Shoeboxes beat Container Store, Decluttering Japanese Way by Marie Kondo

Decluttering, simplifying, streamlining, bringing some Zen to your home, add any other adjective or tag word to the list and the cottage industry from books to magazines to stores to coaches that has been created to feed our search for order in our crowded lives.

It seems at times that we are buying more stuff from books to shelves to containers in various sizes, styles, and shape to organize our stuff.

A small tome titled The life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing (Ten Speed Press, October 14) by Marie Kondo beats a different drum.

When we often considered cleaning house a chore she calls tidying as 'a dialogue with one's self'.

To hoarders among us she suggests ' to truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose'.

Clothing is a big item on the list.

I personally like to have my clothes ready at night for next day. It makes waking up to the day smoother.

Marie Kondo feels that 'to go through life without knowing how to fold is a huge loss'.

With our modern homes heating and air conditioning, she considers putting 'out of season' clothing away a waste of time. She makes an exception for summer items like bathing suits and sun hats and winter items like mittens, ear muffs and heavy coats.

Tidying up

In her view, 'plastic cases with lids are the hardest type of storage units to use effectively' as once put away, we tend to pile other items on top of them.

She advises buying instead a good set of drawers and to let clothes get some air and light on occasion and to open a 'drawer and run your hands over the content' to 'let them know you care and look forward to wear them again when they are next in season', a spiritual connection of sorts to one's clothing.

I will let you see for yourself  what she has to say about books, a growing presence in my house, like vine on a stone wall.

She insists that there is 'no need for commercial storage items' and cites shoeboxes as a favorite item to organize things. She mentions using them to store socks in drawers.

She notes that 'the lid of a shoebox is shallow and can be used as a tray.' For example, 'in the cupboard to hold your cooking oils and spices, keeping the floor of the cupboard clean. Unlike many shelf liners, these lids don't slip and are much easier to replace.'

Hope these bite size excerpts piqued your curiosity.

Shoeboxes beat Container Store, Decluttering for Tokyo Thursdays # 297

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