If you've been on planet Netflix recently, or on planet Earth for that matter, you would have heard of the phenomenon that is Marie Kondo and her decluttering manifesto, "To put your house in order is to put your life in order". If you haven't heard of her (yet), Marie Kondo is a professional organising consultant from Japan who is also a bestselling author and (more recently) Netflix super star.
Time is our most precious resource.
So why am I (a fantasy author) talking about Marie Kondo? It's a long story, but I'll try to make it short...
I've always been a messy person. My bedroom in particular has consistently been in some sort of disarray from childhood, ranging from mildly disordered to wildly chaotic. The rest of the house has suffered too with clutter building up through the week until I have to begrudgingly spend a few hours every Friday putting everything away and creating a veneer of order in case of visitors on the weekend. The bathroom cupboard, and generally every cupboard in the house was always a mess, and you generally took your life in your hands when you opened them, crossing your fingers that nothing would jump out at you. Needless to say, whenever I needed to find something it would take me a very long time to seek out the desired object, or I would just give up on the idea of finding it altogether. The laundry was a danger field and was not a place you could walk freely without tripping over or entangling yourself on a cord or laundry pile.
All this mess would add to my stress, waste my time, and make me miss daily goals I had set, like writing so many words, or reading so many books. It reached a point at the end of last year, after searching for a favourite DVD (and failing to find it) that I actually realised I was sick to death of being messy. I'd always wanted to be that tidy person with the neat house who knew where everything was. In desperation I typed into Google, "How to be a tidy person." And there she appeared, the one I'm calling my new priestess... Marie Kondo.
Her 'KonMari' decluttering method has actually changed me for good. After that google search I downloaded her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, read it in a couple of days. I then read her second book, Spark Joy. The stars were in alignment because shortly after that I heard about her Netflix show, and when the new year ticked over I binged the whole thing.
I started doing the KonMari method in my house at the end of last year, and I have very nearly finished my whole-house decluttering process. The effects of the declutter were almost immediate. The main thing I've discovered is that I am less stressed, I have more time and I can find anything I want in less than a minute. I've since learned that we can spend up to an hour, every day, looking for things and I suspect this is partly where I've found more time.
Being tidy has been a lifelong dream and I've finally achieved it and am now enjoying the calmer, more organised life of being clutter and mess free. Just take a look at my bookshelf:
Before: A danger zone! Good luck finding anything. And what the hell is the fireman's hat doing there?
After: So peaceful. So calm.
As a result of being tidier, I've been able to dedicate more time to writing and reading. I can sit on the couch and read guilt-free without thinking that I should really be tidying up. Next I'll start organising my computer crap and all online files, which will help my writing out immensely, so... more books will be released this year!
If you're a messy person like me, and you've always wanted to be tidy, I highly recommend my priestess to you too.