You may remember a whole series of posts (a year ago) on how I Kondo’ed my life. I got rid of everything that was weighing me down and, with a stripped down, purposeful life I felt happier.
Well, it worked. I really liked the feeling of deliberation and control. Choosing outfits and things to put in my handbag from a carefully curated selection. Always knowing where to find a small safety pin, a pair of pink tights or my walking boots. Not losing stuff and knowing the place where everything was kept.
Life changing yes.
But, and Kondo makes quite a lot of this, it is supposed to be a once in a lifetime change. And for me, gradually, the old habits came back. New stuff entered my home, by hook or by crook. I bought stuff. Not all of it loved and then it would get shoved, guiltily, in a drawer. Worse than acquisition, I dropped some of the disciplines such as folding my clothes carefully before I slotted them back into the drawer. Putting things on top of other things so I could no longer see the thing underneath. Out of sight, out of mind, and then I would buy stuff I didn’t really want or need. This was what led to my hoarding post last week.
The feeling became uncomfortable for me. Like when you eat so much your tummy hurts. Or you drink and feel terrible the day after. I began to just feel a bit unhappy, losing things and feeling muddled.
In the middle of the hard slog SWAP challenge I kept saying to myself “I will spring clean after it is over, in May”. And then wondering if some of my SWAP struggles were actually due to the disorder that was building up. I love being organised and tidy, yet I was working through mess and piles of unidentified stuff.
So, I started to Re-Kondo. Don’t know if it is “a thing” but this is what I have done. If you too have Kondo’ed and lost your way here are my notes and learnings.
Tips for doing a ReKondo
- Dedicate some time. Less than the original but give yourself a full day or two or more. Concentrate on doing it properly.
- Like the first time through you can’t just do one drawer or room at a time. Start with clothes, and follow the original order or methodology that worked for you.
- You will identify things you have bought since the first Kondo that you don’t like or need (joyless). Discard
- You will find things that you have used a lot but now look old and scruffy. Discard
- You will find things you kept last time but have not used for a year. Discard
- You will find things that got hidden because you didn’t put everything back carefully. Expose these to your gaze by proper folding and see if they get used. This is where I feel joy being sparked. Opening a drawer and finding things that I like, displayed for my selection, a bit like going into a nice shop rather than a jumble sale.
- You may find your folding technique has got sloppy. I was a bit disappointed with myself as neatly folded means that the clothes last longer and won’t need ironing before you wear them.
- You may find things that need a wash and a press. Give them what they deserve before replacing.
- By pulling everything out you can refold neatly. However many items will already be neatly folded so you can just make a decision and put them back
- When everything is pulled out use the opportunity to vacuum the space and wipe it with a clean cloth.
- If you do it well you will have some empty drawers and spaces. I like this feeling.
I even tidied my pin cushions. And in doing so I discovered 15 needles that had been lost inside the tomato! Isn’t that shocking? I removed them all, with trepidation and tweezers, as if I was doing a delicate operation. For a couple of years I assumed I had dropped them on the floor and lost them forever.
- Kondo makes light of the putting away only taking a few minutes every day. I suggest that this ritual may take a bit longer – ten to fiveteen minutes a day of folding, tidying, getting everything straight. I don’t always have the energy for this. If lose your daily discipline it will slide. Not as much as before, but still you can get out of sync.
- Re-Kondoing is a lot easier than doing it the first time round. It is still worth being ruthless. Do you really like/need that item (does it spark joy?). Just because it is quick doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be thoughtful.
- Make sure you can see what you have already got. This is the most important message for me as it saves me buying things I already have.
- Spring cleaning has a long history. Doing an annual Kondo at the same time makes sense.
- I am not completely finished, but already I feel better. My sewing adventure at the weekend was lighter, easier and, with everything to hand, I got less frustrated.