Book Review · Writing

Review: The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up

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.

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Who knew that cute containers could spark joy?

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.

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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.

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Writing

My Writing Space

I always find it fascinating to see how other writers and creators organize their spaces.  Organization has been sort of a thing for me lately, as I’ve been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  This is probably the best my desk/office had looked in years, so keep that mind.  When I’m in the midst of writing a story or working on a project, it is often covered with papers, pens, my bullet journal and planner.

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I keep two calendars on my wall as well, I happen to be a very visual person, so having several places to see deadlines and plans is helpful to me.  One calendar is just to keep my blogs planned out for the month.  I don’t always stick to this calendar, but It helps me keep track of which blogs I have written and which ones I still need to write.  The template I use for blog planning is here, and I really love it.

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Along with my calendars, I keep a lot of art and inspirational quotes above my desks.  I also have a few notes about writing, so that they are easily accessible when I need them, though you can’t see them in the picture above (they are off to the side).  A lot of the art is from the lovely and talented Vylla, but I also have pieces from Kate Leth and Becky Cloonan.  The quote on the right side about “Failing Better” is one of my favorites, and something my best friend and I often remind each other of.

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The bookcase next to my desk holds some of my most prized knick-knacks, including my Funko Pop dolls.  I’m not a huge collector, but I have 4 Black Widow dolls, two Peggy Carters, a Sharon Carter and a Cap doll.  The book displayed on the shelf is a version of Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” Speech.  It was actually the first book by Gaiman I ever owned, I was a fan of his writing advice for awhile before I fell in love with his stories.

The bookcase also is home to all my errant papers, books and notebooks.  I mostly try to keep writing books that I really like, or ones that have given me good advice in the past.  There is also a very cute tentacle kitty on the top shelf, who I got at Denver Comic Con.

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I have a lot of new organizers on my desk, most of which I got at Joann when they had them %60 off.  I’m a fan of the color pink, so the pops of color are kind of fun to me since my desk is black.  The Star Wars coloring book was actually a gift from my husband this year, for my birthday.  In that back organizer I keep the coloring book, my Erin Condren planner, my bullet journal (not pictured), my sticker booklet, bookmark and blue sticky stuff.  I’m a huge fan of the blue sticky stuff because my walls change a lot and it doesn’t leave a residue.

So there you have it.  That is what my space looks like.  Feel free to share a picture of yours in the comments!  I always love to see how other writers/creators organize their space.