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Our Take on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I’d seen so many posts about this book, and I just made fun of it silently, balking at the idea that a book could make a difference when I was already de-cluttering and getting rid of things every 2 or 3 months. I thought I had it down, yet I was still feeling so restless and having to get rid of things month after month, and anytime someone was coming over we’d spend hours cleaning, scrambling to have our house straightened in time. 

We aren’t even particularly messy people, but with 4 dogs, a baby, and us both working full time the piles of clutter just pile up, things get put “away” wherever is out of site. We’d do a legit straightening up of our bedroom every week or two, as well as the other rooms, but within a day or so they’d be just as bad as they were before. It was this endless cycle that was slowly driving me crazy.

BEFORE

AFTER

So, I ended up buying the book. More by accident than anything. I’d had it in and out of my Amazon cart for forever, and I thought I’d saved it for later while purchasing some books for K for Christmas, but it was actually still in there. Then, when it arrived I put off even looking at it for almost 3 months. I’ve always been pretty anti self help books and such, because I’m just stubborn, and this seemed to be along those lines, so I wasn’t about to read it.

Well, I kept seeing more and more posts, and being more and more frustrated with our house and how I never felt like we were making real progress, so I caved, and I started to read. 

It only took a few pages, and I was hooked. Could this book really make a difference? Did I really own anything that didn’t bring me joy? I mean, I’d bought what I own after all, so of course it was all stuff I wanted. Right? And, would I actually have much to get rid of? I mean, just a month or two before starting this book I’d de-cluttered and gotten rid of 10 trash bags of stuff, so would I have much to do?  Hahaha, oh, how foolish I was.

This book doesn’t just teach you to see if what you have brings joy, and to get rid of what doesn’t, but it helped me with organization, from better ways to fold my clothes, to teaching me to make sure I could see everything I was keeping, not having it stacked on top of each other, just to be forgotten about. The author also has you start with clothes, and end with sentimental items, which helped a ton. She teaches you that if you’re going through clothes, you go through all clothes at once. So, you gather all of your clothes, from every room of the house (if you forget any then those clothes get donated, so you better be sure you have them all) then you physically touch each piece of clothing and look at, to see if it brings you joy. You do this with each thing you’re going through, books, clothes, cds, kitchen supplies, etc. You do all of one type at once. Then, once you’ve de cluttered and gotten rid of what you’re getting rid of is when you worry about finding spots for everything. 

We did it a bit different, we did all clothes first like she suggested, but then organized them, and finished our bedroom and A’s before moving onto other things. So, it wasn’t quite how she said, but it worked great for us. 

We’ve now done our whole house, and our garage, and I’m not even joking, it’s been life changing. I know, I know, you’re wondering how getting rid of things can change your life, it’s just less clutter. I mean, that’s what I’d be wondering, and I’d be rolling my eyes as I read this.

We only need to spend like, 5-10 minutes a day putting stuff away to tidy up. We don’t have stacks of clutter or stacks of possessions waiting for a “home.” When people have decided to drop by we aren’t embarrassed, because other than dirty floors, which we’ll always have with 4 dogs even though we sweep 1-2 times daily and mop at least weekly, our house is clean! We don’t miss anything that we got rid of, which was actually a big surprise for me. I figured I’d have some type of de-clutter-ers remorse or something, but there’s been none. 

K was sceptic at first, just kind of going along with it with a we’ll see attitude, since I am always going through our stuff. He was pretty sure this time wasn’t going to be anything special, or anything different. But, the further along I got with de-cluttering, and when he started helping, he saw a big difference. We were literally going through EVERYTHING, and getting rid of so much. We are still both shocked at how much we still had to get rid of.  We also changed the way we fold our clothes, per the author’s suggestions, and that’s also been a huge game changer for us. 

BEFORE

AFTER

If I wasn’t a weirdo who goes through everything every few months we’d have had so much more to get rid of, but even with that we got rid of 38 trash bags for DI, 15 boxes of stuff for DI, 2 dog kennels, 36 cookbooks, 10 books, and 26 trash bags of trash, 7 storage bins and 2 diaper boxes of expired food. That’s a total of 64 trash bags of stuff, 17 boxes, 46 books, 2 dog kennels, and 7 storage bins. 

 

Our home feels different, our stress levels are so much less, and we actually have time to do things for ourselves. I didn’t really realize how much time we were spending cleaning and straightening and moving one pile of stuff to another pile, waiting to finally put it away. This wasn’t just a one time thing, but a lifestyle change, and it’s been a huge one. It definitely isn’t easy, we still catch ourselves leaving our shoes out, then quickly going back to put them away, but we’re getting there, and it’s one of the best changes we’ve made. 

You can, and should, get your own copy here

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