By: Leah Prescott
I have mentioned before how much I strive (struggle?) to organize our home. I’ve read a few books on this topic and from each I have gleaned some helpful tidbits. When I heard about the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo I immediately got on the waiting list for a copy from the library. I was intrigued by the title as well as its overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon. It’s apparently very popular, so I had to wait over a month to read it on my Kindle.
I thought I would give a review with some of the main points of the book. I felt like this book had some great information, but could have been written much more concisely. Like most books in the genre, I take what I like and disregard the information that I don’t find valuable. Readers should be aware that Marie Kondo addresses inanimate objects as if they have feelings and even delves into reincarnation as a part of her philosophy. Although I disagree with these ideas fundamentally, I don’t mind reading about them. At the very least, I found it interesting from a social perspective.
Marie’s philosophy begins with decluttering on a massive scale; attacking one category at a time in a specific order. She advocates holding each item in hand and asking the question: “Does this bring me joy?” If you are searching for detailed organizational tips, this book probably doesn’t fit the bill. However, if you are seeking inspiration for a major life-change, this book will inspire you. I realized immediately that if I evaluated items by this criterion, the process of purging would be vastly simplified. At the same time, I am afraid I might be left with almost no clothing if I attacked my closet this way!
Another thing I loved about this book, is that Kondo teaches that tidying is a one-time event, rather than a lifetime pursuit. This resonates with me because I am so weary of the constant process of decluttering and reorganizing. According to the book, purging so ruthlessly allows the home to be filled only with loved and used objects. The happy result is a simplified life-style that calls for minimal cleaning. The home doesn’t have to be neatened because everything is naturally put away and the absence of clutter leaves a surplus of time and energy. Sounds good, right?
Perhaps the most important thing that I personally took away from reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is that keeping or discarding objects should not be guided by guilt. So often I find myself paralyzed by a guilty conscience. I feel guilty that I have purchased things that we didn’t need. I feel guilty that clutter and housework are piling up. And, I feel guilty that my time is sucked up by these often trivial objects. This book really shows how simplifying a household can lead to more freedom and less guilt. And I am all for that.
This spring, my family is gearing up for a big yard sale as a way of de-cluttering our home. I have already been preparing for this event for several weeks and intend to be much more ruthless about adding to the “yard sale pile” now that I have read this book. I’m looking forward to more breathing room and less housework as a result. If you want to have a yard sale, this is a great time of year to hold one!
My next blog post will include all my best yard sale tips and tricks, so stay tuned.