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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – Marie Kondō



The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.

By no exaggeration, Marie Kondō has spent her entire life tidying.

She tidied when she was a child up until her adulthood – and over those decades, she’s learned a thing or two about keeping a house clean.

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

And the secret? Joy.

That’s right. The key to a clean house is joy – what makes us happy and how can we bring that more fully into our lives.

She’s taken on clients from all over the world and has developed the “Konmarie Method” to tidying – starting with the impersonal (clothing) and proceeding into the memorable (keepsakes/heirlooms).

She’s dealt with a wide variety of clients over the years, and has developed instincts for the best way to clear a house. And (more importantly) how to keep a house clean.

Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.

She wants to make the world a happier, healthier and (above all) a tidier place.

Overall – I liked this one!

For as long as I could remember, my closet(s) practically overflowed with clothing (from years and years of keeping outfits “just-in-case”).

But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.

After reading her book/watching her Netflix series, I was able to cut out all those extra clothes and really make my wardrobe manageable!

One thing I found uniquely associated with her method is the way she integrates joy into her tidying. According to Marie, everything in your house should bring you joy – even the little things.

And while that seems impractical when first thinking of it (who ever thought “joy” when they look at a potato peeler?), the more I thought about it…the more I realized she was right.

Taking the potato peeler example (which I saw a few GR reviewers throwing it around), if you don’t feel joy holding it…try getting rid of it.

Next time you want to make mashed potatoes…think about how fun it is to use a knife to skin them. How many nicks you get on your hands. The loss of potato because of your awkward peeling.

A few rounds of that and gosh darn, you’ll become grateful (even joyful) to have a potato peeler in your hands again.

And if you don’t? Then I guess you never needed it in the first place and now your house has one less useless gadget.

Some of her methods seem…questionable...especially to westerners.

For example, she recommends thanking each piece of clothing that you get rid of for a job well-done.

It seems silly, right? Utterly ridiculous.

And yet…it works.

At the end of my clothing un-haul, I was left with several shirts that I honestly didn’t want…but I also didn’t want to give them away. (You know the type. They hang out in the back of your wardrobe for years…and yet no matter how little you wear them…they’re always still there).

So, I tried the Konmarie method. I held each one in my hand – thinking, Does this bring me joy?

If the answer was yes, I kept it.

If the answer was no, I thanked the article of clothing for being in my life and for giving me what I needed when I first bought it. And then I let it go.

And yes, I felt silly doing it – and I locked the bedroom door so that the hubby didn’t know I was doing it – but at the same time, I felt closure.

I was accepting that the clothes had no part in my current life and that holding onto them any longer wasn’t helping them or me. It was time to set them free.

The only thing I disagreed upon was books. Marie believes (strongly) that books go in and out of lives and they aren’t really to be kept.

For books, timing is everything. The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it. To avoid missing that moment, I recommend that you keep your collection small.

Hmmm…does (literally) having a bookshelf in every room of the house (excluding the bathroom) count?

(And note: the only reason the bathroom doesn’t have its own bookcase is because I worry about the damp)

My life is so intertwined with books that I honestly cannot see a time where my novels aren’t the focal point of every room.

Perhaps rereading the book will give me some perspective…

All in all – I loved learning her secrets to a tidy life. My kitchen is wholly organized and I’m going to tackle the basement next.

There’s something truly wonderful about stepping back from a long tidying session and just admiring how nice the house looks!

Interested in this one from Marie Kondō? Buy it here:  Amazon

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