I have just finished re-reading The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up- The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing for the last time before passing it onto a friend who is very keen to read about her popular tidying method. Marie Kondo is a mother of two, a decluttering and organizing consultant and author.
I wish I could say that I read it all the way through the first time, was really motivated and able to follow through with all of the recommendations, but sadly I didn’t. I lost interest and motivation somewhere along the way. That’s why It was a good excuse for me to re-read this book, and see how I felt about it second time around.
Reading it for the second time and at a later stage, I definitely feel more motivated to make some changes and I picked up on a few tips that I had forgotten all about the last time I read it. I have been reading various decluttering, Minimalism books and blogs for over a year now, but this book was one of the first decluttering type of books I had come across. Prior to reading this book for the second time, I had managed to go through basically every space/cupboard in our home, sort through it and get it to a point when it was much easier to manage, however there has been times more recently when the clutter again built up.
1.Why can’t I keep my house in order?
“If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set. This approach is the key to preventing rebound.
“If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after.
“Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things.”
- storage is not the answer to clutter.
- putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved
- tidy up/store by category instead of by location
- make tidying a special event, not a daily chore.
For me, this chapter made a whole lot of sense. In the past, I use to just tidy up a little at a time and room by room, not by category. I didn’t have a designated place for everything, and often found particular items (mostly toys, books, shoes for example) were being left pretty much, anywhere around the house, therefore, the clutter built up very easily. Things are much easier now. Having fewer items in the house and having a designated place for everything makes maintaining/cleaning the spaces so much easier.
2.Finish discarding first
‘The secret of success is to tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible, and to start by discarding”
- Tidy in the right order. Discarding comes first.
- Completely finish discarding first before moving on and putting your things away
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle -picture what it would like to live in a clutter-free space.
“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”
- take each item in one’s hand and ask ‘does it spark joy‘? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. Respect your belongings.
- The best sequence is this- clothes first, then books, papers, miscellaneous, then sentimental items. Starting with the easiest first and the hardest last.
The same idea as holding each item and asking myself if it sparks joy, my aim has been to only hold onto items in our home that are useful/practical and that I truly love. I also focus on choosing what I want to keep instead of what I want to get rid of which is a great change in mindset.
For me, my aim in our home, has been to create a space that is calming, peaceful, easier to clean and maintain for all. I don’t want to spend countless ongoing hours sorting through, organizing and then having to re-organizing over and over, so much stuff. Now that my children are almost four and six years of age, everyone is on board helping around the home, which makes things that little bit easier.
3.Tidying by category works like magic
“Putting your house in order is fun! The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”
“As you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying, you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you.”
This chapter discusses each tidying category in more detail and how to tackle it. It also talks about Marie Kondo’s popular ‘KonMari Method– vertical folding method and hot to apply it- the key being to fold things standing up rather than laid flat. She feels that folding clothes is the best way to save space. She also talks about how to arrange clothes to maintain neatness.
I don’t fold all of our clothes, leaving some items to hang on wooden coat hangers in the wardrobe, but I love how beautiful things such as clothes and items in the linen closet look when folded the KonMari way. I went through our wardrobe and linen closet a while ago and I think all of those items are in pretty good order and I have been able to maintain it so far. I have done a combination of the KonMari method as well as Project 333 Minimalist fashion challenge. You can see Marie Kondo’s folding technique by clicking on any of the above highlighted links to see her YouTube video tutorials which I found to be very helpful.
4.Storing your things to make your life shine
“Designate a place for each thing.” – a place for everything and everything in its place.”
- keep storage as simple as possible
- Clearly define storage spaces for each family member
- Never pile- vertical storage/stacking is the key
5.The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life
“When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past and a fear for the future.”
“In essence, tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in.”
I was going to touch base on this myself in more detail, but felt Jess explained it so well- KonMari with children in the home. We also started our decluttering journey as a family. I didn’t feel comfortable tackling anyone else’s things without their input and permission first.
Have you read this book? Did you find it helpful? Have you read her other book Spark Joy? I haven’t. Feel free to share your opinions.