Sunday 3 February 2019

Decluttering My Bedroom

Hello Everyone!

I've recently finished watching the new Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, a show I din't think I'd be interested in but soon found that it made me want to declutter my entire room. So today I'll be talking about using the Konmari method to tidy my bedroom, which took about two weeks to do. I'll also include a few before and after photos. Unfortunately I didn't take any footage of my folding, but I think the show does a good job of explaining how to do it anyway. Now let's get started!

A Brief Review Of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo:
Marie Kondo is best known for her "Magic Cleaning" series, with the best-sellers: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, which has been published in more than 30 countries and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up have made her . According to the Goodreads website, Kondo was listed as one of the World's 100 most influential people in Time Magazine in 2015. I first heard about her "spark joy" method, whilst watching Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life and haven't read the books. Considering how well-known and popular the books are, it's understandable why Netflix would make an entire show about it. The show is about Marie going to different people's houses in America and helping them learn to tidy, be organised and get rid of things they don't need. If you want to know more than check out the trailer:

 One thing I liked about the show, was the fact that it had audio description. For anyone who is visually impaired audio description, describes what's happening on the screen, changes in scenery and what people are doing. In this case, it described all that, the Konmari folding technique and read out the English subtitles, during the scenes where Kondo explained her methods in Japanese. Each episode takes you into the world of different families and the mess they need help with. The cleaning methods are usually the same, but the reasons why these people need the Konmari method and how it affects them is completely different. For instance, there's an episode about a retired couple, a widow, a family that's moved from a big house in Michigan to a flat in Los Angeles, a couple who hide their mess in closets and a newly wed couple who recently moved. There's something for everyone and you don't need to watch episode after episode to understand the method as a whole. Also the level of clutter increases from episode to episode, so don't be fooled by the mess in the first episode that "dozen;'t look that bad"! Whilst watching the show I thought it was interesting how these people were able to completely transform their homes, get the children interested in tidying and become more organised. I found myself thinking I should try the folding method to sort out my wardrobe...little did I know I'd be using it to do a lot more than that! There's something about Mariekondo's show that makes you want to tidy your house (in my case my room) the way she does and get rid of things you no longer need. Perhaps it's a curiosity, you're thinking "that could be useful", "does it really work?" or "maybe I should try that?" and the next thing you know you;'re hooked. For anyone who like myself doesn't read "life changing" books about cleaning, this show is exactly what you need! Watching the method on screen and seeing how it affects these people will have you wondering if it's worth trying out. Who knows maybe you'll enter the #GetJoy Contest

Sorting Out My Wardrobe:
In the show Marie has all the people she's helping take out all the clothes they own from their wardrobe, cupboards in other rooms, closets, suitcases, under the bed etc and place them in a large pile on their bed. Usually the couples are told to focus on their own respective mountains of clothing, so they don't argue about what to keep or get rid of. Personally, I felt that creating a mountain of clothing on my bed or floor would be too stressful because 1. It would take a long time to go through everything, I had to go to work and I needed space on my bed to sleep and 2. I didn't like the idea of having a huge pile of clothes on the floor, it would be too messy, too much stuff and I needed space to pray etc. So I decided to tackle my clothes section by section. Within my wardrobe there's space to hang tops,jumpers, hoodies and cardigans that I can wear out and about. Along with some shelved sections to put my trousers, winter and summer home clothes, pajamas, and the boxes I keep my hijabs in. I thought it would be easier to sort all this out bit by bit, plus since I had work Monday-Friday I could spread it out throughout the week. Before I started this whole process, everything was folded, but shoved into the respective sections. Oh and the clothes the railing with the clothes that I had hung up with a hanger was pretty crowded. If I had to describe the state of my wardrobe, I would call it organized chaos. Here are some images of what one of the shelves and my hijab boxes looked like before:

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: a close up og a grey fabric box with all my different coloured hijabs crammed inside as if they could fall out at any moment. In the picture we see a grey, light blue and orange one standing out.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION 2: Image of another light grey fabric box with my printed hijabs in them and vests, all crammed in as if they are about to fall out. Here the ones that stand out are a white and red patterned one, something black, black and white patterned and a red and black patterned one.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION 3: Image of the shelf in my wardrobe where my rousers are kept, they're all quite messily shoved in. Here we can see a light green skirt, beige trousers, black in the back and light blue sticking out in the middle at the top

Once the mountain is made, Marie then has her participants hold each item and ask themselves "does this bring me joy?", it's part of the "spark joy" aspect of the method. Different people understand what it means at different points in the method. In my case, I asked myself "Do I like this? Do I wear this?", how I felt and used these items was my "spark joy" moment. Creating a pile for each section of clothing and deciding what I liked and didn't like was the easy part. There were quite a few trousers that felt too tight when I wore them, I no longer wore and tops that I hadn't touched in years and I had no idea why I had them in the first place. Also for some reason I had SEVEN long sleeve white tops to wear underneath tops that didn't have any sleeves or were short sleeves. SEVEN! I don't even wear them anymore! Why were there so many?! I kept three just in case, and decided I didn't like the rest. In regards to the folding method, thanks to the audio description on Netflix and the fact that I have enough sight to see the screen, I was able to get the gist of how to fold the clothes, in the way that they become a lot smaller and there's more space in my shelves and boxes. But the method takes some practice, it took me a few attempts (3-4) to get the hijabs into the same size. I know Marie said it's okay for different sized scarves to be folded into smaller or bigger sizes, but mine are pretty much the same size. So I think something went wrong with the folding part. Here are some images of one of my shelves and my hijab boxes:
IMAGE DESCRIPTION 4: Image of my plain scarves folded neatly in a light grey fabric box. Here we see black, brown, grey, red, nude pink, orange, cream and brown

