The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing*. This book for me, was one of those books ‘you cannot put down’. You want to eat and digest it all in one sitting.
I love the way Marie Kondo approaches tidying up. It is a pleasure to learn something from someone who has a real passion for their topic. Marie has spent most of her life thinking about how to tidy up and this enthusiasm and passion came through in her writing.
Before I go on and tell you some my favourite points of this book I just want to say I am not a tidier. I always had the messy room growing up; in-deed being messy was one of the things an ex-boyfriends mum remembers me for (or so she told me upon bumping into her years after we broke up!). I would love to have excuses (busy etc) but in all honesty I didn’t see the point, why waste so much time and effort? However I have recently got to the point where I would love to have people over and not feel like I have to run around like a mad woman before they arrive.
Also, having kids can change your perspective on life. I started to see how not only the kids were messy but they had developed a complete disrespect for their belongings (and mine). The apple didn’t fall that far from the tree.
I picked up this book because I thought there would be some magical solution about how to clean with less effort, but what I found was what I was looking for – I just didn’t know it at the time.
Marie Kondo talks about having a clear space is ultimately about being happy. Clear spaces, clear head – more space to just be happy! As she puts it “the whole point in both discarding and keeping things is to be happy. It may seem obvious, but it is important to experience this realisation for yourself and let it sink into your heart”. Having clear spaces is the product of not pushing and doing something you hate but it is more about mind-set rather than what you physically do. Although I had thought that tidying would require time and effort, I realised after putting her method into action that being tidy actually created more energy!
“Success is 90% dependant on our mind-set” – Marie Kondo
I cannot agree with this quote more. I had labelled myself (or perhaps believed labels other people had put on me) as a messy person. When I did put her method into action I realised that I loved the feeling of everything having their place and the joy it brings to walk into a clear space. I realised that I am or could be a tidy person.
In fact in the few short weeks since reading this book I take pride in the small things such as tidy knickers draw and kids draws, I take pride in walking back into the kitchen with its clear bench tops.
My mind-set has changed and the joy it brings is unexplainable. I still have a few areas to go within the house but I am really looking forward to getting time to go through and de-cluttering those areas (which by the way is a huge mind-set change for me!).
“..a person’s awareness of and perspective on his or her own lifestyle is far more important than any skill at sorting or storing or whatever” – Marie Kondo
My light-bulb moments
I would recommend everyone read this book, as you may get different light bulb moments that are more appropriate for youf. However I will share with you my light bulb moments, because it has not only affected the space in our home but my inner joy.
When going through clothes, pick each item up and instead of thinking how much you spent on it or who gave it to, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?”, giving the rest to charity for someone else to love. When I read this I thought oh yeah OK, but going through each item I really got-it, I felt which items I really loved. I was easily able to part with those clothes that I only wear once or twice a year but take up too much room in my closet and draws. I have no regrets and feel very excited each morning when I am deciding what to wear as everything in my draws and closet sparks joy. I also have found myself wearing clothes out of shear enjoyment rather than deciding based on what I think is expected of me.
‘Clutter is failing to return things to where they belong” Marie Kondo.
I always had my oil beside the stove. It was easier to get it from and I wasn’t particularly caring about how it looked. However I created a space for the oil in a cupboard not too far from the stove and I have been surprised by how easy it is to put away but also how amazing clear surfaces look! The kitchen has been a huge area where I re-organised it so I had a place for everything. Even my kitchen appliances have a space to be put away and I have clear spaces on all kitchen tops. It is awesome the feeling I get from having these clear spaces. Also I noticed that when Ben cleans up he is much more tidier than normal. I think because there is an expectation of having a clear bench he does it, before it was OK in his mind to have things left out because the kitchen tops were never clutter free. AMAZING!
Whoa! This one is a revolution for me. Pre-reading this book I could never figure out how people kept draws tidy – especially when they have kids who seem to want the clothes at the bottom of the pile so start picking every item out until they find the one they wanted, or found it was actually in the wash – which left them with all their clothes unfolded and still not with the item they wanted.
In the past my routine went like this:
Marie Kondo has a way of folding clothes that has revolutionised my draws. It makes so much more sense on hindsight–
especially for children … and husbands who want something specific but does not know where in the pile it is. You will have to read the book to get a description or go to her YouTube pages to take a squiz.
These are what my children’s draws looks like now. A magical thing happened. When they get changed because they can see all of their clothes they pick the item they want with no disturbance to the rest of the clothes. My draws are a lot easier to keep organised as well.
Oh, and there are crease marks in the clothes as well!
All in all this a must have book for anyone that aspires to have a clearer home, more pride in their living space or even just a feeling of joy as they walk through their front door. The energy of your home, de-cluttered, clear spaces or whatever you want to call it really helps to have a clearer mind.
I personally feel more relaxed and not thinking I should do that, I should this because everything has it’s space. Everything I have – I appreciate.
The title of the book is really what is says – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Buy* this book to experience it.
For more information on Marie Kondo go here.
* If you go to amazon and buy this book through the link I provide then I do earn a small commission. No worries if you don’t want to do that, just open amazon in another browser – I wont’ get a commission but you will get a lot out of it!