Se­lect items that bring joy

Calgary Herald - - NEW CONDOS -

Marie Kondo chats about, among other things, how to have per­fectly or­ga­nized clos­ets, draw­ers and kitchens.

Q Help! I have too much fab­ric and I need to store it. Cur­rently, I have the fab­ric folded in plas­tic bins but it’s a lot of work — and a mess — to find the fab­ric I want. I’m con­sid­er­ing buy­ing foam-core boards, cut­ting them in thirds length­wise and wrap­ping the fab­ric around the boards — sim­i­lar to the way the fab­rics are pre­sented on bolts in a fab­ric store. What do you think of this idea? Do you have other ideas?

A Wrap­ping the fab­ric into bolts sounds like a great idea, es­pe­cially if it makes it look like a store dis­play and sparks joy for you.

An­other idea you can try is to store your fab­rics ver­ti­cally, rather than hor­i­zon­tally. This will make it much eas­ier for you to see what you have.

Q What are your best tips for keep­ing the tod­dler chaos at bay? Our 15-month-old loves pulling out his books and toys, and isn’t much help at clean­ing up yet.

A Rather than fix­ate on hav­ing a per­fectly tidy home at all times, I show my chil­dren how happy I am while tidy­ing. This helps en­cour­age their in­ter­est in tidy­ing, too.

Q I’ve never taken the time to be truly tidy, but I will be re­tir­ing soon and have lots of time to make a pos­i­tive change in my en­vi­ron­ment. What’s a good first step? Should I do a mas­sive de­clut­ter­ing of the en­tire house or take it one room — or drawer — at a time?

A A good first step is to imag­ine your ideal life af­ter you re­tire. Vi­su­al­ize what your house will look like and how you’d like to spend your time in your home.

When tidy­ing, I rec­om­mend tidy­ing the whole house in one shot as much as pos­si­ble. If you com­mit five full days to tidy­ing, you should be able to fin­ish it all in that pe­riod.

In­stead of tidy­ing by room, try tidy­ing by cat­e­gory. For ex­am­ple, tidy clothes one day and books an­other day.

Or­ga­niz­ing items by cat­e­gory al­lows you to learn more about your­self be­cause it gives you an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover what you’d like to keep in your life.

Q I have tried for years to come up with my vi­sion for my ideal life and home. It just won’t form in my head. Any sug­ges­tions?

A Start by mak­ing a habit of writ­ing down what you re­spond to when look­ing at in­te­rior mag­a­zines or when vis­it­ing a friend’s house. You might no­tice par­tic­u­lar colours that you like or plants that make you happy. When wo­ven to­gether, th­ese el­e­ments will cre­ate your ideal life and home.

Q My mother passed away two months ago and while we’ve had no prob­lems clean­ing out her stuff, I am now hav­ing trou­ble clean­ing out my closet at home. Ev­ery­thing re­minds me of her. How do I de­clut­ter when ev­ery­thing is tied to a mem­ory of her?!

A If you do feel com­pelled to tidy, I rec­om­mend be­gin­ning with items that aren’t sen­ti­men­tal, such as cloth­ing, books and pa­pers. The KonMari method will help de­ter­mine the cat­e­gories of items you should tackle and in what or­der. If you en­counter any item in one of th­ese cat­e­gories that brings back a mem­ory of your mother, set it aside as part of the sen­ti­men­tal cat­e­gory.

By tidy­ing non-sen­ti­men­tal items first, you will give your­self time to sort through your thoughts and emo­tions be­fore tack­ling the more sen­ti­men­tal items.

Q If the item no longer sparks joy and you are try­ing to sell it for fi­nan­cial gain, at what point do you do­nate it so things don’t pile up in the house?

A Set a clear sched­ule and as­sign a date. For ex­am­ple, tell your­self that in one month, you will have a garage sale or go to a spe­cific do­na­tion cen­tre. If some­thing does not sell within a spe­cific win­dow of time, it is time to do­nate it. Give your­self a strict dead­line and stick to it.

Q How can I down­size 20 years of sou­venirs from our mil­i­tarylife trav­els? When I want to get rid of some sou­venirs, my hus­band re­minds me how much we paid for them. And with my chil­dren’s items, I get sen­ti­men­tal about giv­ing them away.

A It is very im­por­tant to or­ga­nize the items that be­long to you be­fore you tidy the things that be­long to the whole fam­ily, so make sure you take care of your per­sonal items first.

As for your chil­dren’s child­hood trea­sures, if they make you happy ev­ery time you look at them, then keep them proudly.

Q When work­ing with small bud­gets, what do you sug­gest peo­ple spend their or­ga­ni­za­tional bud­get on — es­pe­cially if they can’t af­ford new closet con­fig­u­ra­tions?

A For the KonMari method, you do not need to pur­chase any­thing in par­tic­u­lar to get started.

The first step is to re­con­sider your be­long­ings, se­lect the items that bring you joy and let go of the items that don’t. So the only item you re­ally need is a do­na­tion bag.

The sec­ond step is to con­sider your stor­age. Once you have pared down your be­long­ings to only those that spark joy, de­cide what needs to be ad­dressed in your home in or­der for you to get closer to your ideal vi­sion and fo­cus on the spa­ces that are im­por­tant to you.

If your kitchen is your favourite space in your home, that might be an area worth spend­ing a lit­tle money to up­grade your or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Q I have tack­led ev­ery­thing but just can’t face my six large trunks of pho­to­graphs. How can I get started?

A If you have gone through the KonMari method — which it sounds like you have — then trust in your sen­si­tiv­ity to joy, which you’ve honed dur­ing this process. Be­lieve in your­self.

Go­ing through six trunks of pho­to­graphs is a mon­u­men­tal task, but you just have to get started.

It will take a while to go through them all — maybe three full days — but I think you will be sur­prised that it’s not as dif­fi­cult as you think.

Pro­fes­sional or­ga­nizer Marie Kondo sug­gests stor­ing items such as bolts of fab­ric ver­ti­cally to save space.

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