Tidying Festival

If you haven’t read the famous book: Life Changing Method of Tidying Up, I strongly suggest you to read it.


But don’t worry. If you have no time for now, I’ll explain some that could give you brief describing my title.

Tidying festival is a set of time for a driven people who eager to get their house in-order to do tidying in one go, once in a lifetime without turning back. The background of the name “festival” means that we embrace tidying period like it’s a festive time. Though tidying often deal with trashes, dust, bugs (probably you have termite in your forgotten book pile, oops!) and things that could make our head spin. Yet, it’s going to be fun. Since the time is set aside specially, we finally conquer those procrastination for tidying. And there will be a bright light in the end waiting for us. A new life will finally begin.

“Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order” – Marie Kondo, Life Changing Magic of Tidying up.

Now that you have the picture, tidying festival shall not be start without these two prerequisite steps:

  1. Visualize your ideal life style and knowing who your values.
  2. Written steps about how do you want to achieve your ideal life style

Are you grabbing your wallet and thinking about purchasing the state-of-the-art storage? No. Not now. It’s not critical steps.

All the “storage” you use during tidying festival is temporary storage. Don’t budget on it too much. Because you will never know exactly how many belongings left that you’re gonna have after tidying festival (I heard people throw away serious number of trash bags). If you don’t know exactly how many belongings that you have, you will end up clueless about how many categories you will have. Remember, we must avoid “miscellaneous” category storage at the end of tidying festival. And the size of your storage shall meet the requirement of your joy items: the items that you want to keep confidently. At the end of your tidying festival, the storages will draw rainbows in your house instead of making you giddy. And your house will become your “personal art museum”. Isn’t that sound great?


Imagine a place where you can combine things that you need and what you love. It will be a happy place.

Before that, I have done the prerequisite steps which I wrote on this post earlier (Please read it before you decide to read this post more).

My tidying festival duration will be 2.5 months. It’s comfortable time for me and my husband who still work on weekdays. If you have more belongings, sure you shall have more time. Marie Kondo, our organization guru, suggest that tidying festival should not be more than 6 months. Me, basically don’t have image of happiness if we keep those temporary boxes for more than 3 months. Since I’m am organization freak, messiness can crumble down my mood (and temper) so easily. Hence, I set reasonable 2.5 months goal for our tidying festival.

The series of tidying will be based on category, I use this sequence for my “Tidying Timeline”, as explained in KonMari method:

  • Clothing (top, bottoms, jacket, cardigans, sweater, shoes) – this is where we start
  • Books (series, magazines, coffee table books).
  • Papers (Course Materials, Credit Card statements, Warranties, Manuals, Greeting cards, clipping)
  • Komono (miscellaneous such as: CDs and DVDs, Stationary, Medicines, Electricals, Skin care, Sewing Kits, Valuables, Hobbies).

I can tell this will become my source of headache. Even if I haven’t started, I notice their existence in here and there, basically everywhere. Miscellaneous items can fall into various category and it means several storage or sub storage. They also mean extra money or effort (if you decide to make them). In conclusion, an intense focus and honed joy radar is needed to pass komono period smoothly.

  • Sentimental Items. Sentimental items might be items from each prior category. It’s called “sentimental” because there’s a story of memories behind it, so it gives you hard time to let go. If you consider you have many, you may have sub categories and divide your boxes into several sub boxes or use plastic bags.

Sentimental Items must be handled last. The reason behind it is we might haven’t master they joy check skill and our joy radar is still blunt. Sentimental items can drag tidying time longer, so it requires honed joy check skill. The general rule is, if you find cloth or books, or any items from other category which is sentimental for you, put it immediately in sentimental item box. Don’t stop. Don’t pause.


1  Print out visualization,mood board,timeline and put it in place where you always see it.

I printed it in 30 x 40 size picture and put it temporarily where we can see it every time.


Luckily, we have 2 unused frames for child’s artwork, so we use them. We put it in our way before stairs where we pass it constantly every day. It can be on your hallway or simply in your “tidying area”. This helps the mood level stable and as reminder why you are doing this at first place.

