As a part of my New Years Resolutions (and recent lifestyle changes) I have taken it upon myself to start reading more books in order to become a more educated individual (at least that is the goal!). My Mom recently brought to my attention a book titled The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I have always been an avid organizer and thought that I may as well read about this woman’s practice and learn about her methods. Now, I know many people are quick to call themselves “horrible organizers” or make excuses like “I’m too busy” or “everything just gets messy again”. However, Kondo argues that by tidying your life in one fell swoop, you can prevent your home/workplace from becoming messy again. I really love her approach to tidying, it is quite simple but effective.
- Tidy your entire space in a short period of time. This will prevent you from becoming frustrated by constantly having to start up again. If you create a space that is beautiful and full of things you love then you will not have to worry about keeping it tidy because it will naturally stay that way.
- Start tidying by category- not by area. For instance, start with your clothes- make sure to put together every clothing item you own in one place. When you have all the items of a certain category together it becomes easier to understand how much you have and also compare items.
- Hold each item in your hand and ask yourself “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is no then discard/donate the item. If the answer is yes then keep the item (later you will decide where to put it).
The book goes into more detail regarding these steps but by now you should understand the basic idea. What I love most about Kondo’s method is that she discusses the personal attachment and meaning behind items. She believes that if you have so many items in your home (clutter) that aren’t bringing you joy, then that will directly affect the rest of your life. When you are living in your ideal and tidy space, you will be able to feel more zen and positive about yourself and your future.
I have not finished the book yet, but decided to start implementing some of her tactics into my own life. Being a college student, I have been particularly frustrated with the amount of things I have acquired over the years and deciding what to do with all of it. At my parent’s home I keep most of the things I don’t use much and other items are in my dorm room back at school. It is hard having items in more than one location. I sometimes find myself at school saying, “I wish I wouldn’t have left that scarf at home.”
So I decided that I may as well start tidying up my clothing at home in order to grasp how many items I own. After spending about an hour going through clothing and jewelry I was shocked at how much stuff I no longer needed. By simply asking if items brought me joy, I found it easy to toss things aside. This is coming from a girl who holds on to numerous items just because of the sentimental value. By the end of my tidying I had created a nice pile of things to donate and my room was feeling more put together.
My most hated category to organize is jewelry mostly because it is so small and dainty and takes a lot of time to piece through everything. However, within an hour I was able to tackle my entire jewelry collection and determine what I still loved and what I needed to part with. After I put my kept jewelry back in my closet I stared at it for a few moments relieved. It felt so amazing to get rid of things that were simply taking up space in my closet. Now my closet only has things that make me truly happy and I am excited to wear.
I am eager to finish reading the book as it has already made an impact on my life. In the future I look forward to applying these techniques to my dorm room as well. I would recommend the book to anyone wanting to create a happy environment and life for themselves.
Worry less and smile more