The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Big Purge

Over the summer I read the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I read it very quickly (which is abnormal for me) and I immediately started adapting what I read.  It was so inspiring and motivating that I could not help but stop everything that I was doing and truly purge.

I have been blogging and aspiring to simple living and a more minimalist life over the last few years.  But even for me, this was a whole new level.  I committed about a week, whenever I had a free moment, to purging.  I wasn't even prepared for all of this when I picked up the book but I am so glad I did.  While I will not go into a ton of details about the book, I wanted to share a few aspects that were the most life changing for me personally.

The biggest thing for me was that I realized I spent so much time, every single day, tidying up.  I no longer wanted to spend so much time constantly tidying and instead create a home with less stuff.  I wanted to be more present and have the time for the things I was truly passionate about - my husband, my nephews, my work, and creativity. 

I first tackled my closet.  The author advises hanging your clothes by length creating an arrow from long to short.  I had recently organized my clothes by outfits which I was really loving and wasn't ready to let go of.  But I had to trust her system and I am very glad I did.  By creating this arrow there is empty space and breathing room.  I was really surprised how this one simple change would make such a difference in how I felt about my closet. 

On the right side of the closet I hoped to create more empty space as well.  The built in storage is not ideal for being able to get things out easily so my hope was to purge enough so that I didn't need the extra storage space.

Her other rule for closets is to roll clothes that are in drawers.  I had heard this tip when it comes to packing luggage, but yet again, I was pleasantly surprised at what a difference it made.

Everything is so much more accessible and easy to see.  I now know what I have to wear and pick from making getting dressed that much easier.

I mean, look at my socks!  I never knew I could find so much joy!

No more digging and searching.  Everything is easy to grab.  And if things start to be hard to get out, it is now a sign I need to purge something again.

The thing is, I still have a lot of clothes.  Each time I purge I am often surprised how much I still have.  This is a whole new level of not just having less, but only having clothes that I love and feel good in.  No more uncomfortable bad wardrobe days.  All the clothes I have I actually feel good in all the time.  #mindblown

After the closet I tackled books and DVDs.  She suggests lying out all your books out so you can see them all.  While tedious, this was a great practice.  Being able to see everything lying there was overwhelming.  It really helped me be honest with myself about what I wanted to keep. 

I did not realize this until now, but I associate a lot of nostalgia to books.  Books that had great meaning in my life at one point were unlikely to ever be picked up again.  I got rid of a lot of books, only keeping those I honestly would read again, and the ones that get used on a regular basis (cookbooks and coffee table books).  I tore recipes out of cookbooks.  Why keep a whole book when I only needed three recipes?  I literally have about ten books now and it has been so freeing for me as well as my bookshelves!

After that I took on the rest of the house, room by room.  I boxed things up and a few weeks later we had another yard sale. 

I have always wanted a more styled look to our open shelves.  Instead of wishing for a bigger kitchen I realized I could have the look by simply having less stuff.

I desired more white space in my home.  I wanted room to breathe.  I wanted to stop moving stuff around, never knowing where to put things.  Now everything has a place creating less accumulation of things on every open surface. 

I ended up moving some of the art around the house to make up for some of the changes.  All of these photos are in progress and are not necessarily what I landed on permanently.  I recently took pictures of my current home and will be sharing how everything looks after the big purge that I will put in a later blog post.

I can truthfully share that things are different.  My time is used differently.  I no longer put off the things I should do or the things I want to do because my stuff is getting in the way.  I think we would all be very surprised to see how much of our life is spent just moving our stuff around.  I desire a life centered around people, purpose, and passions.  I can finally say that I am actually getting there.  And all it took was getting rid of a bunch of stuff.