I have talked about personal organisation in this blog before, but I just have to share my excitement about what has been a (hopefully) life-changing couple of weeks. It all happened when I stumbled across a YouTube video about a woman called Marie Kondo, who has written a New York Times No. 1 best-selling guide to decluttering the home.
As a freelance translator, I have very little free time and when I am not chained to the computer the last thing I want to do is tidy up and search for documents and other items that have been buried in a drawer or a cupboard. I even have sandals without a pair!
Marie Kondo has the answer to these problems. You do have to put a bit of work and follow her tidying-up method, which means putting everything you have in a pile (by categories… shoes, jackets, shirts) and then touching and deciding if each item gives you joy. That may sound a bit stupid and flaky, but it’s amazing to think about the emotions that make us hang on to garbage for no good reason. Perhaps it’s a hideous hand-knitted cardigan that your Auntie Maud made for you before she died and you feel guilty about discarding. Perhaps it’s something your ex-husband gave you, which although it is perfectly attractive and functional, makes you remember his sorry face every time you look at it! All these things go in the bin or to the charity shop.
And it isn’t just clothes! I have done my wardrobes and cosmetics and I am delighted with the result. Everything is staying perfectly tidy and in its place. But best of all is the work I have done on the paperwork that was lurking in files, boxes and drawers in my desk and office. I have got rid of about 80% of that paper and now I can lay my hand on anything I need immediately, with no searching.
I can’t recommend this method enough. I am very busy at the moment otherwise I would have done my kitchen by now. I don’t really need a bread maker and I am going to send it to the charity shop, along with the old frying pans and fish knives I never use!
If you want to get your act together, buy The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. There are also plenty of videos on YouTube by Marie and other professional organisers that will help you on your way.