Tidying into the New Year
"In this book I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever."
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up isn't a read I'd normally gravitate to. Not much of a self-help reader, I gave Kondo a try on a sheer whim. Typically resistant to being given advice I didn't seek, I went into the text skeptical, but I came out the other side as a willing participant.
I'd only ever thought of tidying and cleaning up after myself as some kind of necessary consequence of existence that was inescapable, much like bleeding when you fall, or crying if you've been hurt: in general, shitty, but a necessary risk and consequence of living. But Kondo preaches a different, more attractive tune.
Armed with the knowledge spurred from life-long research and practice in organizing and decluttering, Kondo approaches your home as a sacred space - a sanctuary that should comfort you, and bring you joy. Her claim at the start of her book that she can help you organize your space in a way that is life changing is seemingly far-fetched, but actually far more achievable than you might think. Kondo provides simple, elegant, straight-forward solutions to clutter and disorganization that don't require spending money or having to build or create extra storage. Below is a summary of what I took away the most:
1. Clean by category, not location
Kondo tells us that purging by category, such as clothes, books, makeup, etc., is more efficient because these items aren't typically relugated to one location of the house. For example, I have clothes in my master bedroom closest, the hallway closet, and some boxed in the garage for winter. If I'd sorted by location and just gone through my closet to purge clothes, I'd inevitably miss something, because I wouldn't be thinking beyond that space, thus creating more work for later, and possible frustrations at having to repeat purging something you'd thought you'd finished.
2. Take all of the shelf or hanger and put it on the floor
Despite the added effort and additional mess, Kondo argues that this step is a necessary one. She states that we must take the time to hold each item and consider it individually to fully know whether or not to keep or discard it.
3. Does it bring you joy?
After you've got your categorical pile of what-have-yous, Kondo says you should ask each item, "does this bring me joy?" if the answer is no, get rid of it, if the answer is yes, keep it. What could be simpler?
Stay tuned tomorrow for a special deep dive into my closet to see how my use of the Marie Kondo method worked!