“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”
If you’ve been to a bookstore recently or “googled” de-clutter or organization in the last six months you’ve probably stumbled upon Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It’s been on the New York Times Best Seller’s list for 42 weeks and is number 3 on Amazon.com’s list of top-selling books of the year (thus far). I wondered what all of the buzz was about and although I have only JUST BEGUN using her method, I wanted to share with you some of her key points if you’re looking to downsize, organize or simplify.
Her major principle, so simplistic you wish you thought of it, is this: “Does it spark joy?” If not, discard it. No need to worry about- when’s the last time you wore it or is it out of style, just one simple barometer: joy. If you’re thinking, “wait, how can objects spark joy??” Marie Kondo encourages that the moment you hold something in your hands you’ll be able to tell whether or not it sparks joy in your heart. She, as a lot in the Japanese culture, believes that everything transmits energy and we just need to be aware of it.
Also like much of Japanese culture there is a strict order to her methods. You must discard first, totally and completely before attempting to put your things in order. (This means a mad dash to the container store IS NOT the correct way to declutter or tidy-up) Another must: discard by category, not by room. Have you ever attempted to reign in your mismatched socks or sort thru candles or other decorative items? Most items have MULTIPLE locations where they are kept in the home so tidying by category minimizes the risk that something will be missed. This is the best advise I’ve found so far. Again, I have only just begun to put this into practice, but sorting by category and not by room helps keep
you focused and on task.
Kondo promises life-changing results if her method is followed. This past weekend, my husband and I went through all our clothes. It was so liberating!!! We filled his entire trunk with clothes to donate to The Salvation Army!! Once we removed the unused, the don’t fit, the out of style or the clothes that just don’t make us feel good, we were left with enough space to effectively organize what remained and now and have the ability to wear only what we like!! Getting dressed is so much faster and easier! This is only the first step but I am so motivated that I can’t wait for what comes next.
Even those of us who just claim to be messy can find serenity in their surroundings if they commit to her methods. In fact, she believes that no one is “messy,” but the disorder in our home mirrors the disorder in our personal or professional lives. Marie Kondo explains:
“A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming…. When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.”
To learn more about “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” you can purchase the book here, or read more about it in the articles below.