Fewer daylight hours means less time to work but it doesn't have to mean less productivity—at least for me! Winter weather brings an opportunity to focus more on indoor chores. The cold temperatures and windy mornings keep me inside after I complete my daily outdoor duties, like caring for the dogs and gathering wood.
Did you know that winter is a great time to clean and organize?
Organizing seems like a natural activity for this time of year!
What are the best books on organization?
I recommend starting with this one: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Then read Spark Joy also by Marie Kondo. These two books changed my life by teaching me how to tidy and organize my surroundings.
Disorganization leads to stress. Until it is gone, you don’t realize the amount of stress brought on by clutter. It oppresses your mind—and by default, your body—until it is removed!
A few years ago, I discovered Marie Kondo’s life-changing method of tidying up—the KonMari Method. I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and it truly changed my life. All my years of suffering in clutter and mayhem finally ended. My clutter-filled closets and drawers, along with those items that didn’t bring me joy, plugged up my surroundings and took a mental toll on me. I only realized it after I tried her method!
I applied her recommendations, and that brought me joy. I sifted through everything I owned and kept only the good stuff. I delivered eight large boxes to the donation center: all those items that didn't do much for my life. My house went from cluttered and stressful, to joyful and tidy over the course of a week.
Keeping only items that bring joy is not just a week-long process; it is a life-long method TO LIVE BY! How can you go wrong with a tidying method like this?
In her second book, Spark Joy, she explains how certain items spark joy in our lives and how to properly organize daily activities around that mantra! I recommend these two books to anyone who feels overwhelmed by their surroundings and not quite sure how to organize and tidy up.
What is the KonMari Method?
This tidying method involves six steps: First, commit to tidying up! Think it and do it. Second, imagine your ideal lifestyle. What do you want your surroundings to look like? Form a mental image and write it down! Third, finish discarding items before purchasing any new items. Totally declutter and "KonMari" (used as a verb) your dwelling before you start working towards your ideal lifestyle. Fourth, tidy your space by category, not location. Start with clothes and work through different categories. Pile all your clothes into one space. Don’t work room by room. Fifth, follow this order of tidying. Lastly, ask yourself if each item sparks joy and then watch the magic happen!
What is the KonMari folding method?
Marie Kondo details how to fold various articles of clothing into small rectangles, and then stored into drawers or other spaces. This folding method changed the way I organize my dresser and linen closet! It is very pleasing to open drawers and not have to dig through a pile of disorganized clothing. Instead, I open drawers to find neatly organized, folded clothes. Everything is easily accessible! Even my socks are folded according to her method.
How do you KonMari your closet?
Organize your closet color-coded, going left to right from longest to shortest clothing—making an angle that pleases the eye. This apparently sparks joy and makes your closet appear tidy! I do feel joy when I open my closet now.
In my latest vlog, I cleaned out my farmhouse basement. I didn’t pile everything in one category into the middle of the room; instead, I used the KonMari method. I know my limits, what sparks joy, and how to organize according to her teachings. In that video, watch me decide if a coat brings joy by holding it with both hands close to me. If I decide that it sparks joy, I keep it stored. At my new farmhouse I do not have as much storage as I did in my previous home. Who would know that old farmhouses don’t have as many coat closets or walk-in closets as modern day houses? Haha!
My basement was a mental burden every time I went downstairs to feed the woodstove. I hated the clutter, and my mind filled with stress. My body reacted negatively each time I passed the messy mounds. Even though I don’t dwell downstairs, just passing by that clutter hurt my mind!
Along with implementing the KonMari method, I am more careful about the items I bring into my house. Because I understand how disorganization affects my mental health, I only bring in items that are necessary and that spark joy! Not all items must spark joy, like a screw driver for example, but Marie Kondo says we should still treat those items with respect and thank them for the purpose they serve in our lives and house.
When is the best time to declutter?
Anytime is the best time to declutter your surroundings and to bring more joy into your life, but winter is a perfect time to get started!