Just about everyone I know has embarked upon some effort to get organized and tidy up. This usually involves looking through all your stuff, purging as much as you can stand to give up, and unloading on Goodwill the jeans that got too tight, frayed blouses, shrunken sweaters, platform shoes, and that FUBU jacket that you spent your entire paycheck on in 1998 that will never be back in style (well, maybe . . .)
Problem is, before you are finished patting yourself on the back for cleaning up your wardrobe, you are already reading about the "10 Essential Pieces You Need This Fall" or "This Season's Hottest Boots" and have justified why you need these new things. NOW. Never mind that you won't wear that pair of blue suede stacked booties more than once, because that one time you wear them you will be on trend.
After several years of the same futile purge-buy-purge exercise, I stumbled across a book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. Always a sucker for a pretty book cover and catchy title, I bought a copy, along with some gold binder clips, three print notebooks, and pretty containers for my desk. The fancy office items never made it to my desk and the book sat unread for several weeks. I didn't pick it up to read until my husband teased me about buying a book about tidying that was doing nothing but gathering dust and adding to the clutter.
I read the book cover to cover and promptly got to work. I followed Marie Kondo's method to a T and Kondo'ed my closets, papers, books, the kitchen, kids' toys, socks, and toiletries. Everything. I Kondo'ed the whole house (except my husband's closet - that's on him). I took my Goodwill hauls to different donation centers each weekend out of fear they would start turning me away. My closets looked AMAZING. But, what about that urge to buy more?
I read several reviews and picked up another book called "Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life" by Ruth Soukup and found that it was my perfect companion to Marie's. I now go through a little process when deciding whether to buy that Bohemian velvet fringe poncho or digital kitchen scale.
It has been two months since I Kondo'ed my house and we've stayed pretty tidy. Of course, the house still gets junky and the kitchen gets messy, but everything has a place and it is easy to straighten up quickly. To my amazement, my 5 year old daughter has kept her drawers neatly organized because she likes the way it looks.
I still enjoy reading about other approaches to tidying and organizing, and I've jumped on board with the "lean closet" movement as promoted by Cuyana and fashion editors. Having a leaner, cleaner approach to stuff has also helped to relieve stress because I know where to find everything, it's easy to get dressed, and my home feels lighter, cleaner and more serene. (Despite the kids screaming in the background and fresh crayon marks on the couch.)