A while back I wrote to you about my Marie Kondo decluterring weekend, for all the self discovery that led me up for doing it and the actual clean up. I promised to show you the results and here I am, ready to share 😉
Just a warning for those who are considering embarking on this journey themselves – it’s highly addictive. Having everything in order is so energizing that soon the desire for order and minimalism will invade other parts of your life and soon you might find yourself simplifying not just your surroundings but your daily hustle and your social circles. Just like Marie Kondo says she has no repeat customers because once you have done the clean up once you value each item differently and you are extremely considerate of the new things you buy, you will easily start considering do I really want to do this, take on this responsibility, want this person in my life (Facebook friend clean up, hello! have you tried that? best thing ever!), I have noticed myself evaluating very thoroughly who I am and do the things and people in my life support that.
The Results – My closets
This is where I started from and what actually annoyed me so much I wanted to do this. Granted my closets were slightly worse than on a normal day but I wasn’t happy even on a normal day. My life is so hectic, and I am into so many things that I need simplicity and organization at home – I know it’s a control mechanism but I hands off admit I’m a control freak and people laugh lovingly (or at least I like to think it’s lovingly…) of my OCD like behavior. These too views made me physically anxious, well at least very uncomfortable.
In addition to all the handholding my stuff and evaluating if they sparked joy and would they support the person I wanted to be, in addition to all the garbage bags and new folding techniques I wanted my closet to look pretty. Marie is a lover of all kinds of boxes for storage and can’t disagree with her. Boxes and clothes containers are practically science nowadays and oh there are so many exciting options out there. Yes judge me all you can but I actually got upset with my best friend who hadn’t told me there is a store called The Container Store in the US! How did he not understand, this is exactly what I needed in my post-Kondo life?
I decided I needed something calming and earthly, I’m from Finland and we northern girls draw energy and power from the nature, especially forest. There is not much fresh pine forest in SoCal but I could try to simulate some in my closet, surely that’s possible? From the fantastic container store I found these cute linen-cotton blend covered boxes to store my t-shirts, jeans, skirts and pajamas. I love them because they open up form the front, they have a window to see what’s inside and just look fresh and classy. They come in different sizes, I bought smaller ones for my t-shirts, pajamas and sweaters and wider ones for my jeans and thicker sweaters.
I also found from IKEA beautiful little boxes with compartments, made out of recycled polyester and bamboo. These are great for panties and socks. I also use them for my bras, the box comes with two dividers that divide the box into four compartments, if you only but one of the dividers it creates perfect two longer compartments for longer items like bras.
I also bought little sky blue boxes for random things, such as charger chords, my journaling stuff and other important stuff I need to keep handy, like passports.
Here is how my closets look now. You can see I have so much less clothes, the ones I have are now in constant use, save few items I noticed I never put on again and those will be going out soon too. I also upgraded my luggage, mainly because the old one didn’t look nice in the closet. Just kidding, I would not spend money on new luggage to decorate my closet. I mean, that would just be insane… But I do travel quite a bit and the old was falling apart so it was time and well, two birds…
I love my new closet, I love the fact that I’m not missing a thing, it’s amazing how few items I actually use on a daily basis. I also love the fact that I can now see all my shoes lines up nicely (I have so many compared to how much clothes I have but trust me, each pair sparks joy!), it’s nice that even on a day when something in my closet is not absolutely perfectly folded the boxes hide that a bit. I can find everything, I know where everything is so deciding what I want to wear each day is soooo much easier. I also tried to purposely keep clothes that match together as much as possible but that’s another post that I can write later about.
The Results – Kids Room
This place is impossible to keep in order! Anyone struggling with this can be happy to know that I have a full time housekeeper/nanny and my kids are very good at organizing their own room and they are told to do that every day and still it feels like it’s always a mess! Chaos is the natural state of this space and trying to force it into anything else seems to be a crime against the universe that can only be redeemed by returning the order and balance of existence, which means the room becoming messy again. This is the only space I tolerate of not being perfect though, when it’s messy it reminds me to be grateful of having kids in the first place, after suffering several miscarriages, seeing friends battle with infertility and even losing children I do not take my children granted ever. Messy room also reminds me that I have managed to give my children a home where they can play and hang out and make a mess that can then be cleaned up, if they spend enough time in their room for it to become a mess it means they have used the room for what it was meant for – play time. That being said, it was a disaster before this project. We had way too much stuff, so much of it was broken, missing pieces or just buried so deep that the kids didn’t even know what they had!
We threw a lot away and below are the results. What was the best thing though, kids were happily humming after the clean up. I could feel the change in their energy, maybe some of it was them mirroring mine but they were calm. Both were in their room playing with their toys, even my 9-year old pre-teen who cannot be dragged away from Minecraft and Fortnite without threats or bribery. My 5 year old daughter spent hours in the room playing with the toys she had left, singing the whole time to herself.
We also organized their closet. I bought a little kids storage shelf from IKEA, we put this at the bottom of their closet and placed here their every day clothes so that they can take them out and put back themselves. I also bought a similar smaller shelf from IKEA for smaller garments like swim suits, tights, socks and so on. I had some basic plastic boxes we had gotten from the local super market and finally I bought some organizers from IKEA, linen ones for their clothes and basket like cubes for their smaller toys and costumes. I also found these really nice shoe cubes from Amazon. They were perfect for organizing their shoes, which are small but take a surprisingly lot of space when not stacked. The cubes came unfolded and was a bit of a task to get together but was worth it and are very handy.
The Results – Living Area
The before pics you see here are not how my living room looked on a daily basis, this was a combination of pre clean-up letting go on purpose and starting to clean up so everything is a mess situation. Our apartment is not big, we don’t need much and the open plan makes it just the center of our home, it combines our kitchen, dining area (where all eating happens) and our living room. It is the heart of our home where we eat, entertain, watch movies, play, pack lunches, do homework and just live as a family.
In the after pics you can see that everything is pretty much as it was, just the extra mess is gone and everything is in it’s place. The bookshelf has been organized and books arranged by color (someone mentioned ocd?) and there’s a sense of calm.
Our home wasn’t that bad to being with, we were not hoarders or anything, we didn’t have stuff from the last 4 decades, we are not big shoppers and we try to keep things organized but the new world order is a breath of fresh air. Everything seems a bit easier, it’s easier to use the space for all the different things it needs to be, it’s easier to keep clean, it’s easier to get dressed, it’s easier to cook, it’s easier to just be.