So what makes ‘the life-changing magic of tidying up’ so special? I honestly have never read any other books on tidying so I don’t know what to tell you is different.
One thing that I could imagine would be different is that this book is not one filled with organizing tips you might find in the Good Housekeeping magazine or on Pinterest or storage solutions you’d see displayed at Home Depot.
Marie Kondo takes you on a journey of getting rid of stuff FIRST and then tidying. (As in, half her book is on getting rid of) Her only criteria for getting rid of is simple. Hold each piece in your hand and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” Hold each shirt. Each sock. Each book. Does it spark joy? Does it make your eyes light up? Your blood flow a little faster? If not, get it out of your house. Throw it in the garbage or donate it to Charity or Good Will.
Once you weed out all the things that don’t spark joy, you will be surrounded by the things you love. Less clutter will be in your home. As for tidying she gives a few suggestions, several I’ll share with you later.
I was so excited to go through my clothes. After pregnancy, when I pulled out my normal clothes they felt so dingy and second-hand-ish and very, very used. To say that I disliked my clothes would be an understatement.
Kondo’s theory is to get rid of stuff starting with clothes, then books, and so on, lastly ending with special mementos. After I read about clothes. I put the book down and could barely live until Monday to attack my dresser and closet.
The picture text messaged of a banana box overflowing with clothes freaked my husband out which in turn made me question my get rid of pile. So the box stayed right where I put it for 3 days. On the second day I went through it and salvaged a few things (don’t tell Marie, it’s a no-no) and then on the third day before I left it for charity, I grabbed a couple more things.
And then I tidied my drawers and closet. She mentions rolling your clothes – sorta folding in such a way so you can stack in your drawer. This way you can see all your shirts at one glance when you pull open your drawer. Bam.
My sweater and purses all fit in my dresser now. I have more space than before. When I open my shirt/sweater drawer I can see all my options. I’m not ignoring some poor hopeless top shoved into the bottom back corner. I can see all my clothe and for the most part, I like them.
I did this to my drawers and Jason’s now. I like this method and think the habit will stick.
I felt the book gave me permission to finally get rid of those things I do not wear and haven’t gotten around to selling. I’ve had these boots that were in bad shape since I was in my teens that I couldn’t get rid of. I guess I thought I’d wear them around the house? I think I wore them once in the past 10 year and that was to ride horse.
I threw out free-be boots and old flip-flops that needed gluing– again. Why do we keep things like that? They just pile up looking older than old and we tell ourselves ‘I could still fix them’ or ‘I’ll wear it around the house’ and we never do. And there they sit collecting dust. Taking up space.
She talked about that in the book. The things we tell ourselves. The reasons we hold on to things. I finally was able to look at those boots and say sayonara! After you get rid of it, you won’t miss it.
Maybe it was because they didn’t spark joy either… (I’m joking– sorta)
If I’m keeping something for the memories that object brings but it’s stashed away in my drawer where I never see it then it’s not doing a good job as a memento, right? (her theory). This area is hard for me to get rid of because maybe I don’t want to display the object but neither do I want to get rid of it.
Obviously, I didn’t follow her book 100%. There are some things, well, actually a bunch that I just can’t come to grips with to get rid of that I hardly ever use. Either me or Jason spent money on them and/or still like it even if it’s hardly ever used. It feels wasteful to get rid of so much stuff. I was mostly interested in the clothing aspect of tidying up and I feel like in that area she served me well.
After getting rid of clothes did I need to go out and buy more, new clothes? Actually no! At least not yet – (it’s been two weeks). I’m having fun being acquainted with all my clothes right now. Since I went through them and had to decide if they spark me joy, I feel more grateful for what I already have. The only thing I bought since the magic happened was shoes to replace a pair with holes in them.
My Big Take Aways:
1. Placing your things so you can see them all at once. After I did our drawers I did my towels next. I’m planing to do the extra sheets and blankets as well. Hopefully they will store and stack better. And I’ll be able to see everything and know my inventory.
2. She talks about putting items that are the same together. Like putting all the books in the same place instead of scattered throughout the house. Putting hair stuff together instead of a couple different drawers etc. I hope to try this with my blankets and sheets. I like this and try to keep it in mind as I go about my day.
3. This is my favorite — Being grateful for what you have. After you get rid of and tidy, be grateful for the things you kept. Appreciate your stuff. This runs along the popular minimalist vein of today. Be a minimalist and enjoy life. The entire last section of her book is based on this. Loved it!
Having gratitude for your clothes will cause you to take care of them. They might hold up better. She even goes so far as to verbalize a thank you to her purse or bag after she used it that day. She thanks her shoes and socks too. And it tickled my funny bone that she even thanks her house for still being there after she comes home from work. Quirky? Yes. But I love the theory behind it. Rich gratefulness.
So, in conclusion Marie Kondo gave me lots of good things to think about when it comes to why I am holding on to some of the things I’ve kept throughout the years. Our house is small and we don’t have tons of stuff but the what we do just seems to keep piling up. I’m sure it will only thicken after each child – like I’m finding out already. I want to keep what matters and be able to let go when necessary.
I want to also be appreciative of what I do have. I want to be grateful for my stuff and treat it like I’m glad I own it. I want to teach gratefulness to my kiddos. I want to learn to buy what I really like and have only what I need.