A little organization for the New Year…

I have been reading a book that was recommended to me by Magalie…she said it helped her with getting her sewing room in order and my goodness, anyone that has as much as I do, could surely learn something from it… The book is called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo…


It’s not your typical book that tells you how to clean each individual room and be successful… she has a different approach where she says to group everything together and do all the like things at one time… for instance… she says to start with your clothes. You gather up all your clothes and put them in a big pile on the floor… Well, we don’t have flooring down yet, so I put mine all on my bed… EVERYTHING that was wearable… anything that was upstairs in Space bags or in Rubbermaid tubs or containers or drawers…if it was wearable, it was fair game. I gathered up everything and sorted them by category… pants, tee shirts, tank tops, blouses, skirts, sweaters, etc… and it didn’t matter if it was winter or summer, it all went into the same piles… I had WAY more stuff than I thought I did!


Then you are supposed to pick up the pieces one by one and decide quickly if it brings a “spark” to your heart, or not… if not, do something with it. I’ve tried weeding out my clothes before and never seemed to make much headway, but this way sort of had me feeling differently about my clothes. I have some things that I’ve had stored in tubs, just waiting to lose those extra few pounds so I could wear them… and I’ve had this one dress in particular, a red with white polka dots dress, that I’m sure I’ve had for at least 8 or more years… I sort of used it as a “goal” dress, thinking if I could ever get into it, I would be skinny! Well, after reading this book, I realized this dress is probably out of date and I just don’t know it. If I get to where I could wear it, I don’t want to wear an 8 or 10 year old, dress, I’m going to want to celebrate by buying something new!!


The thing that I realized the most with all my things off the hangers and in stacks was how many I had of some things… like tops… I had tons of them, but didn’t realize just how many I did have. When I got to going through them, I realized some I just kept because I thought they were “okay” but not really my favorite, or maybe they were just a little tight across the shoulders, or a little short in the length, or maybe I didn’t really have anything to wear with them. When I saw the stack of things that I did have that I did like, it was easier to give up the things I wasn’t totally crazy about.

It was supposed to go pretty fast, according to the author, but it took me quite a while…maybe I had too much… but in the end, I ended up giving up 45 pounds worth of clothing. I put it in some big bags, but it’s hard to tell just how much is in there… let me tell you…LOTS!!! I just haven’t made it to the Goodwill or the Food Pantry to get rid of it yet… But it’s a great feeling to know I got rid of that much stuff that was just clogging up my closet.



Now, about the book…I’m not suggesting that everyone rush out and buy the book, because she is a little bit “shall I say, STRANGE” when it comes to getting rid of the clothes… I just followed her advice, without all the extras that she suggested. She wanted you to “thank each piece of clothing for serving you as long as it did” and gently fold it up and put in a bag to give away…sort of like saying goodbye to each thing… She’s just a little bit eccentric for my tastes, but she did help me see how much stuff I had and how much I needed to get rid of…and it worked…

The next thing she suggests to work on is books…and she has you do them the same way…instead of doing it bookshelf by bookshelf, she suggests getting ALL the books in your house and putting them in stacks according to their subject matter and doing the same thing with them as your clothes… pick up each one and see if you love it or not… then get rid of the excess ones… I can see her point of doing things by category, because we have toiletries in the bathroom, in the master bathroom in the linen closet, in the hall closet, and things get lost or forgotten when you don’t do them all at the same time…

So, it’s just something I wanted to share with you… I am by no means an expert on this… but I do have a nice neat closet now…in fact, I liked doing it so much, I may purge my closet in a few weeks to see what I might have held onto the first time that I really don’t need.

I did keep 2 tubs for putting my really summery things in or those few items that are seasonal and not practical to put in the closets right now, but it’s a far cry from all the containers I had before!

So this might be something you can go to Amazon and “look inside” the book and read the first 20 pages or so and see if she appeals to you…I just wanted to tell you of my success with it…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    I have a friend who also recently discovered this book and loves it.

    I made a rule for myself that I don’t have to get rid of something unless I want to, which does make it easier to give things up. It’s my choice, not someone else’s. This is like your idea of making a second pass later — some things you want to consider, and some of those can be given away the second time around, when you are ready to let them go. Life changes, and sometimes it takes a while to acknowledge that.

