your experiences!