I have never been a tidy person. Though I have a love of organization, I have always been the sort that feels like she is chasing her next big cleaning project. I’m not sure where I heard about Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” but when my husband asked me for suggestions for my birthday, that’s what I asked for. And I’m a geek girl in my 30s, so that means I have lots of geeky toys/comics/swag hanging around my house, some that I’ve held onto long after they stopped meaning something to me.
Even though my mother got me into the habit of throwing things away early, pulling all the stuff out of a closet or bin and going through it, but I still held onto a lot. I’ve only had my own home for about two years, so I was surprised to find how much clutter my husband and I actually had. And how many things we had DOUBLES of (Oh, how many times we’ve played the “where is the tape game?” only to find after decluttering we have at least 7 scotch tape dispensers).
In the book, Kondo outlines and teaches you how to use the KonMari Method to tidy your life up. She also talks about how tidying your outside will help with your inside, and after nearly 2 months of working on this, I completely agree with her. Here are the basics of what is covered in the book:
The KonMari method suggestions you work in categories, rather than room by room. This was genius for me. I went through categories like my books in a matter of minutes. Others, like my clothes, kitchenware, craft supplies, took a bit longer.
As you go through these categories, you take each item you own into your hands and ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” The goal of the KonMari Method is to live a life surrounded by things that you love. Now, I also often asked myself “Is this useful? Has it recently been useful?” but only on more practical items. If something is practical, but it does not spark joy and is not useful, Kondo still suggests you get rid of it. If you need that item again, it will have enough value that you will be willing to re-purchase it in the future.
I think my favorite part of the book was where she discussed getting rid of books you bought, but have not read yet. I tend to hoard books, so her acknowledging that love but also reminding me that I would likely never read the books that had sat on my shelves for a year was quite helpful.
Kondo advocates for sticking to her process strictly, but I found I was able to use her principals and her techniques, while still making them comfortable for me, and still get amazing results. When I use something, I almost always immediately put it away now. My living room and office are filled with things I enjoy and value, rather than things I just keep around for no real reason. I’ve found that walking into a clean living room also helps my mind feel more open and free.
If you are looking for a book to help you get organized and stay organized, I would completely recommend “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. I’ve actually already offered to lend my copy to my mother and brother, that’s how much I’ve enjoyed it.