Friday, June 10, 2016

The Massive Sewing Room Declutter (Konmari Inspired)

decluttering-book-2-d112046.jpgLast year I read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, written by Marie Kondo.

I'm not about to claim that the book changed my life, but it did give me a way to start tackling the clutter that was bothering me in our compact little house. There were a lot of things in the book that went a little overboard, but mostly it worked for me. And I'm pretty sure that it's reduced the amount of daily tidying that I do around the house.

She suggests cleaning out by category, and this was useful. I pulled all of my clothing out of the cupboards and went through each item one by one, bagging up those clothes that no longer spark joy to send to a charity store. I did the same in my kids' rooms and then tackled their toys. I adopted her suggestions for organising clothing in the cupboards and this has made a huge difference! The hanging clothes do look lovely sloping upwards, but more than that, storing folded clothing upright in the drawer makes it so easy to find things.

I went through the bathroom drawers and then the kitchen cupboards. More bags and boxes were taken to the charity shops. The kitchen bench became uncluttered, as did the kitchen table. Old cables got thrown away and papers were shredded. Whole shelves in the study nook just off our living room were cleared out and the kids suddenly had a storage place for all their puzzles and board games.

And still the sewing room loomed. I actually wish I'd taken a before picture of the sewing room, because the transformation was huge. I culled fabrics that I would never use, then sorted the remaining ones so they were stored upright. Then I organised all the categories of craft supplies into their own little place - buttons, ribbons, crochet hooks, knitting needles, threads, safety pins, beads, etc. One of Konmari's suggestions is to reuse containers for storage rather than buying storage. In the process of cleaning out I found some of my pottery that I'd made in my time living in Japan, some cute tins that had come with soaps as presents, and some other boxes that had come via online shopping orders. Perfect for storing sewing supplies, and I especially love seeing the pottery pieces out of the cupboard being used now.

This room had been one of my big problem areas and required at least a weekly tidy up. The clutter in there had often stopped me from sewing. Now I have space to set up my iPad with a good TV show, set down a cup of tea and spread out my projects, so the decluttering process has definitely improved my sewing and crafting time.

With two young children in the house, as well as work and other commitments, carrying out the whole process throughout my house has taken several months and I'm still not finished. But I'm currently savouring the last phase of decluttering - the photos. The whole process has been very reflective and brings with it lots of memories (both good and difficult), but sorting through the last 15 years of photos, which include six years of working and travelling my way around the world and five years of motherhood is bringing me lots of joy.

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