Is Tidying Up Life Changing or Magical? Really?

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I haven’t bought the book.

Let’s not panic.

But I can’t say that its influence hasn’t been felt through friends. So many friends! Extolling the virtues of tidying, decluttering and finding sparks of joy. Which I watched with a little eye rolling and a lot of dread. Because I really, really hate tidying up.

I’m not sure if it stems from being sent to my room for the entire weekend and not being allowed out until it was tidy (which is why I was always in there for the whole weekend) or because I just don’t want to stop doing the fun things to tidy. Either way, tidying up is beyond the pale as far as I’m concerned.

Then this Summer happened. The playroom was filled with Blogtacular equipment and goody bags gifts for weeks on end. It was compounded when we tidied up for video shoots and the final nail in the coffin was moving everything for the decorating. When we came to put it all back it just didn’t fit. How did it not fit when I had spent hours sorting through the piles which had accumulated over years prior to the decorating? I was incredulous but the fact was, something had to be done.

This, my friends, is the worst part. Do look away if you’re sensitive. I tidied up.

I hit the clothes first. They had been living in washing up baskets on our landing. A cull of everything I couldn’t, didn’t or wouldn’t wear and a second chest of drawers tackled the overflowing baskets surprisingly quickly.

Several car boot sales and an online children’s clothing sale made a rapid dent in the playroom, baby gear and out-grown children’s clothes. What didn’t go easily was donated to a refuge or the local charity shops depending on the item.


The knock on effect of gaining a chest of drawers was that my desk needed to move out of the bedroom and somewhere more practical. With all three children at school I staged a coup and took over half of the playroom. There was some dissent but as the room had been out of action for months including the whole summer holidays we all knew that losing a little of it wasn’t a problem in the long term.

We had the room re-painted and cleared a corder for my things. The desk moved down and the shelves were neat but behind me was a different story.

It looked like this…

The Messiest Room in The World

Piles of things to be sorted out, boxes of things to eBay, go to the charity shop and dump covered every surface. Which I could mostly ignore but it does creep into your consciousness.

This week with the impending arrival of a sofa (room tour soon) to spur us on we tackled the mountain. The dump and charity shop run was done, the eBay list was whittled down and will be listed this weekend (even if it is the worst time of year). For my part I spent a few hours organising my props and equipment into labelled boxes so I can find things easily and put them away with equal simplicity.

Dare I say it? It felt…. good. Nice to organise my things, great to see my shooting space opening up and a relief to imagine working here without the burden of mess all around me.

We have a way to go upstairs and everything is in flux with a bedroom move for the children. But it’s getting there.

Last weekend we cleared out the under stairs cupboard and among the baffling items we’ve held on to the winner was surely the cake boxes from our wedding. In 2004. If ever I needed a sign this was it. Still, we were running low on fuel for the fire.

So is tidying up magical? No, it still sucks. Is it life changing? Maybe. Is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes again; it’s all worth it. Perhaps you should try it.

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  • Reply Rachel January 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    You need to read the book! I was deeply sceptical, but totally won over in the end.
    At the risk of being a shameless self-publicist, I actually wrote a review of it here:
    Spoiler – it’s not really about tidying. Which is misleading. It’s actually about ruthlessly decluttering. I won’t pretend to have done it, but I’ve got rid of a lot more stuff since reading it, and have done so with a song in my heart.
    Rachel recently posted…Classic children’s booksMy Profile

    • Reply Kat January 10, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Noooooo! I can’t read it :O

  • Reply Anna International January 11, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Yep, I am with you. Hate tidying, and it always takes me forever because once I get started I tend to go a bit OTT – I could probably KonMari my whole place without even reading the book if I had nothing better to do with my time. But I do, so I won’t.
    I do need to have a sort out though – with two rooms currently out of action due to renovations, everything else is jammed in wherever. I thought I was ruthless when we moved here last year, but I was not ruthless enough. Also we have a total lack of storage which compounds the problem. Something must be done, to save my dining room (also temporary office currently) from drowning under piles of stuff, which often get knocked over due to cats loving mountaineering. I just don’t want to start!
    Anna International recently posted…2015 – How’s It Been?My Profile

  • Reply Julie Kirk (@notesonpaper) January 11, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I haven’t read the book either but I have been having a few little ‘clear outs’ lately. [Maybe it’s reachign me via virtual osmosis?!]

    In the last few months I’ve cleared weird things – that are never top of the de-cluttering agenda – like scarves and, just today, earrings.

    I’ve even given bags of books to charity. Beautiful books!! But, as 80% of my reading matter now comes from libraries, having ‘permanent’ books hanging around has started to feel pointless … stale.

    Best of luck with the remainder of the sorting. If nothing else you’ll get to indulge in that wholesome smug feeling that only comes from clearing the decks!

    Julie :-)
    Julie Kirk (@notesonpaper) recently posted…2015: A Year in Bad PortraitsMy Profile

    • Reply Kat January 28, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Sounds like you’ve done so well!

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