Organizing and minimalist guru Marie Kondo's new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is inspiring Islanders to combat their clutter — since the series premiered Jan. 1, people have been proudly posting their tidying efforts on social media.
I asked Islanders via Facebook to share how they've been inspired.
"I'm over the moon excited about the new Netflix series. It certainly brings some needed inspiration!" shared Katherine Bryson of Flat River, P.E.I.
Bryson read Kondo's first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, when on maternity leave last January "and it kind of went from there," she said. "I just finished her other book Spark Joy a couple months ago."
You may have heard about Kondo's organizing process, the KonMari Method: you touch your old sweater, book, or teapot to see whether or not it "sparks joy". If it does, you keep it. If it doesn't, you thank it for its life of service, then let it go. Mostly, for minimalist Kondo, you let it go.
Kondo even advocates a specific way of folding things — T-shirts, dish towels, and underwear for instance — rather than stacking them, so you can see what's in the drawer when you open it.
And she's a big fan of grouping things that are alike, and using baskets to separate and organize.
Ashe Green said she is five episodes into the series and has already tackled several areas in her home that needed organization.
"I attacked two of my closets over the weekend! I had an entire shelf in my linen closet dedicated to reusable bags and another full of towels. Things would fall out when you opened the door and it's been like that for four years," Green wrote on Facebook.
"I tossed any bags I hadn't used in over a year, rehomed any that were good but plentiful, and neatly folded the ones I kept and stored them in a wicker basket (because baskets bring me joy)."
Green also sorted through towels and rags and tossed many of them.
"In the pantry closet, I tossed anything that had expired, donated a few small appliances we hadn't used in years, and grouped like items together! Took about 15 minutes and it's so much better," she wrote.
The baskets are key, it seems
"Baskets are amazing ways to organize and folding is key," said Denise Dawn MacLeod of Stratford, P.E.I.
"We decided to give it a go and start with clothes," posted Michelle MacCallum of Victoria, P.E.I.
"I had laughed at how many clothes people on the show had, never would I have that many things I thought. Ummm, once I put all my stuff on my bed, I was just as overwhelmed and horrified. Good news is that everything I kept is something I wear. Most of it does give me joy. Feels really great — and our attic is much less cluttered!"
Balking at books
Where some people balk is at Kondo's advice on books — get rid of any books you've been meaning to read but haven't, as well as books you have already read. She has said she herself only keeps 30 books at any one time.
"Adapt it in a way that suits your life," said Bryson of the KonMari method. "Personally if I enjoy the subject and know that I will eventually get to reading it, I keep it. If there's no chance that I'll ever read it, then it goes."
MacCallum used Kondo's method on her books and is donating more than 100 to a local library, but keeping about 500.
"My books spark joy for sure!" MacCallum said.
'A more genuine picture'
Margie Villard is a professional organizer on P.E.I. with her own business, Joy of Organizing.
She has watched Kondo's Netflix series and says "anything that inspires people to get organized is a good thing."
"What I appreciate about the series is that it gives a better timeline of how long the process takes and that is with these participants working at it daily, so a more genuine picture than shows like Clean Sweep for example," Villard said.
Villard said Kondo's process is in some ways similar to what she and other professional organizers use — first, a large category sort then breaking it down into smaller categories.
Start learning the process with categories that don't have as great of an emotional impact, Villard advised — like pantry and freezer — then move on to more sentimental areas like the china cupboard.
"However most professional organizers are working alongside the clients, teaching how to make the process work for their situation and keeping the process moving without overwhelming them at the same time," Villard said. "This is where my hesitation for some of her method comes in, like the lady with all her clothes piled from bed to ceiling. I'm sure she didn't sleep there by the end of the day.
"People are so emotionally attached to objects that having a non-judgmental person working through the process with them, keeping them from getting distracted ... is often the missing piece for many people," Villard said.
Villard suggests if you are not sure where to start, begin with removing the easy things from your home — garbage, clothes that no longer fit, expired medicines, beauty products, pantry and freezer items.
"Every step is progress," she said.
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