rolling instead of folding

Sushi roll socks and leggings/pants - yes, this really does save space. A lot of space. I have never been able to fit my swants into my drawers and now I can. With room to spare! Yay!

How is this for an amazing/strange coincidence? The very first book I finished* reading, after choosing my word for the year (unfolding), advocated rolling clothes for storage instead of folding them.

OK, fine, the author still calls it folding. But the process I used for my things was more like rolling, so I'm gonna call it rolling. That's just how I roll.

(Buh-dum-ching! I'll be here all week, make sure to tip your server!)

Very bad jokes aside, if you're following my Instagram/ Tumblr/ Facebook feed, you might already know about this book because I put a screenshot of the cover on my feed. If you didn't see it there, let me introduce you to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The author calls her tidying up the KonMari method.

The first part of the KonMari method advocates touching every single item you own and deciding whether it brings you joy or not. Get rid of every item that does not bring you joy.

This is decluttering, taken to an extreme - holding every single item you own before you make a decision. Every. Single. Item. Wow. Except, instead of advocating extreme minimalism like other decluttering methods, KonMari advocates using your intuition - with joy and love as a guideline - to know how much stuff is right for you.

This is a very animistic approach, which I also feel very drawn towards (I have named every car I have ever owned - I also name many of my electronic devices). Kon Mari is Shinto. She believes objects have not only personality, but also emotions and desires. Objects want to be loved. Objects want to be used. Loved objects will love you back. Your home will know what is right for it, and if you learn how to listen, your intuition will guide you to what is right.

KonMari also strongly advocates thanking each item as you touch it, whether you put it in the trash or in its proper place. She describes how she puts away each item in her purse, every night (except when she is extremely tired), by thanking each object specifically.

I do not know if I am ready to be that specifically thankful, but I will say that it made a big difference in my mood yesterday to thank every item I put in a trash bag to give/ throw away, when I decluttered my clothing.

(I don't switch purses often - at all, really - so I am not inclined to put every item in my purse away every day. That's ok. I am used to deciding what works for me, in an organizing system.)

After making the decision to keep or give/ throw away every single item you own (this process can take months, but it is done categorically, so you go through every single clothing item first, for example, then move on to books and so on) you make a decision on where and how to store each item. One at a time. (Categorically.)

Every item in your house needs a home and needs to be placed in its home after every time it is used - that is the second part of the KonMari method.

This is also not a unique rule in the organizing world, but it is given way more prominence in this book than any other organizing book I have ever read.

I appreciate this because I am lazy, and putting things away is my downfall, in keeping my house tidy. KonMari believes that if the home for each thing is in the right place, it will be easy to put it away. I am not entirely convinced that is true (my laziness factor is very strong) but I am willing to use her method to find the right place for every single thing I own.

(Yes, that will take awhile.)

After finishing the book Tuesday night (I stayed up way too late, but it was worthwhile), I tackled my clothes yesterday.

Decluttering was easy. I am good at decluttering. I easily filled three bags of give-away items and one  bag of trash. (One bag of give-away was a pile that had been sitting in the corner since the last time I went through Remy's drawers. M had also added a bunch of his pants to that pile and I had put some clothes in it as well.)

I did find that thanking EACH item I owned made it easier to say goodbye to a few clothing items that I had been hanging on to long past when I could wear them.

But the main aha for me, while reading the book, was that I could store clothes by rolling* instead of folding them. I've already been rolling my clothes when I travel for awhile now. I know that rolling saves space. And yet, I've been stuffing folded leggings into my drawers, stcked on top of each other, wishing I had more space, for years. WHAT THE HECK?

I don't know why it didn't occur to me that the best way to pack a suitcase would also be helpful when storing clothing in a chest of drawers, but that's life. You don't have the epiphany until you have the epiphany, right?

Having the epiphany felt good, just like having any epiphany.

I needed to unfold and roll my leggings/ socks and pants up, like sushi rolls. I have way more space. Space to put my beloved swants. (Space for two more pairs of swants, which I can finally make.) Space for more awesome leggings. Space for all my kick-ass fancy dance pants.

It all makes sense now.

My unfolding year, indeed.

* I am also reading The Alchemyst right now. I can't read two fiction books at the same time, but I can read non-fiction while I'm reading fiction. I dunno, it's just how it is with me.

* There are videos on how to fold clothes the KonMari wayYouTube. I am not dedicated enough to do this with underwear (the way I do when I pack), but I did roll up my two swimsuits. It definitely saves space. I'll probably do it with my tank tops and sports bras later on. Right now, they all fit in their designated drawer, so I don't see the point.

But wow, having enough space for all my socks, tights, leggings, pants and shorts? Makes a huge, huge difference. HUGE. Would I really call it life changing? No. Because I already changed my life, in terms of clutter. But it is wonderful to have space again.

Because I do (sort of) crave minimalism, I decided to count my hanging clothes. I have about 70 pieces right now (which includes skirts and bulky sweaters, but does not include coats because I keep them in a different area). I think I will treat myself to a pack of fancy velvet hangers.

I'm going to move on to decluttering my bookshelves the KonMari way next week. First, I have to help M vacuum and clean tomorrow because my 40th birthday party is this weekend! WooHoo!