In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo teaches how to effectively tide up our places.
Why it matters?
Because a well organized, clutter-free place makes for a happy, clutter-free mind.
- There are 2 types of tidying up: the daily “discard & put things back in their place” and the big tidy upds
- Take everything out, keep only what makes you happy and discard all the rest
- Before thinking of where to store anything, first, consider to discard it
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up says the daily form of tidying up, such as returning all used items to their proper place, eliminate the need of a special day tidying up.
But most people don’t do the former, and the book focuses on the big tidying up day.
1. Discard First, Then Store
Before tidying up, you need to discard..
The correct order is this:
- Discard all you can discard
- Decide where to store only what you need to store
Too many people decide where to store without first considering whether they should discard stuff.
Kondo says that too many times when we put things away we dupe ourselves into believing we are “storing”. But most of that stuff we will never use and we’re kicking the snowball downhill.
That’s the recipe for an avalanche of clutter.
Instead, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recommends you ruthlessly discard before storing.
2. Do It At Once
If your clutter has been accumulating for a while, you can’t declutter little by little or you’ll never get to the end of it.
Marie Kondo proposes instead you set out all the time you need, as soon as you can, and do it all at once.
3. How To Tidy Up
- Start with clothing because it’s the easiest to part with
- Then books, papers, miscellaneous and finally any item of sentimental value
- Categorize: put everything on the floor
- Analyze each single item and keep only what sparks joy
- Discard all the rest
- Discard first, don’t start storing before you first finished discarding
I really loved the tip of “not downgrading” as I always do that mistake.
Downgrading means that you look at clothes that don’t spark any joy in you and tell yourself “alright, I’ll use this to wear around the house”. Or to do menial tasks.
Bad mindset: you should always and only wear things that make you feel good.
4. How To Store
Now that you’ve fixed your place, it’s time to think on how to keep it that way.
Kondo recommends you put all items you use the most in the easiest places to reach. That way, you maximize your efficiency and you make it easier on yourself to return it correctly once you need to store it away.
She recommends you don’t store things on top of each other because that makes it easier to store more than you actually need. Go vertical any time you can instead.
A Tidy Place Is a Happy Place
By keeping only what sparks joy in you, you will get a much cleaner, leaner and nicer place.
But most of all, you will make a happier place.
Real Life Applications
Don’t downgrade items
Don’t look at things and think you can use them in less than perfect occasions. Only keep what you need and what makes you happy.
Let go of sentimental
What meant a lot to you a long time ago was… A long time ago.
Let go of the past to embrace the future.
The author does have a few suggestions that might sound odd to many people. Things like talking to your possession or “letting your things breath”.
I believe The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up could have been briefer.
The yardstick of only keeping what gives you joy is simple yet genius at the same time.
Some great tips
There are some very very good tips here. Like starting with what’s easier to discard, which will help the most sentimental of people out there -or the worst hoarders such as myself-.
I have to admit it, I was chuckling at times as I realized I was reading about tidying up. And how seriously it took the whole concept.
But it is more important than most people think.
A neater house with only the things we love is also a place where we can work more efficiently. And where we can be happier.