The KonMari Method of Tidying: Now Updated for Real People

Recently, based on reader feedback, Marie Kondo published a revised and updated version of the bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that better reflects people’s real-world experience. Here are some notable excerpts from the revised version:

Page 5: Tidying by Category

It is tempting to tidy room by room, but to be more efficient it is important to consider the seven categories of possessions that you own and to finish one category before beginning the next. The seven categories of items in your home are:

  • Styrofoam packing peanuts.
  • Clothing that you think might someday be ironic enough to wear to a Halloween party.
  • Cookbooks from that one month you tried going vegan.
  • Subpoenas.
  • Gifts from your in-laws that are so inappropriate you aren’t sure if they were a joke, but you’re afraid to discard just in case.
  • TV remote controls.
  • Cat hair.

Page 19: The Tidying Process

As you begin to tidy, take each item into your hands and ask the following questions:

“Does this item spark joy?”

“Is there a .0000001% chance that I might use this item at any point in the future because YOU NEVER KNOW!?!”

“Could a spider have laid eggs inside this item, like in that video I saw on YouTube, and just in case shouldn’t I leave it on the shelf and never touch it again?”

“Would this release toxic fumes if I burned it in the fireplace? I mean, how toxic?”

“Wouldn’t it be more convenient just to leave this item at the top of the stairs until after I die so my next-of-kin can deal with it?”

“Is this why they canceled my credit cards?”

Page 51: On Folding Clothes

Do not fold your socks inside one another, as that blocks the natural life force and energy that flows between them. Instead, gently fold socks together in a peaceful union of togetherness.

That was fun the first time. For the rest of the year, continue to leave your clothes stuffed higgledy-piggledy in a giant laundry basket where they can express their true nature by having nasty all-week wardrobe orgies like God intended.

Page 89: Important Papers

It is common for people to keep unnecessary documents for much longer than required. For example, the statute of limitations after someone is declared legally dead is seven years, so use that as a guideline for when to discard the papers relating to your missing husbands.

Page 102: Gifts

We are tempted to hang onto gifts for sentimental reasons, but the true purpose of a gift is to be given. Once the gift is received it has fulfilled its destiny and can be released to others. In the future, ask your friends to just sell your gifts directly on eBay and send you the money, saving you the hassle of doing it yourself.

Page 111: The Kitchen

The kitchen is a place that holds great emotional weight in people’s hearts. It is a place where families gather and nourishing meals are created for loved ones. This in no way explains why you own a Salad Shooter, because, let’s face it, the odds of you eating a salad are infinitesimally smaller than you eating the 14 boxes of Little Debbie Snack Cakes that are currently blocking access to the cupboard over your refrigerator. Still, if owning a Salad Shooter brings you joy, why not hang onto it. I mean, it’s still in the original box from when you bought it one night during a late-night QVC binge, so it’s not like it’s taking up a bunch of space in that drawer with all the Disney-themed cookie cutters and frosting spatulas.

Page 117: Books

You are never going to read Anna Karenina. Stop kidding yourself.

Page 121: Sentimental Items

While it is true that you no longer own a CD player, there will be a time in the future when CDs are a vintage collector’s item. Do you really want to be that yutz who gives away their entire REO Speedwagon library, only to realize that within 80–90 years you might be sitting on a gold mine? Besides, then you’d have to place your Dell monitor on something else to adjust it to the right height. Hang onto the CDs. And heck, those VHS tapes of Barney Miller underneath the potted cactus, too.

Page 134: Your Closet

Just because these pants don’t fit today doesn’t mean they won’t fit another day. I mean, they say the walls of your house can shift by as many as two inches between summer and winter due to the changing temperature, and that’s a freaking house made of solid wood and stuff. Damn straight your body’s going to fluctuate by a lot more than two inches between summer and winter, especially because you moved the Little Debbie Snack Cakes onto your bedside table so you could put the Salad Shooter in the cupboard over the refrigerator. Remember, pants get moody and distant if not folded properly.

Page 177: Staying Tidy For Life

Your initial tidying may take some time, but in the future it will take far less effort to keep your home neat and clean. Setting a regular schedule for tidying can help make this a habit you do on a consistent basis. Most people do a “brush up” tidying every 17 or so years.

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