    One sister said that it took a couple of years after she retired to learn to think about clothes for the life she was leading rather than the one she had led. That was a useful wake-up. The opposite can also be true — after you retire you may have time to wear some of the clothes you never had time for. When I was recovering from chemo I needed something pretty to wear out to dinner. I went to the closet and there was a pretty black jacket I’d had for 3 years and never worn. It was perfect and got lots of compliments.

    And then there are books. In libraries, we call this weeding the collection. You’ve done clothes. What are you going to weed next?

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I haven’t finished the book but wanted to give the “clothes” part a try.
      I like your rule too. If I don’t want to get rid of something just because I bought something new I shouldn’t have to.
      I don’t think I will ever retire so I guess I can keep and wear whatever I like!

      I am going to do health and beauty and toiletries next. She says books but I want to do something smaller…I have tons of books.

      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, I guess if you read my comments on yesterday’s post, and I think you have, you will know that I’ve been doing the same thing, although not quite like that! I just take it room by rom, drawer by drawer or shelf by shelf. I am finding things I never knew I had! I am not sure I am as organized as you think I am, but you are welcome to come here for a week if you want, You will have to stay in the doll room, where the only extra bed is! Couldn’t get any better for you!

    Can’t remember who it was, but someone yesterday mentioned that the AG store was closed, but they were all open, with the new Lea Clark being introduced. I didn’t go, but will catch up on her when things calm down. The new girl, Melody, will most likely come out later this year, although her first book is out there I have heard. Right now, it is all about Lea Clark, and they will give Melody her own proper introduction all by herself. I hear that she is a black doll, and lives in Detroit during the Motown era, so that should be fun!

    I’m just curious about Marilyn, is she STILL up at the hour she writes, or did she JUST get up? LOL

    • Hi Linda,
      I DID read your comments yesterday about you cleaning and got the idea for sharing today’s post from you! Thanks. I took those pictures to show my sisters but decided to share them here too.
      Also make sure to catch tomorrow’s post!

      I am anxious to see Melody too…maybe we will start getting some hints about her soon. It looks like she has a typical flippy hairdo with bangs…
      Thanks Linda,
      I think Marilyn is up….:*)
      We are on our way to Paducah for a day of shopping…this was my Christmas wish…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Good for you Jeanne!
    Yes, I think a lot of us have way too much “stuff” in our closets! I did this exact thing last year and got rid of 3 lawn size bags of clothes and felt good about it. Now you’ve inspired me to go back and do it again. My taste in clothes has changed and since I make all of my dress clothes, I definitely have new ideas since I’ve had my embroidery machine. Now I put embroidery on everything and make it unique! I’ve always liked the idea of owning one of a kind clothes. I find I get more creative now! I enjoy your posts, very inspiring! I too have been sewing for a long time! I’m glad I had a great sewing teacher in high school who was so patient! Now I too, am enjoying even more, making Effner Little Darling Doll clothes. I also make Ag doll clothes, but I find Lds are my favorite to dress. Off to my sewing room, have a great day!!

    • Hi Marla,
      Thanks so much for your comments… and you are so right…too many things were in my closet, and in my bags, and in boxes, and drawers, and space bags…it was very freeing to give them all up.
      On our trip today I found a new consignment shop that takes things on a 60/40 split. I might look through my stuff and see if any of it fits their criteria and make some money off of a few things…
      It is nice to make your own things and put your own special touch on them… I miss those days…I am too busy making doll clothes to be preoccupied with my things… but I should…
      Thanks so much Marla,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Well, hope your shopping goes well! After the cleaning, a reward is deserved.
    If I can just even start with shoes, if they can be found, that would be a success for me.:)

    • Hi Joy,
      We are on our way home now and it was a fun trip…tools for my hubby from Harbor Freight and Rebecca and I went to Top Quality Consignment. I found 3 tops and 2 pairs of shoes. One pair was Clark’s so I was thrilled.
      Then we went to The Bargain Hunt and found Christmas clearance items at 80% off… couldn’t resist!
      Hope you get your shoes under control…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing! Every year during the holidays, I try to tackle at least one room or one closet or whatever, just to purge and reorganize. This year I’m working on the living and dining rooms. Ughh. I’ve already taken a load to Goodwill but will probably have to make at least one more trip. I also filled up the recycle can with old magazines. This helps me start the new year with a sense of accomplishment; although the new year is already here, and I am not quite finished with what I started. My back is beginning to hurt, so I just sat down to drink a cup of tea and take a little break. One neat tip I saw on Pinterest which pertains to clothing was to start the year with all the clothes hangars hung backwards in your closet. After you wear something and return it to the closet, put the hangar facing the right way. At the end of the year, you will know what you haven’t worn and need to donate by the placement of the hangars. I thought that was a neat idea, although there would still be the stuff in drawers to sort through. It is a never-ending task.

