Summer Issue 2017: Fall in Love with Folding by Elva Carri

Skirt folded paper

By Elva Carri

I have always been a somewhat chaotic, messy person. If I’m really honest, I enjoy a little bit of that. During the times in my life when I’ve been super organised and tidy and routine, I’m pretty sure I’ve self-sabotaged very quickly just for a little injection of excitement! Sadly, just a dash of chaos has always been hard for me to manage. It usually feels more like the lid fell off the hot sauce, and instead of a little bit of spice, the entire meal is ruined. I’ve tried to change. I’ve tried Feng Shui, I’ve tried really detailed diaries, I’ve tried making lists, focusing on things that make me happy, focusing on urgent tasks, focusing on relaxation, and I’ve tried to balance all of the above. Nothing worked in the long term, and often left me feeling even worse. A few months ago, while tidying my mess of a room, I listened to Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. I listened to it with zero expectations that I would enjoy it or stick to it. Months later, my socks are still neatly folded and put away within a day or two of doing laundry, and I have more time and focus for things I love. What’s so different about this method? I’m honestly not sure, but I can tell you some of the things that resonated with me.

Written with Love

Some people will no doubt find the book a little cheesy or over the top in parts. I felt it was sweet and authentic and filled to the brim with love. It really does contain a little bit of magic if you’re open to it.

Letting Go of More

When you begin to only keep items that ‘spark joy’, you really start to take that approach with everything around you. I’m already an avid de-clutterer, but it gave me the boost I needed to bin things like notebooks from various projects that I’ve thought I would come back to, but never did. I only keep things that I truly want to focus on now. I feel like I have literally binned guilt!

Meditative Tidying

Kondo has special techniques for folding everything, from socks to sweaters. She promises you’ll end up finding it ‘fun’. I laughed at that. I don’t find it ‘fun’, but I was surprised to find pleasure in it. Thanking your clothes feels like a little exercise in gratitude. I find it to be meditative, even though it is a task I need to do anyway! It’s the perfect meditation practice for the ever-distracted fidgeter.

Manageable Chaos

Because I find Kondo’s approach so thorough and loving, I’ve also found it easy to sustain. It brings me joy to get dressed in the mornings because it’s so easy to see what I have, and what I love.  It’s easy to find documents I need because I’ve gotten rid of so many that really weren’t necessary.  And sometimes, what sparks joy is making a mess. But thanks to the KonMari method, I’ve found I can add that little injection of chaos, without it taking over anymore.


Elva Carri is the founder of GirlCrew. GirlCrew.com. Twitter: @elvacarri

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