IMAGE DESCRIPTION 5: Image of my printed scarves and plain white and black vests folded neatly with the Konmari method in the light grey fabric box. Here we see a white and grey print, red, beige and black print, navy blue and, red and white print and some black, beige and hijab caps

IMAGE DESCRIPTION 6: Image of my trousers stacked together neatly in my wardrobe. The Konmari folding method was used, so there's enough space to see them all. Here we can see black jeans, grey and black patterned leggings, black trousers, light blue trousers and green trousers

Tidying Up The Space Under My Bed:
Now that my wardrobe was done, I genuinely thought I was done with using the Konmari method but situations change. Under my bed I keep my socks and underwear in a zipped bag and shoes in a large blue bag. I also have some shoe boxes, a cardboard box my printer came in, wrapping/packaging of things I ordered that I keep in case I need to return it (even though they're well passed the return time) and another zipped plastic bag with old hijabs, cardigans I never wear and a swimming costume. The zipped bags had started to break, there was large whole near the zipped line. Also whenever I took the blue bag out to get a pair of shoes, they took ages to find, one of them always ended up falling out and being at the back of my bed, where it's darker and next to other stuff so I can't see it well. Hence why I ordered two of these socks and underwear storage boxes and two shoe storage boxes. Once again it was easy to get rid of the shoes I didn't like wearing, didn't fit me properly. Alongside the cardigans and scarves I didn't wear anymore. I used the Konmari folding method to fold my underwear, socks and stacked my bras the way Marie suggested in the show, as a result I only needed one box! Here's a picture of my shoe storage box. The internet doesn't need to see the other one: 

IMAGE DESCRIPTION 7: a light blue shoe storage box with a plastic lid over it. Inside there are white fabric dividers and my shoes are neatly placed. The shoes range from white trainers, grey trainers, grey heels, black flats, black sandals, black shoes, grey slippers, grey slippers with pom poms, beige heels, black and pink heels, pink flats and black shoes

Cleaning Up My Bookshelf, Draws and Windowsill:
Since I had already done my wardrobe and what was under my bed, I thought I might as well do the rest of my room? Which is why I started with my bookshelf. After all it was best to get the easy stuff done and then move onto the harder task. When it comes to sorting books, Marie has her participants place all the books they have in one place, wake them up by tapping them and holding them to see if they "bring you joy". I got all my books from the shelf, held each one and asked myself "Do I like it? When was the last time I read it?" and if the answer is no, not in a long time, never or I've read the audiobook/found it online then I got rid of it. Also when it came to my windowsill, I found that I only needed to get rid of two perfumes and two nail polishes. Not to mention emptying out the junk from an old storage box and putting my hairbands and scrunchies in there. I either used everything else, or still liked them. Here's an image of my bookshelf once all that was done:
IMAGE DESCRIPTION 8: Image of my book shelf, there a books piled on the right hand side of the top and bottom shelf, on the top left hand side there a wooden heart, a black and shiny patterned fan, small black box, a pink box with a black tasbih and a jar with quotes inside. On the bottom left there are small notebooks, a white charger box with my old phone battery.

The reason why I referred to my draws as the hardest task was because I had A LOT of stuff in them. To the point where I couldn't even open them most of the time, or stuff would fall out whenever I did. In a similar manner to my wardrobe,i opened one draw at a time and used the Konmari method for each item. I ended up keeping most of the stuff and got rid of some plastic wallets, a book, bags and random pieces of paper I no longer needed. As well as some jewellery I no longer wear in two jewellery boxes. I went through each item and kept those I liked, the ones I didn't were placed in a Cinderella Jewellery box and sent to the Charity shop. I'm happy to say that I can now open and close these draws with ease!

The End Result:

After all that decluttering I ended up with a much more organised and tidy room. In addition to seven carrier bags of stuff I needed to take the charity shop. Yesterday I took four bags to St Lukes when there was still some snow on the pavement (I thought it was all gone), a nice lady helped me avoid the snow and even carried some of the bags for me! Maybe it was the fact that I had dropped my cane and was picking it up? Either way I was using the fact that a white cane symbolizes a person is blind or visually impaired to my advantage! Overall,I felt that using the Konmari method to clean my room took a lot of time, but was worthwhile. I feel like my room is a lot cleaner now and I'm hoping to keep it that way. If you're in the mood for some spring cleaning, then the Konmari method is a great way to start. You don't have to follow the method to a T, just do it in a way that works for you. Here's an image of the bags of stuff I'm in the process of taking to the charity shop:
IMAGE DESCRIPTION 9: Image of 7 carrier bags filled with clothes, bags, books, shoes and other things. Three of which are green, one is red, one is yellow, one is white with blue text and one is a university cloth bag.

Hopefully you enjoyed this post and I made spring cleaning sound interesting.Let me know if you're going to try it out or if you have any Netflix recommendations.