Below was Deslie’s post on the Glam-O-Mamas Discussion Group, a group for mamas with thirty four thousand plus members by celebrity mom Amanda Griffin Jacob. I was very flattered when Amanda told her that she might want to get in touch with me for help. Deslie’s post really touched me, because I could so relate - the mental load for housework is still mostly on women in many countries - and I wanted the opportunity to virtually coach her to declutter, because Deslie was all the way in the USA, and I am currently based in the Philippines.
We scheduled a meeting online to discuss in detail the current state of her home and find out more about her situation so that I could help her create realistic goals and expectations for herself in the one month that we would be working together. After our initial meeting, Deslie sent us complete pictures of her home so we could study it and give our recommendations for:
How to do the Kon Mari Method in her home.
How to shift her own and her husband’s mindset so they could do this project as a team.
What and how to dispose of items in each category.
How to organize the items that remained.
I also guided on what products can help organize problem areas and what decor can declutter her space visually and where exactly to buy each item.
In the end she sent me some AFTER photos which truly delighted us both. There was a massive shift in her space and they were able to do it during their free time. I am sure it was tiring work, but to be able to see these results and be happier in their home was truly worth it.
Though her husband said he could paint the pantry, I give huge props to Deslie for deciding to DIY cover her shelving using marble contact paper achieving a cleaner look faster and without waiting for her husband to have time and energy to help. So empowering and Love the marble design!
It’s so easy to dump everything in a utility room, but keep only utility items in there and use bins to segregate things according to their purpose.
One of the most important things I learned from Marie Kondo is that labels are visually cluttering, so whenever possible please remove them, or transfer products to plain containers that do not have loud noisy packaging.
Another thing that tidies a hardworking space like the laundry room is a clear sharing of the work and mental load. In places where household help is not the norm, it’s important for couples to discuss how they can share the mental load of the home. This is very different from assuming that it is all a woman’s job, then anything the husband does is to help her.
A healthy way to look at it is: this is OUR home and we all have a responsibility to keep it tidy, including children! Seeing how Marie Kondo has her toddler join her when she declutters, and how she makes it fun, instead of a chore is really very inspiring. This is such a good read for couples:
THAT PROJECT THAT YOU NEVER DID
We all have that “project” that we had such high hopes for and didn’t end up doing. In Deslie’s husband’s case, they were these wooden floors he wanted to install, but after 3 months it was still an eye-sore in the stairs landing. Instead of keeping them out in the open, thinking it will be done sooner, it’s better to keep these things in the utility area or garage while waiting.
However if after doing the Kon Mari Method, you realize it no longer brings you joy, you have the option to sell it on Craig’s List, eBay or Facebook to get back part of the cost. But if it’s more effort than what is worth your time, it’s better to put it out in the sidewalk for someone else to use, fix, or be collected by the garbage truck.
Deslie was really happy to see these go, and it made the house and their relationship feel lighter since the weight of expectations on her husband has been lifted. Sometimes the cost of the items is less than the happiness you feel letting go.
Stay tuned for PART 2 tomorrow, where I will show you the transformations in their bedrooms and the dining & living area!
* I am an amazon affiliate but as always all opinions are my own.