Living Small

KonMarie for a family of three

So I’ve finally read The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying by Marie Kondo, and I don’t mean to be redundant when I say it was life changing. While I do not agree with her on all points, I do think her method of tidying holds a great deal of weight and is one that should seriously be considered. Drew has not always been on board with the whole minimalist adventure; he’s just the type of person that enjoys material things, and there’s nothing wrong with that! I admit, I’m guilty of playing ping pong with my things: I buy something new, feel cluttered, get rid of more than I should, then buy more to cope with the repercussions… it is a vicious cycle. But the KonMarie method finally put it into perspective for me! The amount of material possessions you have does not matter!! What truly matters is that every single item you own”sparks joy” for you! When this happens, a chain reaction starts; If you truly love all of your possessions, you will treat them better, they in turn last longer, and you have less mess because you put them away where they belong.

At our house, I started by only reducing my personal belongings. I have been downsizing my wardrobe for sometime now, but I was still able to fill a small laundry basket with more donations. Once I was done, I put the clothes I was keeping up in my closet, following the KonMarie guidelines and proudly displayed it to Drew. I think he was inspired, and agreed when I urged him to tackle his own belongings. This is the important part… each family member must handle their own belongings. I’ve tidied Drew’s closet more times than I can count in our marriage and it always ends up disastrous again. No matter how I would press him or get onto him, shirts would be forgotten on the floor only to be washed again for no reason, he never had anything to wear, and it definitely caused some tension.

That is an honest to goodness snapshot of our current closet situation, no staging! Yes, its very empty at the moment, what’s not pictured is the dirty laundry on the floor next to our closet, or the Army barf (what we spouses call their gear, because of how it gets everywhere and is impossible to clean up) on the other side of Drew’s closet! Like I said, we’re still in transition! But you can see that our closets are clean and organized, everything is home!

When he tackled the project this time, I had to reign in my inner control freak and simply guide him without judgment. He was able to keep the things he loves and let go of things he didn’t without fear of hurting my feelings. He was able to find his current style and evolve through letting go of who he was in the past. It’s been two months and his closet is still immaculate. He puts clothes up after wearing them if they’re still clean, he keeps things folded, I can tell he takes more pride in wearing them, and he has more confidence as a result! That’s one of the goals of minimalism, right?

“It’s about making room for more of what matters”

J’s possessions are a different story, it’s hard to downsize his belongings because they are all so sentimental to us! We strive to keep things that truly are sentimental, and let go of things that can bring that joy to other parents and children! When put into that context, letting go of possessions becomes much easier! What are your tips and tricks for living small within the context of a family?img_0027


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