The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
by Marie Kondo
Random House, 2014
source: borrowed from the library
When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state. You can see any issues you have been avoiding and are forced to deal with them. From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change.
A tidy home will revolutionize your life, at least according to Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo. Her book offers a step-by-step approach (called KonMari) to declutter, pare down, and organize possessions until you are left only with items which "spark joy". She claims this is the basis for a simpler, happier existence.
My friends and family will tell you that I'm already a very organized person and my house is generally tidy. So why would I read this book? Because if you open my closets, cupboards, or drawers, a beast is lurking. I wanted to see if the KonMari method could help me tame that beast... beginning with my own closet.
According to Kondo, effective tidying involves two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. In addition, to tidy efficiently you must do it all at once, as quickly as possible, and nothing should be put away until the discarding is done.
Her basic ideas seem fundamentally sound and, to me, intuitive. She even offers subcategories, to be approached in a specific order, for those unable to tidy their closet in one fell swoop. There are also tips on how to fold and arrange items in a drawer. And all that is fine...
Until it gets to be a bit much. Talk to each of your possessions? Thank them for serving your needs? Be considerate of their feelings? Seriously?? That sounds a little crazy to me.
But I finished reading the book.
And then it was time to tackle my closet... in sections, not exactly in the prescribed order. I did consider the joy-inducing capabilities of each item individually. However, I did not speak directly to any article of clothing.
Three days (and six bags) later, my closet was a joy to behold.
On the fourth day, I went shopping!
The kitchen cabinets and my husband's closet (with his assistance, of course) are next on the agenda. We'll see about purging books after that.
Much of this book seems like common sense, some of it is certainly over-the-top, and I remain skeptical of any "life-changing" claims. Its primary value seems to be as inspiration and motivation... which was exactly what I needed.