    • Good for you Carolyn,
      It sounds like you have been making some headway!
      I’ve seen that tip about the hangars but never tried it myself.
      Keep it up and let us know how you do…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. All sounds good as long as you don’t fill up the empty hangers and spaces.

    • Hi Jan,
      You might be right..it’s easy to bring new things in to fill up those empty spaces… I did get 2 new pair of shoes and 3 tops today… oops! but I’m keeping them…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I just got back from looking over the Rose Parade floats in Pasadena where they are parked after the parade. It opens at 7-9 a.m. for over-60 and handicapped people. Amazing and you can see them so close up. Took lots of pictures and one with the cutouts of the Downton Abbey crew, especially Maggie Smith’s dowager. Then went to Farmers Market by 10 a.m., right next to the American Girl Store and went in since it wasn’t in overflow yet. They actually have barriers to set up outside the store for when it gets too crowded and they have to limit the crowd inside. There were whole families with moms, dads and grandmothers at 10 a.m. Had Christmas and School backgrounds sent to my granddaughter. Took pictures. Crepes at The French Patisserie and then home by 12:30 p.m. A fun start to the year.

    I’m quite sure the lady who wrote the book is Japanese. It is in the culture and the Shinto religion to thank the earth for its bounty before you dispose of something. Japanese homes and apartments are so small that it is next to impossible to keep as much as American do. Hope you all have inspired me to do at least the clothes thing. Been thinking about it for years!

    • HI Susette,
      It sounds like you had a very busy but fun day today. It must be incredible to see the floats up close…on TV they were very beautiful, but in person, they must be spectacular.

      Wow, floats, farmers market and doll shopping…or dreaming, and then dinner all in one day!
      Yes, Marie is Japanese and I know from the students I am friends with that paring down things is very common. I guess the key to keeping thing tidy is starting with a smaller house! Not gonna happen with me… :o)
      I received your check today for the scarf Susette…Thank you… I had forgotten about it.
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • I waited until Monday to mail the check as I found some dolly stamps and went to the post office to make sure they didn’t postmark them all over the dolls. So the man postmarked them completely below the stamps. Very kind.

  8. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Linda wondered if I was still up at 2:27 or if that was when I got up. I think that was 2:27 Jeanne Marie’s time, 1:27 my time. The cataract surgeries, while relatively minor, threw my schedule way off for a couple of weeks. I wasn’t sleeping well so I was getting tired in the daytime and waking up at night, and then after the surgeries I came home tired and went to sleep and got up at night. I think I may eventually have a reasonable schedule, which will be very nice.

    This blog is wonderful — some of us are near floods, Susette is looking at Rose Parade floats and having a great morning, some of us are doing holiday cleaning, I’m getting used to new vision — we are a sort of the country and the world with everything happening at once — and we can write in and say hello any time we are awake.

    Susette said that the book author is probably Japanese. Her last name sounds that way. I was in Japan for a student’s wedding and discovered that many people have a room for clutter and the small gifts they give each other. The “clutter” rooms I saw were neatly organized and not used for anything else, like a sewing room or a guest room. Of course, my sample was very small, and these were well-established family homes and not apartments, so they had to hold a variety of belongings.

    • HI again Marilyn,
      I am so glad your eyes are doing well… there’s nothing quite as good as seeing is there? Take it from someone who has worn contacts since she was 16 years old!!!

      There is a nice variety of topics in the comments when someone answers, isn’t there? It’s fun for me and I learn lots from you all…

      Marie is Japanese and she’s very pretty. Her picture is on the back of the book. I have several Japanese friends and they have a system for keeping things neat and orderly in their small spaces…I’m sure it’s a culture thing.
      Thanks Marilyn,
      blessings, Jeanne

  9. I read this book also, Jeanne, but didn’t actually try any of her strategies. I guess it is kind of scary to me, I might not have any clothes left. I do try to keep my clothes to a minimum though. Maybe some day I will try her way, the very orderly and simplified way of living has appealed to me since I was very young. Thanks for your blog, Jeanne! Love reading it every day.

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