The Storage Myth

In her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, Mari Kondo calls storage experts “hoarders”. I agree and here’s why. No matter how smart or pretty the storage solution you are buying is, it provides only a superficial answer to clutter. It never solves the issue of having too much stuff. In fact, when you start investing in storage units to contain your clutter, you are basically saying “OK” to it because all you are doing with storage is placing your clutter out of site. It will still be there and you know it. In just few weeks, it will start creeping out of your pretty containers as if it has the mind of its own. That’s because the issue of clutter and what’s causing it was never addressed.

The true shift and the transforming effect of tidying up using Kon Mari method comes from dealing with the clutter before you start organizing. This involves evaluating your possessions mindfully by category, one thing at a time, and gratefully parting with items that no longer spark joy.

As I continue my own tidying journey using Kon Mari method and start consulting others in my quest to become a certified Kon Mari consultant, I want to state my advice clearly: if you decided to organize your home, do not start with buying new storage units. Downsize first and then, when you are left only with what you truly want to keep, the solutions for storage will come to you easily. Your own house will furnish you with plenty of aha moments (in fact, when no one is watching, you can even ask your house for help  with that).

organized kids closet

When you start downsizing, you will also find that you already have enough storage room for everything you own. You also have all kinds of bins, boxes, and containers around your house you can use to organize your curated possessions. They might not look pretty, but you can definitely organize with what you already have.

Only after you find the best place for everything you decided to keep, using the storage you already have, you should start shopping to upgrade some of your current storage pieces for prettier or more functional versions.  And you don’t need to do it in one shopping spree either because everything is already organized.

When I organized my closet and my daughter’s closet using Kon Mari method, I magically ended up downsizing my storage solutions as well. First, I removed one of 6 drawers in my custom-built closet. Then, I dismounted one of two closet rods in my daughter’s closet and lowered the remaining rod, so she can easily reach for her clothes. Finally, I emptied at least 7 or 8 different boxes and bins, which contained god-knows-what before — I just no longer needed any of that! Some of these containers were reused to organize things in other areas of our home. Others were thanked for their service and sent on a new journey.

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