Deep, Lasting Home Organizing for Spring

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. Our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are. Recent insights:

My friend Jessie is moving. My friend Laura is Spring cleaning. And I am hanging onto the promise of a few hours on Friday, which I've set aside for an initial blast of Spring cleaning and home clearing. After this rough Boston winter, welcoming warmer days is a major mandate.

For all three of us, I floated the idea of sorting/purging by CATEGORY vs. by room. I got this notion from Marie Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (amazing title, equal to Nick Offerman's Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living). Instead of tackling one dumb corner of your living room, go through ALL your books. Gather them ALL up in one place and sort/purge once and for all.

Nice.

Kondo recommends a specific order for going through your things, which you can find in her book. She is passionate about following this order, which is basically easy to more sentimental (harder). And she insists that if you ruthlessly move through each category--if you dump anything that is really not worthwhile--you won't need to KEEP going through this process and will be less likely to reacquire goods that don't truly serve.

I like her idea of really dwelling on each thing within each category and asking yourself if you really need to keep each thing. Simplify, yes. And also, really set up your scene with stuff that you love. Don't keep yucky things that make you mad.

Another real zinger for me has been how she urges you to store clothing. At first it seemed crazy and obsessive. No flat folding! Instead, fold shirts, for example, into rectangles. And nestle them all in your drawer side-by side. Wow, who has the time? And I laughed out loud when she explained that you must NEVER ball your socks into little potatoes. It stretches them out and doesn't allow them to 'rest'! But after my husband actually did the drawer re-order and gained a third more drawer space (and has managed to keep his clothing drawers completely tidy for a month!), I tried it. Um, it's totally magic!! You stay well-ordered, and it doesn't take more time to fold this way.

Well, gang. Here are the first three CATEGORIES, in case you want to try along with me on Friday!

1) Clothing.. in this order:
    - shirts, sweaters, all tops
    - bottoms
    - hanging clothes (including coats)
    - socks (no more potatoes)
    - underwear
    - bags (ALL at once)
    - scarves, belts, hats, jewelry, all accessories at once
    - sportswear, swim suits
    - shoes

2) Books and magazines: Take ALL books from everywhere in the house, put them in one place, and touch the spine of each. Only keep the ones that truly spark joy. OUT with the rest. For REAL!

3) Papers... in this order:
    - files
    - envelopes, office supplies
    - bills, notes on fridge, etc
    (set any sentimental stuff aside... that's later)

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