It’s officially the time of year to eliminate piles of stuff that invade our homes and increase our stress levels. In-house expert Kristie Crenshaw shows us where to start and how to finish.
When you first think of clutter, you may imagine hoarders living among stacks of magazines and boxes, littered with pets and bugs in a maze of a home. While those scenarios are extreme, the side-effects of living in a material world can be daunting to the average individual. We, as a people, buy stuff. And lots of it. And in the U.S., we spend an average of $38 billion dollars per year to store it… somewhere else. There is no joy in that.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know exactly who Marie Kondo is. While her book came out five years ago, she has seen a recent boom to her celebrity with the Netflix documentary series “Tidying Up.” Her KonMari Method is simple but not easy.
Marie respectfully introduces herself to a home first and then begins: first with clothes, then books, then papers…followed by anything in the bathroom or garage. If it doesn’t “spark joy,” it goes to consignment, donation or the trash. Sentimental items are saved for last. Once clients face those meaningful items head-on, whether they choose to keep them or not, a tremendous load is lifted.
Kondo believes that everything has a home and everything should be used. That’s where well-designed, functional closets come into play. Marilyn Jones, Vice President of the Closet Factory (www.closetfactory.com) has seen a huge upswing in client requests for home organizational remodels and new installs, “A popular storage trend is the desire to display highly-valued pieces such as designer shoes, handbags, hats and travel mementos in storage spaces,” she says. Beyond boxes and closets, storage has evolved into well-thought-out and perfectly executed mudrooms, pantries, garage solutions, craft rooms and home offices that complement our busy lifestyles. “When you give your things room to breathe, you give yourself room to breathe,” says Marilyn. “Good organization is calming. It’s restorative. It’s time-saving.”
A few books that are incredibly helpful in confronting your clutter: Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.