The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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I ran into the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and thought, why not, it is spring cleaning season and it looked like a fun read. Little did I know that the book would change the way I live. Oh what fun!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese art of Decluttering and Organizing is such an easy book to read, the practical applications can be implemented the same day on some of the things she talks about. You will thoroughly enjoy it. Even if you are the tidiest person ever, there a still a few tips here and there that will change the way you organize your stuff. I know this because one of my best friends is the tidiest person on earth and even she sent me pictures of her sock/legging drawer just from a conversation we had about this book.

With the KonMari Method, this is what the author Marie Kondo named her tidying style, Marie wants you to dump everything in the middle of your room and tackle the clutter in one fell swoop. She wants you to sort through your belongings selecting items you really need, items you love and can’t do without and then everything else goes. Once you have whittled down your belongings to only the things you love, then you get to create a space for everything.

A space for everything and everything in its place.
— Benjamin Franklin

As harsh (rip the Band-Aid off style)as this sounds Marie adds a little twist to the mix, she asks you to thank your belongings for the time they spent with you, the pleasure they gave you and let them know it is time to move on. This actually makes getting rid of stuff a lot easier.

The book is full of easy to follow, and pedantically explained steps on exactly how to put your things away. Though the book is based on the style of a Japanese home, the tips are translatable to any kind of house.

Biggest Takeaways

Visualize what you want your home to look like. I am all about starting from the end in mind. You cannot get there if you cannot see yourself there. What do you what your home to look like at the end of this process?

Discard First. I am not a fan of moving things from one end of the room to another; this is one of the most frustrating things about not have a space for everything. KonMari Method emphases giving everything in your home its own place.

Designate a placed for each thing in your home and make sure you adhere to the designation. The simple thought of knowing exactly where things need to be makes keeping your home clutter free so much easier and sustainable for the long run.

Noise in Labels. Labeling your containers, Post It© Notes all over the place adds noise to your home. You may not realize it but your eyes catch a lot more than your brain processes and this kind of static noise can add to feelings of uneasy in your home. I love posting things around my place; I look at them like a collage, all those beautiful colors reminding me to do stuff. Being super visual, I need to see what I am thinking, so this one struck me really hard until I remembered how much better I feel when I remove my “Beautiful Mind” collage from the wall and feel the positive, fresh Chi flowing through my space. Now I make sure I keep my reminders in my phone or notebook and use the wall collages only to inspire me, and not as a reminder of my procrastination.

Words become static that fills the air. By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space more peaceful and comfortable.
— Marie Kondo

Greet your house. I love this. You already say, “Honey, I am home.” Regardless of if, you live with someone or by yourself (yes, you do,) but I love greeting my home and now I don’t feel so weird about it. The energy of my home has changed since I started acknowledging the work it is doing keeping my things and I safe. Marie, goes as far as to tell us to ask our homes for help with clearing out clutter. I tried this and my home responded; I got rid of three bags of stuff from my kitchen based on this one question.

Appreciate your possessions and gain strong allies. I loved this chapter because I am training myself to see things as energy that vibrates and I want things around me to vibrate on positive levels, so reading this was quite awesome. For example, she urges her clients to thank items they have used in the day, like hanging up your coat, you say, “Thank you for keeping me warm all day.” For accessories say, “Thank you for making me beautiful.” You get the gist.

Put your house in order and discover what you really want to do. Marie talks about how clearing out your home can help you see what you really love. Once the clutter is gone and you review the things you have chosen to keep, you get your revelation. When you see just how many things of a certain style, or books of a certain topic that you have in your home once the clutter is gone you know what you love. I actually experienced this with such vivid reality that it confirmed the trajectory of my life.

Esther Hicks also talks about clearing clutter to gain clarity, a truth that will only be revealed to you when the clutter is gone.

Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy. This principle makes clearing your space so much easier and really helps with Living as your Best Self. You can think as you clear, “Is this something my Best Self would have? Would my Best Self wear this? Is this something I would use if I were living as my Best Self?”

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

I have to say I love this book, I was never taught how to tidy, and I believe I would have loved getting that knowledge, with this book I feel I now have a cool Japanese aunt parting that knowledge to me. I love the practical steps in the book, if you get into it you really can get some life-changing effects, just ask my sock drawer.