Title: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Published: Pages: 204
Genre: Nonfiction (there needs to be a better word for self help)
Rating: My life might just have changed. Maybe. We’ll see.
In Short: Tidy up your house one final time by examining which items bring you joy.
Why I Read: Because my house is constantly a tornado zone and I’m forever feeling weighed down by stuff.
Thoughts in General: I’ve been hearing about this one ever since Still Unfinished Bryan decided to return it to the library unread. I’ve read a few other books about decluttering and love the articles in my Real Simple magazine, but as soon as I tidy up, my house is a mess again. When Lori of an Irreverent Escape started really talking about the book on twitter and her blog, I started to take notice and requested the book via inter-library loan.
I was totally dubious. Kondo makes some pretty big claims in her book–as a professional consultant she says that not one of her clients has relapsed into clutter after working with her. And not only that, these clients have all experienced life changes due to their decluttering.
Surrrrrrrrre Marie. Suuuuuuuuuuuuure.
But the more that I read into her theories, the more that I could understand just what she was getting at. At the first she says to empty out your entire closet and chest of drawers…every piece of clothing you own…and examine each item for whether it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, toss it. She gives a method for going through the entire house (as quickly as possible, she says) for determining whether objects spark joy.
By the time she got to her second section…books…I was totally onboard. I’m a packrat and a lot of things I keep in the house are out of guilt. Clothes I spent money on but don’t wear enough or clothes that don’t fit me and make me feel bad over the weight I haven’t lost after my pregnancies. This spreads to the whole house–things that were gifts or things that I might need but still never use.
I’m surrounded by stuff that doesn’t necessarily bring me joy…and it makes me feel weighed down!
I don’t want to spoil the book for you (ha!) but I could go on and on and it’s just a little 200 book. I had several lightbulb moments while reading and am looking forward to taking a day off work when I can focus on going through Kondo’s methods (basically going through everything before finding a place for things).
Some things that were too much for me? Besides Kondo’s repetition throughout the book (which is way way repetitive), there were some parts that truly made me roll my eyes–thanking your items for a job well done at the end of the day is something I can’t see myself doing. Though even still, I do see her points and I do appreciate thanking things that you are going to discard–the idea that items have already served their purpose in some manner (and specifically thinking about how they have served their purpose) will make it much easier for me to discard in the future.
“Don’t you think it is unnatural for us to possess things that don’t bring us joy or things that we don’t really need? I believe that owning only what we love and what we need is the most natural condition” (197).
Yes! Absolutely Yes!
Bottom Line: I was skeptical but I really do think this little book has impacted the way that I think about objects. While I haven’t gone through any of the motions yet, I have already discarded a few things that simply do not bring me joy. I’ll keep y’all posted of progress I make.
Do you have any secret weapons or methods when it comes to decluttering? How do you keep on top of tidying at your house?