Hello. My name is Alec, and I used to be a hoarder. I would keep everything – things I thought were beautiful, things that had memories attached to them – everything. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to be a hoarder because I live in New York City. I have a fairly spacious apartment for NYC, but I still struggle with making all of my belongings work in here. In an instant I was cured of my old hoarder ways, and I’m now making my way to the opposite end of the spectrum – minimalism.
Minimalism has become very hip recently mostly due to the popularity of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I binge read it in March completely fascinated by the author’s viewpoints on belongings. The basis for her tidy habits comes from being surrounded in your home and/or office only by items that bring you joy and happiness. For most people, that means trashing and donating lots of items!
In October, Nick and I donated multiple trash bags and clothes baskets full of random items to the church down the street. We did another “spring clean” at the end of 2015 and surprisingly had three more trash bags full of clothes and such to donate! It was crazy! I thought we were doing pretty well, but as I was reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I made a mental note of even more things I could get rid of! I calendared my big Tidying Day as April 9th and mentally prepared myself.
On April 9th, I started with clothes and pulled out every clothing item I owned including accessories and seasonal items in storage. (Marie Kondo doesn’t believe in having separate seasonal storage except for gloves, scarves, and bathing suits.) I went through all my clothes asking if they brought me joy – one by one. Shockingly, I was able to fit my entire wardrobe in my closet and dresser once I was done – including off-season pieces. It was like a magic trick!
Though Marie Kondo
demands suggests you pull out different categories of belongings all at one time in her special order, I went though each “storage unit” next – bedside tables, my bookshelf, and my dressers. I ended up filling an entire bag of pure trash – utility bills (they are online), unframed photos (they are on Facebook), CD cases (the 90s is calling and it wants its technology back), and more! After a few hours of tidying, I had a pile to donate of: 1 pillow, 12 pairs of underwear (well, technically that went in the trash bag), 3 tote bags, 43 pieces of clothing (some only a few months old), 3 pairs of shoes, 13 books, 11 old running gels/energy chews (again, trashed), 4 trinkets, 4 tubes of ribbon, and an entire grocery bag filled with Mardi Gras beads, feather boas, and crazy glasses from my days working at SoulCycle. I was blown away!
As you can tell, I didn’t follow the “KonMari Method” exactly. (For those who do, she promises that you will never be untidy again!) Her entire system could take up to one full year though, and I just didn’t have it in me at the moment. Since I didn’t follow her method to a T, my room still gets untidy from time to time and I just throw my folded clothes in a drawer any old way when I’m in a rush with my laundry. Eventually, I will get to the point of mastering the KonMari Method for folding clothes (YouTube it because it’s fascinating) and all my belongings will have their own home within my apartment. For now, I’m very pleased with my progress though!
Have you done your spring cleaning yet? Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? If so, did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay fit and fabulous,