By now you’ve probably heard all about new show on Netflix called Tidying up with Marie Kondo. It has become this big movement that made me feel really proud of every single person posting about their journeys online. I am so moved and motivated every time I see a satisfying before-and-after photo of organized closets and “thank you, next” piles. For those who aren’t posting, I see you too! I’m so proud of you.
I spent my last holiday day-off binge watching Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, while my husband played Skyrim on his laptop next to me on the couch. It was the most perfect way to end the long, well-deserved break. I watched the entire season in one day. I cried, laughed and awweed at all the episodes. It was so great. I felt the same feeling of attachment and hopefulness after watching all the Queer Eye episodes. That feeling of:
I just want to be so aggressively kind, loving and supportive to everyone including –and most especially myself! YASS QUEEEN! I got this!
I was so pumped and so inspired by all the wins in that show. I felt like I wanted to honor everyone who shared their stories and emotional decluttering journey with me. If they can do it and pushed through it, I can do it too!
I am going to list below the episodes that truly resonated with me and what pushed me to start my journey:
The Friends family - laundry/clothes
Rachel from the first episode was so relatable. I HATE DOING LAUNDRY! I do the same thing she does: let my clothes pile up in the corner and never have the time to put it away. If I knew about the in-home laundry service she’s talking about, my husband would also probably fight me on that. My heart melted when I saw the little baby fold a tiny shirt. If she can try to fold, I can too!
As soon as the first episode ended, I decided to do laundry. We have been avoiding the hamper for a while because the pile has gotten so big over the break that it could avalanche. I finally decided it was time to wash all the dirty clothes so I can start piling them on the bed to decide whether I want to keep it or thank it and then say my goodbyes.
I found that I don’t mind folding fresh laundry while I watch TV. It’s a nice mindless task that’s so rewarding in the end. I actually felt so zen as I meticulously folded the clothes into tiny little tents. Usually when I watch TV, I sit on the couch as I scroll endlessly on Instagram. Usually, I’d feel like a sad potato after. This time I accomplished something and didn’t feel as bad about binge watching an entire season in one day.
UPDATE: A week later, I’m still loving all my neatly folded things and knowing where everything is. I hope this feeling lasts because everything is so tidy! It’s so much easier to get dressed in the morning. The used clothes left a space in the drawer. I never think I’d say this but I am actually excited to do laundry so I can fill my drawers again.
The Akiyama family - reducing redundancy/evaluating trinkets/finding special treasures
The Akiyamas were such a cute couple. They partnered through the whole process and had the most transformation in the season. They reduced a lot of their redundant things and evaluated their trinkets.
I also loved that they found old treasures that were hidden away which might be trash to others but meant a great deal for them. That’s the true difference between Josh and Ryan’s Minimalism versus Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy” minimalism. I think the sweet spot is finding balance in both. Keep the really special, memorable items that spark true joy but don’t keep memorabilia just because of guilt. The items you keep might be the most random things but that’s ok as long as it truly adds value to your life.
A. my husband’s drawing from when he was a baby. It’s a fond memory but it doesn’t add value to his life moving forward. He digitized it, thanked it and then moved on.
B. a personalized art we found from our honeymoon trip. It’s a cool art for our hallway. It adds value to our lives because it makes us both happy to see it everyday.
Next is dealing with collections. If mama Wendy can get rid of some of her beloved Christmas decorations and come to a realization that she doesn’t need to go overboard, then I can too!
I started rounding up all my Christmas decor. They all fit in one box so I’ve decided we can’t buy anymore. Then I went through my own obsession: tea towels and table runners. EEK I had so many. I got rid of the duplicates and stained ones. I then arranged them neatly in a cute basket. It’s satisfying to see all of them so organized.
The Mercier family - downsizing/optimizing spaces
Ok, first of all I just want to say how sweet this little family is.They are so respectful and loving to each other. The fact that they are downsizing yet the kids are still so grateful and content, it’s incredible. They set such a good example. This is the kind of relationship I want for my future family.
What my husband and I got from this episode is that the people you share your home with matters more than the size of it. The key is optimizing your space and getting the most out of it. With this in mind, we started to evaluate the spaces in our home. I felt extra grateful to realize how lucky we are as a couple to live in a 2.5 bedrooms/2 bathroom apartment. That is way more than enough space for the two of us yet we still feel like it’s not enough. Why?
