How Marie Kondo’s Book is Tidying My Life
Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for checking out my review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. You wouldn’t believe the wait on this title from the library. Everyone seems to want to de-clutter their lives. I can’t say as I blame them, either. It’s imminently clear that Anthony and I own way too much stuff. We knew we would each have to downsize to both fit under one roof, but I don’t think either of us anticipated the volume we’ve each accumulated independently.
Cue Marie Kondo’s book. My mom suggested I read it ages ago, when I moved into my own place a few years back. Since then, a few friends have read it and mused about how the concept of tidying up had always eluded them until now. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read a book about organization, so I put my name in at the library and waited my turn. I had no idea what changes awaited me when Anthony picked it up on his way home from work. Let me tell you, this book could not have arrived at a better time.
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Visible Mess Distracts Us
When I read these words in Marie’s book, I couldn’t believe how the truth spoke to me! One of my biggest frustrations moving down here includes the amount of stuff that always seems to be caving in on me. The visual mess keeps me from fulfilling my potential on a daily basis because when I go to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, I am derailed for 20 minutes by the dishes that need to be washed and the stuff on the dining room table that never seems to have a home. It bothers Anthony, too. He finds it difficult to work in his office on his hobbies after work because he’s overwhelmed by everything we have to do (and everything that’s everywhere). We needed a change.
So, We’re taking the plunge.
We scheduled our first “Discard Celebration” on Sunday morning. Marie insists on calling it a celebration, rather than torture, and I can see why. The concept of thanking my clothes, my worn out pots and pans, and everything in excess that I own for the role they played in my life admittedly seemed a little cooky to me at first. Still, I pushed myself onward. I needed to find a way to control the chaos or my need to organize would cause me to implode. Then, she hit it the nail on the head again.
Start with Your Ideal
I consider myself to be pretty in tune with my inner voices. I have no trouble visualizing the life that I want, but when I read this book, I realized my view on “ridding out” was all wrong. Marie teaches her students to be very intentional about deciding what to keep, bringing the focus away from what you’re throwing away. She says to “imagine what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space–in concrete terms so you can vividly picture what it would be like. Describe what you’ll do when you come home, what the space looks like and how that makes you feel.”
Whoah. Has she blown your mind yet? So, I imagined doing yoga every morning when I woke up. I imagined sniffing my hot cup of coffee while I sat at a beautiful desk that I made, amid trinkets, journals, and pens that I love and that inspire me as I write. I imagined eating dinner at our dining room table every night and discussing our days, plans for the weekend, or our next house project. Invigorated by this image, I read on.
Choose What You Want to Keep
This is where I always went wrong before. I hunted through boxes, searching for what to purge and finding it difficult to pinpoint anything. The thing is, I wasn’t looking all that hard. Marie insists her clients handle every physical thing they own. She implores them to ask themselves “Does this spark joy?” while holding it. You keep only what inspires a resounding, “Yes!” This is her only qualification for what to keep and what to throw away. In her book, she goes through all the usual excuses, like “I can still use it” and “Someone gave it to me.” Let me tell you, if clutter has an arch nemesis, her name is Marie Kondo. She takes everything into consideration during the “discard” phase. She even explains the order she suggests works because you begin with the easiest decisions.
Clothing is easy. You know right away whether you love wearing it or not. Mementos and things with sentimental value are, however, vastly more difficult. Her process prepares you to make conscious decisions, always keeping your own joy in mind. As someone who works diligently on creating the life she wants, I resonated with that fact more than anything else. Why would I own things that don’t spark joy? Why would I clutter my life with things that bring me down?
Answer Please, Alex.
I’m cluttering my life because I’m afraid of my own potential. I know it seems like a strange thing to be afraid of, but that’s my truth. I packed up my entire life, left a career in education, and now rely on the one thing that has always given me joy. Writing. I know writer’s out there will understand. Standing on your writing alone is the scariest predicament you can put yourself in. Standing on your passion is the greatest gift you can give yourself, but having the courage to take the step is an entirely different story.
What’s your truth? What is it that you’re afraid of?
If you enjoyed this post about how Marie Kondo’s book,The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is helping me change my life, I highly suggest you read it. If some of the things I talked about resonate with you, subscribe to my blog in the side bar or below.
Thanks for reading! As always–
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