The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Posted January 1, 2016 in Self-Insight, What We're Reading

Written by: Marie Kondo
Review by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, consultant Marie Kondo takes you through a step-by-step way to simplify your life and get more enjoyment out of your possessions. The KonMari method (a play on the author’s name), provides a systematic way to declutter and then organize your home or work space.

The promise is this: if you declutter and organize once, you’ll never have to do it again. Provide everything in your home with a place and always return it to that place when you’ve finished using it.

The KonMari approach is exacting and the book strongly recommends that you follow each step in the correct order starting with your clothing and ending with your mementos and sentimental objects. She also recommends a one day purge rather than a room-by-room drawn out affair. At the centre of the philosophy of her approach is the premise that if the object doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.

The Bottom-line: As a Myers Briggs ‘P’, I have been cursed with an inability to keep anything tidy for very long. Over the holidays, my house was feeling beyond claustrophobic and my immediate reaction was to pack up and move. Fortunately, a friend recommended Mari Kondo’s book – which was a much cheaper option. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book.

The idea that if something doesn’t bring you joy, thank it for its service and send it on its way, made it so much easier to let go of things I’d been hoarding for years. You start with your clothes, move on to books, then to assorted household items, papers and finally photographs and mementos. Her method is very specific. With each category you take absolutely everything in your house that falls into that category, place it on the floor and pick it up one item at a time.

As you hold each item in your hand you ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Over 4 days, I purged every room of our home and don’t even get me started about the joy I now get in folding clothes!

One month later, we’ve still maintained it (although I do have to nag my 12 year old to hang up her coat!). Our house feels airier and I feel less stressed a result. There are several videos online that show you how to follow her method so you can really get the folding and tidying art down to a science. My clothing drawers have never looked better!

Roundtable Rating: highly recommended for anyone with a desire to simplify their lives.


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