I know many of you have been Marie Kondo-ing since January, but for many of us the organizing and decluttering happens year-round. For me, when spring rolls around it means a wardrobe refresh to get ready for the coming season. I also get the itch to give my whole life a bit of spring cleaning.
It’s this feeling that makes want to look back at all I have read on organizing and find new ways to look at the organizing process. Here are three books that inspired me in different ways to declutter my life
The Joy of Less By Francine Jay
I have already written a blogpost reviewing this book because it made such an impact on me. As some of you may know, I was on my way to being a hoarder. Working in the fashion industry, I am constantly being exposed to new stuff. This means new trends, new brands, and most of all new products. I let it take hold of me and all of my money for a while. I mean I was right out of college, finally making real money, and I had just discovered what a sample sale was.
Needless to say, things got a little out of hand. A few years and one embarrassing move later. I learned how many pieces of clothing I truly had. Spoiler alert—It was a lot.
Enter the feeling of shame and seeing The Joy of Less sitting on a shelf at my local library.
What I Learned
I read that book cover to cover in a week, but my biggest takeaway was that having a lot of stuff means taking care of and maintaining a lot of stuff. Laundry takes longer, getting dressed takes longer, and that’s just if you have a lot of clothes, this applies to every room in your house. Let’s say you want to cook a meal and there is stuff on the counter and dishes in the sink you probably want to clean that stuff up before you start cooking so you have space. Then you need to find all the ingredients, but you don’t even know the last time you saw the sugar or the flour. By the time you are ready to cook you are too tired to even start because you put so much effort into trying to get a hold of the things you need.
As my clothes were the first thing to make me feel like a hoarder (my mug collection comes in a close second). I started to reduce the amount of stuff I had and I haven’t looked back.
Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter Free in 15 Minutes a Day by Cassandra Aarssen
This book was a recent find, but it really surprised me. Based on the first few pages I thought it would be cheesy and filled with the same old tips and suggestions for organizing your home.
I was happily surprised. It quickly became a more personalized approach by determining your organizational style. It even touched on how you deal when you and your significant other have different organizational styles like my husband and I do.
What I Learned
Overall it was a really easy read and I would definitely recommend it, but my biggest takeaway was that this book really focused on keeping your house neat daily.
That’s something that I feel like very few organizing books really dive deep into. I’ve noticed that most of the time these gurus tell you how to organized, but not how to stay organized.
Keeping my home clean is one thing I find myself struggling with these days. I come home after a long day of work or a weekend full of activity, and the last thing that I want to do is scrub the bathtub.
The author suggests you do a little bit of cleaning up every day (20 minutes or less) in the morning and evening. This doesn’t allow clutter to pile up so that when you have a surprise visitor you aren’t running around like a chicken with your head cut off (been there, done that).
Make It Easy
She has a similar approach when it comes to keeping your home organized. Make whatever organization method you choose SUPER easy to follow.
I started by creating “catch-alls” around my house. There’s a basket for mail by the door, a basket for papers at my desk, and the hamper for my dirty clothes is right in my bedroom. This makes it super easy to dump stuff in the right spot to better organize later, but still looks better than stuff scattered all over the desk and the floor.
Making this idea part of my kitchen set up is next on my list, and it is quite a feat. Not only is the kitchen the most highly used area in my house, it is probably the most unorganized. That being said, I am slowly trying new configurations and ideas from this book to improve how I use my space.
An Edited Life by Anna Newton
Finally, we have my most recent read, but it is a serious page turner so I thought I would include it here. Anna from the blog, “The Anna Edit”, touches on every part of your life in this book (hence the title). However, my favorite part (besides the one on budget, because I feel like all us millennials need help there) is the capsule wardrobe.
What I Learned
I never fully grasped the idea of a capsule wardrobe until now. I didn’t understand why anyone would want to have a boring wardrobe with only a few pieces and colors. Anna’s take was a bit different. She basically shops her own closet every season before going out and buying a whole new one. She only has pieces out in her closet that can be worn during that season. Everything else is stored away. At the beginning of every season she pulls out her pieces and takes stock of what she still loves and what might not need to make it to next season. Then she has a running list of pieces she is looking for.
Anna never shops without a list and that is something I am trying desperately to make part of my life. I want to adapt this mentality of only buying what you need each season while trying to avoid impulse purchases as much as possible. However, like I said at the beginning of this post, I am in an industry that thrives on constant newness so it is something that I am constantly working on.
Organization, Cleanliness, Minimalism.
These are all buzz words when it comes to your home and what society might be telling you it should be. For some people 10 pieces of clothing is all they need. I am not that person. Not to say that is bad, I’m sure it makes traveling a breeze. But I love clothes and shoes, and other stuff that I don’t absolutely need. Because of these books, I am on my way to finding that balance and I hope this helps you find it too.
Let me know if you have read any of these books and any organizational tips you might have in the comments down below!