After 4 years of living in two places, I accumulated a LOT of stuff. Before leaving for college, I would deep clean my room once or twice a year. You don’t realize how much it helps to keep up with it until you skip those deep cleans for 4 years! Although much overdo, I finally deep cleaned my room. Now that everything was stored in one location, I was ready to tackle the challenge and thoroughly declutter my life. I read the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo before I started.
Her book not only motivated and inspired me to make a big change, but it also taught me new methods of deep cleaning. Purchase Marie Kondo’s book here.
I put together my very first YouTube video (Eeek!) to show you the process more in depth. The video will be embedded at the bottom of this post if you’d prefer to learn that way or want to hear more after reading this article. The video includes before and after pictures of my journey, which are pretty dramatic if I do say so myself. 😉 Today I’ll be sharing my main organizational products used and my key takeaways from the KonMari method.
My closet was one area where I wanted to make major improvements. Originally, my closet was overflowing to the point you could barely slide the hangers around. I moved a lot of my clothes into drawers, got rid of things from high school, and bought some organizational drawers to clean things up. The drawers I bought are now storing sweaters and shoes. The drawers allowed me to categorize shoes for better organization and simplicity. Purchase drawers here.
Another area I organized more was my wardrobe. I folded my clothing following the Marie Kondo technique (shown better in my video). This folding method saved a lot of space and allows me to see each item as soon as I open my drawers.
On my shelves, I added storage bins to compartmentalize things and make the shelves more aesthetically pleasing. Like the drawers, the bins help keep things organized by category so everything has it’s own home. Purchase the bins here.
I have used these acrylic storage sets for my makeup for years. They are my absolute favorite way to store makeup! I got rid of old makeup and wiped down the acrylic sets during this process but I did not get any new storage pieces. I love makeup and can very easily collect too much of it, so I try not to outgrow the set shown above.
The last major area I use an organizational set is in my bathroom. My bathroom does not have a ton of cabinet storage space so this acrylic set has come in handy over the years. I store all my day to day skincare products on top for quick access. In the three way compartment, I store hair ties and bobby pins, cotton rounds, and Q-tips. All things that I use regularly and want quick access to. My set sits on top of a storage cabinet, but you could also put this inside a drawer/cabinet too. Purchase a similar bathroom set here.
Key Takeaways from the KonMari Method
The first major tip I got from reading the book was timing. Marie Kondo recommends making this a project and finishing it all at once. If you go little by little, you’ll lose motivation, get distracted, and prolong the process. I finished going through everything in about three half days. This included going through both my bedroom and bathroom, everything I owned, and bringing my donations to Goodwill. If you’re planning to clean, I recommend setting aside a weekend (maybe a rainy one) to tackle the project all at once.
Next, Marie Kondo shares it is better to go through things by category inside of by area. I used to deep clean starting with my closet, moving on to my dresser, then desk, etc. I’d work my way around my room in a giant circle. This time, I did it by category as the book suggested. I started with every single piece of clothing I owned, followed by makeup, paper, books, etc. Her method made me realize how much I had in each category, leading me to get rid of more. It also helped keep the motivation high because you could completely check categories off the list once it they were done.
Third, Marie Kondo talks about keeping items because they “spark joy”. This was a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around and I never had an “aha moment” where I felt like an item sparked joy. Instead, I tried to get rid of anything I even considered getting rid of. In my mind, if I had a moment where I even thought about donating something then I clearly didn’t love it that much and therefore, should no longer keep it. This was a good rule of thumb for material items.
Sentimental items are a bit different, but Marie Kondo shares how every item serves it’s purpose. A gift brings you and the gift giver joy when you receive it and brings you joy for a period of time afterwards. Eventually, the gift may no longer excite you and that’s okay. It is okay to get rid of a gift if you no longer want it because it served it’s purpose. She relates this to other things such as books, papers, and more. This concept helped tremendously because I realized it was okay to stop holding on to some of those items.
Lastly, one of the biggest things that helped me was creating a vision of my end goal. My two main goals were to clean up my closet and the tops of my dresser/nightstand to reduce the clutter. I envisioned what this would look like in my head and kept that picture in mind throughout the process. Having a vision helped keep me on track and achieve my goals. You won’t have your entire living space perfectly worked out, but you will be able to set a guide for yourself as you deep clean.
I hope my journey can help inspire you and teach you new ways to deep clean your living space. I did this in my bedroom, but these same ideas and methods could be applied to any area of your home. Below is my YouTube video that shows live footage of me cleaning, before and after pictures, and more details about my journey. I plan to make more videos in the future to help YOU learn best.
After you deep clean and organize your space, I hope you will be more comfortably you!