The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo isn’t a recently published book, but it seems to have taken the U.S. by storm. I had read this book earlier this year while searching for a book on how to declutter for the move. The irony of buying a book to declutter is blatant, I know—but I did get it as a digital audio book, which kinda helps.
The main idea of this book is to get rid of whatever doesn’t bring you joy. This may sound hokey, but it does make sense. Why keep anything that doesn’t bring you some happiness? (Unless it’s to survive of course…don’t get rid of medicines just because you hate taking them.) You collect everything in one category at a time and pile it on the floor. Once everything is there, you pick up each thing and ask yourself if it brings you joy.
This does take a while, but it really helps. Don’t hold onto something because it was a gift, or was passed down and collected, or for any other reason if it does nothing for you. Too many things that don’t bring you joy can wear you down. You need to have freedom from your belongings.
This was a huge eye opener for me. I had collected a lot of things over my life mainly from high school and college, and I had taken a lot of things from my grandparent’s house before they moved to Texas. Okay, honestly, I took about a quarter of their things. Everything just sat there, never being used, taking up space, but I felt guilty for even thinking about giving them away.
My family didn’t want to burden me. They didn’t make me take these things, they just said, “take whatever you want, we’re leaving.” And they left their entire house still completely filled pretty much. I took things because I felt I needed to, but I didn’t need to. This book helped me realize that.
In the end, realizing my grandparent’s had no intention of burdening me, I was able to keep what did bring me joy, and give away what didn’t. I felt a huge sense of relief afterwards and I don’t regret it. I still have my grandmother’s kimonos and my grandpa’s sword as well as a few other things.
The way Marie Kondo stores her clothes in drawers was also lovely. You fold your clothes so that it can stand up. You are then able to see all your items when you open your drawers and things aren’t forgotten about.
As soon as everything gets unpacked, I’ll be managing my clothes the Marie Kondo way!
I quite enjoyed the book and her practices. It’s a small book with great concepts. The one issue I had with the book was throwing stuff away in the garbage. The majority of it can be given away or recycled, and that’s what I did with my own things. I just hate the idea of perfectly good items being tossed into a landfill just because it no longer has a place in the owner’s home.
I was able to get rid of about half of our things, giving it to friends and family or charity. This helped with the move A LOT. After everything had been in storage for a month, I’ve also realized what is necessary and what isn’t. I’m able to get rid of even more as I unpack. Having moved to a smaller place, this helps a ton.
Overall, I recommend this book. I enjoyed it and found it helpful. The book is short and to the point, so there’s no real excuse in not reading it if you want to declutter. 🙂