Tidy Up for Your Love

Posted on February 1, 2019

One of the most meaningful parts of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo for me was hearing a couple with young kids talk about the stress having a disorganized, messy home puts on their relationship.

Talk about a shot to the heart.

In my household, we don’t argue about many things, but cleaning and household chores are near the top of the list (right below finances). My husband and I both tend toward messiness (and so do our children!), so our weekends are often spent trying to get our house presentable — rather than spending quality time with each other or the kids.

This isn’t to say we have a bad marriage, but with Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about ways for us to have more time with each other, and I know implementing even a few of the tips from Tidying Up could help.

I picked three pointers from Marie’s Netflix series and implemented them, and I think most families could probably make use of these tips right away.

  • Use what you have to make your house neater

Something I found interesting in Tidying Up (and something that has honestly been a point of criticism from some folks) was the use of storage items people already had in their homes to organize smaller items. Some families even used shoe boxes or bankers’ boxes that they already had.

Honest confession time: Off the top of my head, I could think of at least 4 plastic storage containers that weren’t even being used in my

house. I could think of several more that were storing items that needed to be put in their proper place (e.g., a big box of decorative items that I’ve been intending to hang on our walls for months).

Simply making better use of these items I already had (without having to spend extra money on fancy organizational systems) made a noticeable impact on general household clutter.

  • Change the way you fold your clothes

When I saw Marie’s method of folding clothes, my initial reaction was, “That’s smart, but it looks like it would take FOREVER.”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how frustrated I get when someone-who-shall-remain-nameless unfolds half the T-shirts

in his drawer trying to find the one he wants — because they all look the same when they’re folded the way we’ve always folded them. Guess who ends up re-folding them 90% of the time?

Marie’s folding method not only makes more space but allows you to see what you’re pulling out of the drawer without having to unfold it. So we are giving it a shot. Eventually, I hope we’ll get around to discarding more of the T-shirts that are never worn (that’s a whole different battle), but for now, we are tackling one drawer at a time.

If it doesn’t work for us, it’s easy enough to change it back.

  • Start dealing with paper — in a timely way

I have a legitimate problem with letting papers pile up for weeks on end. We get tons of junk mail, and I tend to ignore it until it gets overwhelming. But even when I do go through it, I end up with piles of papers that I don’t want to just throw in the garbage (bills that have account numbers on them, for example).

Beyond that, I also have completely disorganized papers that we actually need to keep — some random file folders with things like kids’ birth certificates, our mortgage, insurance information, tax papers.

Marie recommends piling all your papers into one spot so you can sort through them, discard what you don’t need and effectively organize what you do need. Her categories include paper that needs attention (like bills), paper you need to keep for a little while (current insurance documents with a set expiration) and paper you need to keep long-term (like your mortgage or birth certificates).

Beyond simply organizing the papers we already have laying around the house (there are so many), I’m going to work on immediately sorting papers as they come into the house so that we don’t find ourselves in the same situation again in a few months.

  • Making it work for you

Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve taken away from Tidying Up and the Konmari method is figuring out how to make it work for you and your household — just like pretty much any other trendy self-help method. Our house may not be transformed overnight, but we have some new tools to help us along the way.


Written by Misty Matthews