The Life-Changing of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing of Tidying Up - Book Cover
By Marie Kondo

Why Read This Book?

The first time I heard about Marie Kondo was when my mother told me that she watched Netflix’s show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. The more I was watching the episodes, the more I wanted to tidy up my house by applying the ‘KonMari’ Method.

 

So I bought the book, watched some Youtube videos, and started the process of decluttering and re-organizing my house. This method is not only about how to tidy up to keep your house clean but to choose and keep the items that ‘spark joy in you’.

 
“A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life-transforming.”
 
Marie Kondo

This book can help you if:

 
  • You want to re-organize your house once and for all.

  • You want to move forward with your life.

  • You want to create a life-changing experience.

  • You want to feel freer, lighter, and happier in your life.

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Short Summary

In a nutshell: this book guides to understand why it is difficult for people to keep a house in order, how to choose what to keep and why it can be difficult to discard some items. Throughout the book, Kondo explains to you as well the whole idea behind her tidying method, why it works, and how you can apply it.

What is the ‘KonMari’ Method? It can be done in 5 steps:

1. Clothes

From your shoes to your bags, shirts, and socks, Kondo usually starts with clothes:

  • Make a big pile in one part of the house (on your bed for instance) of ALL the clothes you have, even the ones in the entrance or in the laundry basket.
  • Take one item after the other and ask yourself if it sparks joy within you. This step can get tricky quickly since we tend to keep clothes in case we will lose or gain weight, or because we are attached to it for instance.
  • Learn how to fold like Kondo. It will make your life much easier.
  • Re-organize your closet in a practical and simplified way.

2. Books

The second step is to gather all the books you have in the house and just as you did with your clothes. Take one book after the other and ask yourself if it sparks joy. The goal is to keep the books that you are certain you will read (forget the “I will read it one day”) or those that you cherish a lot.

3. Papers

Going through this step made my life much easier. I don’t know if you have the same where you live, but in France we LOVE papers. There is always the need to print something or send a paper by post. And I got so tired of it.

I used to keep piles of papers going from warranties to invoices, contracts, and letters. Today, I have one folder that contains the most important papers that I need (about 5 papers). I was able to throw away at least 3 bags of papers, and no I don’t miss and need them.

Through this step, Kondo helps you to objectively look at every types of paper, why you might need them or not, how you can get rid of them (my printer’s scan became my best friend), and how to organize them.

4. Miscellaneous

From your shampoos to your spatulas, plates, glasses, brushes, and electric items, this section covers a big step of the process. While going through the items in the house, I was amazed about how many things I kept “in case of something-that-will-probably-never-happen might still happen” or because someone offered it to me so therefore I felt like I almost had the duty to keep this item.

Well, by reading Kondo’s arguments, I got convinced quite easily and a lot of things were quickly standing next to the front door.

5. Mementos

Last step of your tidying process: discard, choose, and organize items that remind you of cherished moments with your friends and family. I don’t know if it’s the case for you, but while going through this process, I realized that I used to keep important souvenirs that had much meaning to me far away in a folder or box… Well, regarding the pictures, it was time to hang them on the wall!

Throughout this beautiful journey, you won’t only learn how to tidy and keep your house in order, but you will probably also learn about yourself, clear your mind, let go of your attachment to the past and be less scared of the future. One more thing: take the time to thank every item that you will discard, they all played a role in your life, and helped you in some way (yes, even the ones that you didn’t use).

Review

By reading this book, I radically improved my lifestyle and home:

  • I became more relaxed and healthier.

  • Some members of my family became inspired and started the process as well.

  • I cherish the items I keep much more.

  • I have a clearer picture of what I have.

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The Life-Changing of Tidying Up - Book Cover
By Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo (1984), also known as Konmari, is a Japanese author, TV show host, and organizing consultant. She has written four books on organizing, which have sold altogether millions of copies around the world. Her books have been translated from Japanse into different languages such as English, French, German, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, or Swedish among others.