If you haven’t read the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo, I highly recommend picking it up. In my last post (found here) I touched on the basis of the book and my thoughts.
I started the process just as she suggests with the category of clothing. This first step has already done so much for my family. It has really simplified and decluttered. Its cut down on laundry and I no longer dig through clothing to find things that fit. Having to dress myself and 2 kids everyday, this is huge!
If you haven’t already; subscribe to the blog and you’ll receive the checklist I created to better organize this process, since it is something that takes a while to accomplish.
The next category Kondo suggests going through is books. When we moved from Colorado to California I had gone through and donated a bunch of our old textbooks. My husband and I generally use our Kindles when reading and I actually prefer audio books because, well 3 kids (need I say more).
This was what our bookcase looked like. I started by gather all of our books, cookbooks, kids books and magazines and putting them in the living room. I knew this process would be hard for my husband. He collects books and comic books and hates to see things go to “waste.” I had to keep reminding him that we were not wasting these items we were making them available so that other people who need them can enjoy them. What is the point of keeping things that no longer serve a purpose for you?
The kids books were fairly easy to go through. We knew which ones our kids really enjoyed and which ones just sat on the shelf. We have a library card and take the kids once or twice a month and load up on books. This way they get to experience a variety of stories and we don’t have to invest in more books. The library is a great resource and a great outing for the kids.
When it came to the cookbooks I decided to discard all but one. I kept one because looking through at the beautiful cakes definitely brought me joy. It had been years since I opened a cook book, only because I usually will open my Pinterest board for new recipes or Google what I’m specifically looking for.
I let my husband go through his books and just as i suspected he did have a hard time. The whole process of picking up each book was really good for him. There were a few books that he said he loved reading but knew he wasn’t going to read them again. He told me that going through them made him really appreciate the ones he was keeping.
When all was said and done we had about half the total books in our keep pile. We loaded 3 boxes full of books to donate. My husband started questioning getting rid of so many and thought maybe we could sell some for a little extra cash. Normally I would have agreed but then I thought about those 3 boxes sitting in our garage. I don’t have time to list items on eBay or set up and run a garage sale. Moving them to the garage would just be moving clutter around and prolonging the process.
For me this whole process is about making my every day life simpler so I have more time to do fun things with the kids, and time to spend doing other things I love. I don’t want to make more work for myself. Dane ended up taking the books to the donation place that day.
I put all the books we were keeping back on the shelf nicely and when I stood back to admire our now sparse book shelf I felt lighter. I kept thinking about all the times I would walk by and think “ugh the kids took all the books off again.” now their books fit into two tubs and even my 2 year old can put them back after he pulls them out.
Im only 2 categories into “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and I am already feeling a difference in my life. I mean just look at this before and after. I haven’t even gotten to the part in the book about organizing and my house already feels a lot less cluttered.
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