Move Over Ms. Martha

“Yet I know that letting go leaves for more to come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

DSC00378If you’re looking for change, then you might like to take a look at The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I thought I would take her KonMari method and start with our apartment. Since we are only here temporarily we don’t really have that much stuff – but then again maybe we do.

Instead of only tidying up a bit of a time, she suggests to do it all at once beginning with clothes first. I really like this idea! Take everything (absolutely every bit of clothing you own – except what is in the laundry) and let each fabric run through your fingers before asking if it “sparks joy”. You must positively do this and discard before putting things away, only keeping what brings you joy.


In her second book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, she has an immaculate way of folding items into tiny parcels. (A package for me? Why, thank you!) I actually saw the diagrams for folding on Houzz <—just click if you want to see how the magic is done.

“Folding is really a form of dialogue with your wardrobe.”

– Marie Kondo

IMG_8480Can you believe that’s underwear on the right and they are sorted by gradients of color. Yep, this is Odd’s drawer – it sure takes a village, doesn’t it? Hehe.IMG_8483All my shirts and shorts now stand up vertically. IMG_8484With her amazing origami skills, we are now able to see our clothes in the drawer with one peek and it really does take up less space. I should add that light fabrics are hung on hangers while socks are swirled into sushi rolls. (I will never look at sushi the same way again.)

There is an order in tidying too. She suggests sorting by category, not location:  clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and momentos. Tidying and organizing does help bring clarity, focus and for some, weight loss or financial success. I whole heartedly believe that our living space does affect our bodies and perhaps, the way we think.

My dear friend, Mara, who I know as the Queen of Clean would be so proud. I met her when our children were teeny-weeny babies and now she’s an awesome abuela – oh how time flies! She really knows how to make tidying an enjoyable experience. She would light candles before cleaning. Cleaning by candlelight – isn’t that a great idea? As I fold by candlelight, I think of Mara and imagine that she would be thrilled at my new & improved drawers, proving it’s never too late.

Back to the book, Ms. Kondo says that by greeting your house as you enter, your house will eventually greet you back like a gentle breeze. When I told Karina about this idea, she thought it sounded a little “wonky” – yes, I have been watching loads of New Girl. A sincere “thank you” upon entering is all it takes, whether out loud or in your head. It is then followed by a series of “thank yous” to your shoes, hat, jacket, etc. as you put them away. As “Willy Wonka” as it sounds, this simple gesture works. Maybe it’s just me, but I find the more organized and grateful I am, the more abundant life becomes.

Happy Tidying while wishing, whistling, waiting for Spring…


3 thoughts on “Move Over Ms. Martha

  1. lol, i don’t mean donating undies. that’s kinda creepy if you donate undies. you just toss it in the garbage.. You can find smudging kits in the incense section of your health food stores. I also use essential oils to clean the air in my apt, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, patchouli, lemon oil, lavender, etc. the choices of essential oils are endless and overwhelming.

    keep on writing and share with us your insights to inspire us to be better citizens of the world and also to honour ourselves as human beings with your awesome recipes and travel blogs. travelling with you thru your words and your eyes.


  2. Thanks Arlene. You are a world of wonder. I love hearing all your tips especially the sage and sweetgrass for new energy. I will have to look into that. On another note, I had no idea underwear is shareable (is this a word?) – lol! 🙂


  3. good morning from Toronto.
    thank you for sharing, Shirley Jane has shared this book & idea with us last year.

    As a minimalist myself, I do a purge every 3 mos. When i buy a new item of clothing or under garments, i put away old items in my donation box ie if you buy 2 new underwear you have to get rid of 2 old undies, etc…same goes with shirts, blouses, seriously you only need at least 5 casual shirts.
    I have a laundry room on site and I put my gently used clothing in the laundry room after I’ve washed them. You should see the smiles on the faces when ppl see free items. goes with books/kitchen utensils. We have to practice non attachments be it material things or ppl.

    By de-cluttering it makes you feel good and light inside and out as you have taken a load of your space and true it makes space for more important and new things. One step at a time.
    Am so glad you’re embracing the art of de-cluttering.

    It’s funny you mention honouring your home by saying hello and goodbye. I do this everyday, when I leave my apt, i take a deep breath and say see you tonight and say a lil prayer to keep my home safe and when i come home before i enter my apt, another deep breath and say hello it’s good to be home.

    Every time I do my quarterly purge I also do smudging in all the rooms, a cleansing technique from the Native American tradition using sage and sweetgrass. it’s a neat little ceremony to encourage new energy and positivity into yourself and your space.

    What de cluttering really is, is lightening your load be it material stuff or your internal being.
    Vern, you truly are evolving into a beautiful goddess with your positive insights and getting yourself to higher vibrations, being mindful and staying present.



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