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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Cristina Soriano

This past week, I have been engulfed in a cleaning frenzy. After reading Marie Kondo’s manifesto on de-cluttering your home and therefore your mind, I couldn’t focus on anything but tidying.

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This past weekend, for example, I discarded two HUGE suitcases stuffed with old clothes (which will be sent to the Andres Soriano Foundation in the Philippines), trash bags of old gadgets, cables and cords (which will be sent to a recycling plant) and boxes full of old books (which will be sold to The Strand). BUT I’m NOT done!!!

The book’s entire premise is the KonMari Method, which asserts: “Start by discarding. Then you organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.” Kondo proclaims that tidying changes your way of thinking, changes your approach to life.

For those of you who don’t have time to read the entire 200 or so pages, here are my notes:

DISCARDING

The first step to a changed, clutter-free life, is to DISCARD. With every item ask yourself, “does this spark joy?” Keep only those things that speak to the heart. Then take the plunge, and discard all the rest.

Tidy by Category

Although I didn’t follow her method exactly, she asks that you tidy by category rather than by room.

  1. Clothes (tops, bottoms, hanging clothes, socks, underwear, bags, accessories)
  2. Books (remove all the books from the bookshelf and go through each and every book)
  3. Komono/Miscellaneous (CDs/DVDs, skin care samples, makeup, electrical equipment, appliances, household equipment, kitchen goods, food supplies)

CLOTHING STORAGE

Oopsies!!! Staking = BAD!

Oopsies!!! Staking = BAD!

The key to storage is to store things standing up rather than laid flat. You will have less wrinkles in your clothes because you are not adding pressure and weight to a stack.

Never fold your socks into a ball!!!! Rather, lay toes on top of each other and fold in half.

Do not store seasonal clothing. Things stored away in boxes or in basements get both moldy and forgotten. It becomes a nuisance to access.

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Bye bye old technology!

Bye bye old technology!

As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you’ll see what your true values are, what is important to you in your life.

The secret to maintaining an uncluttered room is to pursue ultimate simplicity in storage so that you can tell at a glance what you have.

By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.

When we reduce what we own and essentially ‘detox’ our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well.


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Living in a cozy apartment in New York, the KonMarie method really inspired me to live clutter-free. Since my space is small, when things are out of place or messy, it shows immediately. It is even more frustrating because not only am I a ‘neat-freak’ but because I spend so much time at home!

Although it doesn’t look like I donated and threw away a few suitcases and trash bags worth of superfluous debris from my apartment, the space to me feels… lighter. I walk into the front door and feel a serene energy, a more productive spirit. It has become a more happy place filled with only the things that make me… happy.

Distributing toothbrushes (instead of candy!) to the children of Manamoc Island - one of the many islands the Andres Soriano Foundation touches. 

Distributing toothbrushes (instead of candy!) to the children of Manamoc Island - one of the many islands the Andres Soriano Foundation touches. 

If you’re looking to donate some clothes to the Andres Soriano Foundation, a charity I hold very dear, please contact me!

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