You know that feeling when your house is a mess, and you feel anxious, unsettled, or tense? Yeah, I’m right there with you. After losing 120 lbs, I felt so much better in my body, but my house was still unorganized and cluttered with so many things that no longer sparked joy in my life. I realized that I was holding on to countless items out of habit and comfort, instead of purpose and joy.
Many of my closets and drawers were packed full with no rhyme or reason as to what was in them, or how things were arranged. I often felt frustrated when trying to find one particular item, and dreaded the thought of someone opening one of my junk drawers or messy closets. It became very clear to me that the space and items around me reflected so much of the way I was feeling from day to day. My life, self-worth and goals had changed so much, and now I wanted my house to reflect that same positive change. I knew I needed a plan to get organized, to finally let some things go, and to set out on a new path where everything had a place, purpose and positive feeling.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If not, here is a quick run-down: Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method™, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results.
After reading this book, I knew I wanted to find a someone to help me organize my house using the KonMari Method™. I did some research, and found a Certified KonMari Consultant, (The Tidy Edit) close to my house in the San Francisco Bay Area! I have to admit that I was both excited and nervous for my first appointment. I couldn’t help but feel a little vulnerable about showing my messy closets and drawers, but my consultant, Jessica Bowmer, made me feel totally at ease.
We are absolutely in love with our new joyful and organized space. I’m happy to report that we have easily maintained all of the changes that Jessica helped us implement! (Even folding the clothes, which we questioned our ability to stick to during the initial organization process). I’m really excited to share this transformation with you, because I believe that changing your life for the better happens on so many levels, and the space around you has a large impact. It was truly so healing for me to let some things go (about 12 large bags of various items), and even better to know that they were being donated to help those in need!
Today, I want to share with you some of the before and afters of my home organization project, as well as a Q&A with my organizer, Jessica.
Tip: Throughout this post, I’ll be sharing some before and afters from our home, each with clickable links to the organization products used in each “after” photo.
So let’s get into it.
Organizational items used in after photo:
- White plastic storage bins with handles
- Men’s clear plastic shoe box for miscellaneous storage
- Clear tote for camera equipment (lid not shown)
- Soft flax storage bins for toilet paper/paper towels
- Mop/broom holder
Q&A: The Tidy Edit x Keto Karma
Tell us a little about you, and the Tidy Edit?
I help people organize their homes for a living, and in the process, spark joy in their lives. In 2018, I was trained by Marie Kondo and her protégé Nozomi Takeda in the Japanese art of organization, the KonMari Method™. After a rigorous training process and exam, I became a Certified KonMari Consultant and launched my home organizing company, The Tidy Edit.
Since then, I have taught my clients efficient ways to store their belongings and given them another way to relate to their possessions. This empowers them to take better care of what they have and motivates them to be more selective about what they buy. Organizing one’s home using the KonMari Method™ can be life-changing because it compels us to focus on who we are today and pushes us to explore our current needs, wants, and priorities
How does the KonMari Method™ work?
The KonMari Method™ is a process where you only keep what sparks joy in your life. The first step is to visualize your ideal lifestyle and ideal home. Then, you divide your home into five broad categories: clothing, books, papers, komono (miscellany), and sentimental items. In that order, you go through all your possessions in each category and keep what brings you happiness. If it doesn’t, you thank the item and let go. It is really a blend of mindfulness and organization.
The end result is having a home where everything you own represents who you are today and speaks to your heart. Furthermore, since you have sorted through all of your belongings, you know exactly what you own and where it is. It’s a very sustainable technique!
Organizational items used in after photo:
What is your favorite room or category to organize and why?
I love organizing clothing because, in a single session, there is a dramatic difference in one’s closets and drawers. Also, since clothing is the first category, it is a great introduction to a client’s organizational style and personality. I like teaching how to file-fold clothing and finding better ways to maximize their storage space.
Can you show us how you fold clothing with the KonMari Method™?
(If you’re not seeing the videos, disable your ad-blocker.)
Tell us what being organized means to you? How are mental health and clutter linked?
On a basic level, being organized means knowing the location of everything you own and being able to access it easily. Everything you own should have a designated space in your home. BUT there is a very strong psychological component to it, as well.
Clutter and mental health have strong ties. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a messy room. How do you feel? Anxious? Sad? Uneasy? Now imagine yourself in a clean, organized room. How do you feel now? Perhaps lighter, unencumbered, and at peace. Being surrounded by mess and clutter can cloud your mind. Likewise, trouble in one’s life can result in a cluttered physical space. The two are intertwined. When you put your home in order, things in your life fall into order as well.
Organizing using the KonMari Method™ changes lives. When you only keep things that represent who you are today and only things that spark joy, you end up re-evaluating your position in life to make sure your decisions are yielding joy. For example, have you been hanging onto a friendship that no longer serves you? Does your job feed you or take away from your happiness? When one so drastically changes one’s physical space, one gains the confidence to make changes in the rest of one’s life as well. I have clients who have pursued new careers, strengthened relationships, and let go of relationships. Tidying one’s belongings can help with confidence and self-efficacy. More practically, organizing saves money because you don’t re-buy things you already own as you already know where they are. Further, you end up buying new things more mindfully because you only will accumulate items that spark joy.
Organizational items used in after photo: (And yes, Mick has way more shoes than me! #sneakerhead Haha!)
- Stackable 2-Tier Shoe Organizer
- Medium Montauk Rectangular Bin Grey
- Black Bin Clip Labels
- Liquid Chalk Markers
What are your top three organizational tips for getting started/ or just being organized in general.
- The most important thing to do before you begin tidying is to visualize your ideal space. What do you want your home to look like? More importantly, how do you want to feel in your space? Why do you want your home to be this way? What are some words that describe your ideal life? The more deeply you contemplate this, the stronger your motivation will be to continue tidying.
- Secondly, keeping like-items together is key when organizing. Try to avoid having things scattered throughout the home. For example, keep all your tools in one place, your stationery in one place, and your clothing in one place. Once you are finished using an item, return it this place to avoid reverting to clutter.
- Thirdly, organize your home by category, not by location. When you organize by category instead of by location you will know exactly how much of each item you own. Once you know how much you have, then you can focus on how and where to store an item. Organizing by category instead of by room ensures long-lasting results and is ultimately more efficient.
Organizational items used in after photo:
How can people find/contact you?
Details on how to book in-person or virtual services can be found on my website, thetidyedit.com.
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and The Container Store affiliate program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated site without changing the price.