Take-aways from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
This book has quickly become an international phenomenon, and it seems like EVERYONE is talking about it. For those who haven’t heard of it, this impactful book is all about organizing and simplifying your life by tidying up your home. I decided to test Marie Kondo’s revolutionary decluttering method for myself.
Her decluttering method (called the Konmarie method) revolves around one simple principle: JOY.
I’ll admit that, at first, organizing based on “joy” sounded as hokey as the word “tidying” sounded old-fashioned. Kondo instructs her readers to pick up all their possessions, touch them, and hold them to determine if they bring you joy. If the item brings you joy, keep it. If not, thank it and discard it. Weird right? It was weird in the beginning, but then I started getting more into it. Memories and feelings are brought on from this tactile interaction, and it becomes very clear what brings you joy. If you hesitate or find yourself trying to justify something, odds are you should be discarding it.
Kondo insists that you discard everything that doesn’t bring you joy. Yes, everything means EVERYTHING. She instructs practitioners to thank possessions for their service and then discard them. Their job is done, and you can move on without guilt.
So, a clutter free house sounds great, but how is this life-changing? Once you’ve removed everything from your home that doesn’t bring you joy (take them to oh, I don’t know, Revive maybe…) you will have more than just a clean house. You’ll be more aware of what really matters to you. That’s what I love about this book. Kondo explains that once your house is in order you’ll be able to discover what you really want to do. She gives the example of a client who was very disillusioned with her job. After getting rid of everything that didn’t bring her joy, she realized she had gotten rid of everything pertaining to her current job. What was left were books about social welfare that she’d had since high school. She realized this was where her true passions lay, and she quit her job to focus on that. Essentially, a decluttered space will bring clarity in more aspects than just your home. And that is life-changing.
Another life-changing observation from Kondo is that “life becomes far easier once you know that things will still work out even if you are lacking something”. This idea really registered with me. Lately, minimalism has been a trend (think capsule wardrobes and tiny houses), and I’m happy to see it resurface. “Need” and “want” are two completely different things, and we have a tendency to forget that.
Kondo swears that putting your house in order makes you appreciate your belongings more, and she says that you find out what you really need by getting rid of what you don’t. I certainly found this to be true.
We hold onto things out of fear of being wasteful, but holding onto things we don’t need adds weight to our lives.
Yes, okay, I drank ALL of the Marie Kondo kool-aid, but this method of housekeeping is truly liberating. I promise you that I do not miss any of the things that I have donated or thrown away. Pick one room in your house and try it out for yourself! Just remember, in the words of Elsa from “Frozen”, if it doesn’t bring you joy, LET IT GO.