Have you jumped on the Tidying Up bandwagon? Of course after watching one episode, I was tossing everything out that didn’t “spark joy”- with all the snow days here in PA, I contemplated allowing my kids to stay. Are you afraid of getting started and not finishing or are you asking yourself what to do with all your stuff now that you’ve been watching ‘Tidying Up’?
Before I was even introduced to Marie Kondo via countless facebook posts, my husband and I had so many arguments about the amount of clutter in our house. This was a huge argument that always resulted in stress and sadness that I just couldn’t keep up. Enough of an argument that my husband went and ordered a dumpster in our driveaway the week before Christmas. Talk about the stress of the holidays, now he expected us to go through things that we didn’t want just to make room for new things. It was just something that I couldn’t do especially the week before Christmas.
With three kids 12 and younger, you could imagine the amount of Legos and Barbies around our house. Even our bathtub, which I probably used once, was filled with Barbie and Ken dolls. Every room that I walked into would cause me stress, so what did I do? I just accepted it. I somehow convinced myself that this was the stage of life we were living. That someday, we would live in a house without naked Barbie or Lego marks on the bottom of my feet and we would miss these days. I made up excuses of why I needed 30 coffee mugs and fancy plates. (I am not sure why I thought that I needed 12 multicolor plates and matching bowls..definitely a bridal shower, pre-children decision). Honestly, the kids are still using plastic plates that I bought for a dollar at Big Lots a few years back.
So, after seeing a few friends post about the organization of Marie Kondo, I had to give it a shot. It took me some time to get used to the language barrier, but after the first episode I was a little annoyed and I had so many questions. Each episode brought me more clarity and by the end of the series, I was trying to determined to get rid of clutter in our house. (Also, remember that I am a teacher and we had a ton of snow days in PA, so I had the extra time.)
I started with the easiest task, the kitchen. I will admit, the idea of taking everything out and putting it on the ripped through the cabinets- I filled garbage bags of toddler cups and plates, made a donation pile and also had some items set aside that I couldn’t decide if it sparked joy. I had a hard time with my own clothes and I skipped the “thank you” process, as it was just something that I couldn’t do. I will thank the dumpster company at the end of this process (depending on the bill)..haha. I didn’t feel it was necessary to following her folding method, so I just stuck with my folding method and still placed the clothing upright to see everything. That was a game changer for drawers, don’t you think!?
I will tell you that this process is exhausting and my house was a mess. It’s not something that happens overnight-it actually took over a month before I was able to get rid of all the extra clutter. Each room had separate piles and it was suffocating. It was frustrating and felt never ending. There is a reason that the Marie Kondo goes back to the same house for over 45 days. I did not see the end in site, but I couldn’t stop now because although it was taking longer than expected, it felt good seeing a cleaner, more organized house.
4 Things to do with all your stuff now that you’ve been watching ‘Tidying Up’
- Donations – It feels great to make a donation, but don’t forget to grab the receipt to make it tax-deductible. A tax deduction for charitable giving isn’t guaranteed just because you’re feeling generous. As with everything in tax law, it’s important to follow the rules, and with tax reform, those rules are changing. GoodWill Industries offers some IRS Guidelines for making donations.
- Social Media – Not only are there social apps like Poshmark or Let Go, which allow you to take a quick picture to post and sell, but don’t forget to use facebook marketplace or private garage sale groups to sell your items. There are times that I just post an image to my feed and ask if anyone needs it or make me an offer and it works. People want your stuff!
- Garage Sales are still very popular and people love to browse unwanted items. The only downfall to having a garage sale is storing the items. If you don’t mind storing the items to save for a garage sale, then this may be a good idea to get rid of your unwanted clutter. Just be prepared to bargain, most people go to garage sales to find good deals.
- Consignment selling is a great way to earn extra money. People who previously gave away clothing are looking for an opportunity to cash in on their unwanted clothing. A consignment operates by splitting profits 50/50 with the original owner. With the rise in social media, many consignment shops are posting and tweeting when hot items come into stores, which customers just love. There are some consignment shops that offer cash up front, while others require the items to be sold first. We buy and sell used closed online at Thredup, which is one that I use to sell our used clothing. I ordered the bag, filled it with clothing from my closet and items from the kids’ closet and I left the bag for the mailman to pick up. That was it. I selected to donate the items that didn’t sell and within weeks, I had a deposit of $27 into my account. Not bad for not leaving the house. Plus, I can either Cash the money out through PayPal or use the money to shop. And….I didn’t have to leave the house.
After reflecting on the process over the last 8 weeks, I do feel that we are almost there. The basement area is next to tackle, but that may have to wait until the Spring. For me, it’s the main living areas that are now organized and I do find myself (and the rest of the family) maintaining the organization. It feels good to be organized. And I totally bought the drawer organizers at TJ max for like $7.00. There is also a marketplace on Amazon that sells all those Mario Kondo little boxes and they are cheap. The little things really make a big difference. Would love to know your thoughts. Have you been ‘Tidying Up’? What did you do with all your stuff after taking the challenge?