Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Secret: Life-Changing Magic Of Marie Kondo

'When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state'
-Marie Kondo.

I am going to start by admitting that cleaning soothes me. I have a Mild case of Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. During exams if my room is cluttered and messy my brain does not work. Unorganized items laying around is 'noise' to my brain. You are going to be like what is she talking about? Well, you are about to find out. Disclaimer there are weeks when my room is a total mess because other urgent things require immediate time and attention. Haven't we all been there? That chair that holds the clothes that are clean enough to be worn one more time but not clean enough to be neatly folded into the closet. But have you ever asked yourself how we over and over again end up in the same situation when we literally just cleaned our room yesterday! 

In November of 2016, I chipped in 450 rupees so that four of us could buy our fifth friend some book. I was not in charge of the book buying. However, when I actually saw the gifts I knew those books had valuable knowledge and they did not cost a fortune for nothing. One of them was the art of tidying up by Marie Kondo. At first, I thought what could there be about cleaning that needs to be learned. Which is also one of the questions the author asks. We are always told by our parents to keep our rooms clean but when you think of it clearly are we ever taught how exactly to do it? No.

Some of the  clothes I donated.

Marie Kondo has been a sensation that even Ellen could not resist having her on The Ellen Show. The book has sold over six million copies and there is more than six-month waiting list to get Marie Kondo's personal assistance. She has managed to clearly guide the readers on the entire process, step by step on how to clean your apartment or room just once and then never again! Every year during Diwali, my mom cleans the entire house. The mistake, as Kondo points out is almost always that we decide to clean and arrange one room at a time.Example bedroom today, living room tomorrow and so forth.

The book guides the user through a process which is divided into two main steps. The first is decluttering and the second is organizing. The key is to divide your belongings into categories and to start with clothes first followed by books/papers, CDs, miscellaneous and keep personal items like photos, letters for the end as they hold a  more emotional value. Another major point to keep in mind is while doing any one category make sure you get all the items down to the very last piece in front of your eyes before you decide which to keep and which to discard. Having all your clothes at one place will give you a realization of how many clothing items you own. Kondo says that every item has its own place and time. Some clothes are simply bought and never put to use. You should only keep those that truly bring joy to you. Take every item into your hand and think about how often you use it and whether or not it brings joy to you. You shall find the answers you seek! To the rest of the items, say thank you and then donate/discard. Moreover, do not let anyone( especially your parents or sister) see what you are about to discard because they will take it and things will keep piling up in the house. Another thing to remember is that don't make old clothes into night wear! Give respect to its purpose. Similarly sort out all your books, papers, coins, CDs, kitchen appliances/utensils, medicines using the same technique.

Organizing bottoms vertically upwards!

Once decluttering is done, then comes organizing. Storage is the word that comes to mind. A whole industry revolves around smart storage options! The key is to put every item in an easily accessible place where it can be easily seen. For clothes, we usually stack them up in cupboards but here once again Marie Kondo has something new and intelligent to offer. She explains how to fold clothes vertically upwards. This helps them to be stored next to each other horizontally so any item can easily be removed without disturbing the others. This is also a great way to see all the cloth options available at one glance. To understand this one in a better way, I highly recommend watching the short video of Marie Kondo's demonstration below.

You will be surprised how easy it is to organize once you have decluttered. I discarded almost half of my stuff and I never have once missed my things. If you live with your family try it with everything you own first and then convince others to do the same. While decluttering, you should throw away all the unnecessary receipts, old bills because filing such negativity is pointless. (I sound sarcastic but how is having the receipt of my first year of B.Pharm tuition fee going to help me now? See my point. But parents have a tendency to do these things and they convince you to do the same as a rule or something. Just throw it away already.) Do not keep old boxes of items with the hope of it bringing value to the item while re-selling *facepalm*.

A clean, decluttered and organized space will allow your brain to focus on more important things. Many times our eyes are flooded with items surrounding us, taking in all that background information which truly speaking decreases our efficiency. Kondo's last rule is that after using everything return it to its place. When you come back home, take the items out of your purse. Your purse needs rest too! Return your clothes to the cupboard, your books, and papers to the place you assigned them while organizing in the first place and you shall never have to set an afternoon aside again in your life to 'clean' again.People who have tried this method have seen a tremendous change in their lives. Students have improved their grades, mothers are finding it easy to manage family life, employees have improved their efficiency at work, it has even motivated people to get over depression!

From the moment I started this, it has made my life easier. I went into hyper mode and did throw my friend's mobile charger which according to her was working fine but did not work for my phone (Hehe). But other than that I have nothing but praise for the method, the author, and the book. I knew I had to share my experience with you. The photos in this blog post are the actual photos of decluttering and organizing during my journey. I save the best to share with you guys, my readers, even if it is a late post because such precious information needs to be circulated around and when I have the first-hand experience in it, of course, you guys will hear about it!

That's all for this blog post. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed saving these photos for all these months so I could write this and tell you about it. I hope you guys try it out for yourself. If you do share your photos with me and comment below to share your experience. Share this article with your friends and family or perhaps a sibling or a roommate to give them a subtle hint ;)
Signing off,
Nishma Khetia.

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