The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has made me a believer. I walked past this book for about half a year like, “Nah, I don’t need to learn how to clean. I’ve got this.” I wish somebody told me what I was missing out on. Fortunately, I eventually checked the book out and now I’m here to tell you this: this book is about to change my life.
The book is best summed up by this quote: “Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order.” Marie Kondo’s book isn’t just about how to clean, even though she covers that plenty. It’s about how cleaning makes you think and feel. She makes a solid case that cleaning will help you stop procrastinating, become more decisive, let go of the past, and attain the life you envision. Sounds pretty lofty, huh?
I gotta admit, part of the book read like a sales pitch, albeit a very good one. Marie Kondo took every opportunity to remind you how happy her clients are. She includes success rates and testimonies for days so the average sucker starts thinking”wow sign me up.” I am the average sucker apparently because I fell for the pitch. The good news is, I already bought the book, so there’s not much else for me to buy, unless I’m going to hire her to fly from Japan and supervise my tidying marathon.
Whenever I mention this book to someone else who has read it, they tell me how much they love the love the idea of surrounding yourself only with things that “spark joy”. This either means they only read the first twenty pages, or they got out of it what I did. How dope would it be to look around your room and smile at everything you see? How dope would it be to say farewell to that dismal drop of the stomach that happens everytime you look in your packed closet and go, “I have nothing to wear!”
In terms of tips, she’s got plenty.
- Discard entirely before organizing.
- Keep only things that spark joy.
- Clean by category, not by room.
- Practice decision making on easy things like clothes, and work your way to difficult things like sentimental items.
- Let the magic begin.
The idea of discarding entirely before organizing frightens me. Do you know how much shit I’ve got? Do you know how long I’ll have to wait before I can visit the Container Store down the street? Sadness.
When Kondo advised readers to dump all their books on the floor and feel whether or not they should keep them, I went “Bish please. I need all my books and thus have no intentions of getting rid of a single one.” She got me back real quick though. “Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?” She tried to imply I didn’t truly love books. Challenge accepted.
What excites me most about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is the potential for clarity. The potential to become a better decision maker (I don’t really need all of the boxes for my Funko Pop figures), to get a sense of priorities (I really love this jacket), and the act of letting go (we had good times, but goodbye dress).
I should give this post a big asterisk, because I haven’t actually applied any of what I’ve learned. I’m a believer who has yet to see the lights, the magic. I’m gonna try to start tidying this weekend, though, so I’ll have to keep you all updated. Wish me luck!