2  Gather commitment from spouse and my house assistant.

Sometimes at your work, when your plan is smooth, and your commitment is in place. The thing that could crumble it all down is lack or no commitment from your team members. Using the same analogy, treat your “team member” respectable and always keep them updated in what you do. Explain what you expect from them, how they can exceed and let down your expectations. If possible, explain to them the benefits they can get after this “messy season”. So, they realize that they’re doing it for themselves too. If your “team member” is reluctant to throw their things away. Try to persuade them and show them how to organize their items by category. During organizing, there’s a big chance they might realize how many items they don’t need. This time, you can implement your knowledge of joy check to teach them. My team member in house is my spouse and house assistant. Kids start from 3 years old is considered as team member too since they are able too communicate, they can practice to prioritize and make decision.

3  Buy card boxes and categorize them

It’s a good investment to buy card boxes instead of using the used ones. Because you will do “joy check” for your clothes at first, it’s important to keep the temporary storage clean. If you have several of plastic container it will be better. But since I don’t have many, and card boxes can be flattened right after, so I choose card boxes instead. I bought 6 card boxes online, and those arrived safely in no time.

I decided to build 4 boxes and 1 plastic container and categorize as:

  • Joy (wear), for items pass the joy check and I want to wear it now.
  • Joy (keep), for items pass the joy check but I can’t wear it now. For example, if it’s maternity wear and you plan (plan is different from want) to have another baby in near future. I keep it in one plastic container.
  • Not joy (Trash), items not pass the joy chec, worn and not feasible to reuse
  • Not joy (Recycle/ Sell), items not pass the joy check, it’s new or worn but feasible to reuse
  • Sentimental Items. Despite items originated from categories above that you give hard time to say good bye, of course there’s items that you consciously treat this as “treasure” or “box of memories” such as photographs, recordings, love letter from your first love, until your children’s artwork.

I spare two other boxes in case one boxes for each category is not enough.


There’s no specific guideline about how many “box” we should have during tidying festival. But the general rule is you shall have no “maybe box”.

If you had to, save “maybe box” only before the start of next category. And belongings that “need repair” must be treated in committed time. When you passes committed time means it don’t spark joy enough and time to let them go.

4  Buy fruits and favorite beverages/ snack

Tidying can be very exhausting and cause you headache. I know this because I’ve been in the series of tidying without methodology that suits me. When you gather your belongings into one place, it can cause shock. An astonishment that you may conclude yourself a hoarder or probably shopaholic. Or simply regret of being wasteful and careless with your belongings for the rest of your life. Keep yourself hydrated during the process and eat anything that can cheer you up instantly. This helps you maintain the good mood. If you decide to bring partners, choose the positive person to work with. They can help you to boost your mood. My husband is one of the most logical and happy person I know, so undoubtedly, he become my “tidying associate” 😀

5  Cook for stock.

If you want to be readier for whatever unexpected things during tidying festival, you can cook for stock so just in case you have sudden guest or just being lazy to cook during tidying festival, you can take out your stock from freezer right away.

I have toddler who eats home cooks, so I cook her food on top priority, then the other house occupant, lastly guest. I also bought some dry foods to make sure there’s variations. I made stock for only early 2 weeks since it’s our critical phase.

6  Have a clear schedule for 2.5 months forward.

Since we aim it to be once in a lifetime, a dedicated time and commitment is required. Try to arrange your schedule as detail as possible during your tidying festival period. This helps you to concentrate, focus on lessons learned during each “joy check” and planning your house more comprehensive. Distraction could lead to procrastination and we don’t want a good plan to be vain.

In our case, we update our schedule board as usual.


Schedule board become important for mobile people and can be a serious deal for some people. My husband cannot accept verbal instruction well. He prefers me to write a simple note instead of talking. He treats schedule board seriously as his task list while I feel enough keeping all of them in my head and mobile phones. This is people reference, so you can talk with your tidying partner what’s best.

Now that we’re on set. Let’s ride on Tidying Festival!

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