We currently use our 2nd room as a shared office and the den as a library/hobby room. The den isn’t utilized as much as we initially hoped. It became a dumping ground of things we didn’t want to deal with. We didn’t feel good going into this space to create. I probably only used it once last year. It was stress-inducing and messy.
My husband had a crazy idea to “break-up” our shared spaces into separate offices where we can make the spaces our own and be more creative this year. Usually he feels bad playing music while I paint or read so having a shared hobby room wasn’t really a good idea. The clingy me initially did not like this idea but I said I’ll try it out. As soon as I finished putting together my office, I fell in love with it! It’s so cutesy and fun in here. I feel so creative and focused whenever I am in this space. I realized, this room definitely sparks joy!
His office space now sparks so much joy for him too because he gets to spread out his monitors across the table without hitting my stuff. He can play music and code (he’s a software engineer/developer) in silence without me bothering him every 2 seconds. LOL! He’s very accommodating and patient so he’d never tell me to shut up but he would never get anything done when I’m around. Now he can focus and feel so productive.
UPDATE: It has been a week since we separated offices and I have been so happy. I’ve been so creative and relaxed. I have been doing yoga every morning and journaling in my new “studio.” Having some privacy is really nice (I had no idea). I even felt so motivated to write this post.
Clarissa and Mario - decluttering finances
I realized that Mario and I share the same material-deprived childhood which, for me, triggered that baller mentality when I started making money. I had a great childhood, I just never really got stuff because I was the youngest of 3 girls. I always just inherited their things. When I made my own money, I was blinded by the feeling of buying whatever I wanted, whenever. I collected expensive things that were unnecessary luxury items that were only temporarily satisfying.
After seeing this emotional and powerful scene, I picked up my laptop to check on my credit card balances. I have been too scared to take a look for a while now. I always make the excuse “I’ll deal with it later, I have autopay set up, I’m fine.”
I decided to overhaul my finances as well! Here I go. Writing down all my monthly expenses in a spreadsheet and eliminating unnecessary ones from the list. Wow I’ve freed up $100/month already? Amazing. I just paid off one credit card. WOW! I’m on fire! What else can I do?
UPDATE: I’ve started down a path to becoming debt-free (student loans, credit card, car, all of it)! I’m reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and watching the Dave Ramsey show on Youtube. I’m excited!
The Mattison family - convenience fallacy
Sehnita’s excuses for keeping things was a good example of Joshua Becker’s definition of a “convenience fallacy.” It’s keeping something in hopes saving time when we need them but we actually don’t end up using it. It’s a fallacy to thinking it’s simplifying your life but it’s not. You’re allowing a “what if” object to live in valuable space. Someone else could benefit more on having this object rather than letting it sit in storage. Let it go!
This category is a big one I’ve recently learned. I thanked and said goodbye to many items that are under the convenience fallacy umbrella. Sehnita really triggered me to not think about all the what if’s but focus on asking myself “will this add value to my life going forward?”
I think that when we move out of our apartment in the future, we will feel good about packing everything we own. I think we’ve left only the most valuable, useful and special items in our home. I can finally say that we are living 98% efficiently. I think we can keep improving as we go along but as of now, I think we’ve narrowed it down to the most essential things in our home. We are rejecting the convenience fallacy and only keeping what’s valuable. We are so happy with our progress.
Here are some before and after photos of our progress. It’s posted on Instagram if you’d like to see them more. I will be posting a vlog soon about our new offices.
Maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of our home has been a breeze. We know exactly where everything is. We feel so at peace at home now. We’ve been so creative and focused lately. It’s a great start to the new year. Not only has it affected our home environment, it has also helped in character building. I’ve been more empowered to prioritize my happiness in all aspects and accept nothing less.
I know a lot of people out there are writing bad things about the show/Konmari method saying they don’t get the hype or it’s cult-y. I think that everyone should focus more on being happy for the progress of others. Just take what you will. Absorb what works for you and learn from it. If it’s really not for you, that’s totally fine. As long as you’re not discouraging others then you’re good. Always remember to have an open mind and remember the most important part of this movement is to be supportive, loving, understanding and kind to others who are working hard to a better life. Whatever gets you there. Ok? 🙂
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed.