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East County Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 2 years ago

Decluttering process takes focus at Bradenton home

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Palm Aire woman says getting rid of clutter has positive impacts.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Nothing appeared untidy about Pattie Meades’ Palm Aire home.

But Meades felt out of sorts, embarrassed by the clutter she knew was hidden.

“My house looks nice until you open the cabinets,” she said.

She wanted to be free of items she didn’t need, so Meades recruited home-organizing expert Elizabeth Player of Tampa. Player is a certified KonMari consultant, a professional home organizer. The KonMari Method has been developed by Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”

The KonMari Method focuses on keeping only things that you love and by going through belongings item by item in a categorized approach — first clothing, then books, then papers, miscellaneous and, finally, sentimental items.

Player said it’s important to go in that order because its helps you refine your process for evaluating what to keep. Clothing is the easiest category and sentimental items are the most difficult to let go.

“You focus on what you are going to keep versus what you are losing,” Player said. “Every item you keep must bring you joy. The end result is that you are surrounded only by things that bring you joy.”

Meades spent about 10 hours on the clothing, shoes and accessories in her bedroom in two sessions.

“Look at all these shirts,” she said, waving toward the pile now stacked on her bed. “I forgot I had these. They fit me, but do I love them?”

A year ago, Meades repainted and decorated her bedroom, but the effects proved minimal compared to the good feelings she expected. Although Meades is still early in her whole-house tidying process using the KonMari Method, she said the effects already have been substantial. She’s lost weight, is sleeping better and feels less stress.

“I was feeling overwhelmed. I’m so busy,” Meades said. “I feel like I can do it now. I’m on the right path.”

Ultimately, having only things she loves and having a place for every item in her home will lead to her overall goal of having more free time. The retired Meades maintains her own pool and yard. She is a bee keeper, works out four times a week and is active in the Palm Aire Women’s Club. She wants more time to pursue her hobbies and interests and to spend less time worrying about her home.

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