3 Lessons From The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
On New Year’s Day, my older sister sent me a text about a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Both of us are not naturally tidy people (despite good intentions), and so I have to admit when she messaged me about it I didn’t have high hopes.
But it was New Years, I had free holiday time and tidying up wasn’t a resolution that emotionally hurt as much as ‘stop eating raw cookie dough’, so I sat down with the book resolved to clean the next day.
In its simplest form, the KonMari method can be broken down to two parts: sort through everything you own by category, asking yourself if the object sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank the object for the purpose it has served in your life and discard it. Secondly, assign a place for everything you decide to keep that will make it easily accessible and visible. By tidying everything in one go, Kondo says you won’t ever have to do a big clean out again. I was sceptical, but after six weeks of effortlessly tidy bliss, I feel like I should be getting awarded Hoarders Anonymous chips.
This is what will happen when you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
1. You’ll find it easier to ruthlessly throw things away without guilt.
Through this process I had to revisit old journals, first time Valentine’s Day presents, gifts from friends and family that had never really been used…all things that the sentimental hoarder inside me loved and didn’t want to part with.
Before learning the KonMari method, I wouldn’t have thrown these things out because I felt too guilty/ungrateful/silly tossing something that functioned well or was brand new. However, Kondo teaches you to thank each item for the purpose it has served. Although this can feel super corny, it somehow eliminates those negative feelings.
Also, aren’t those functional/new things you will never use better off donated anyway? After culling, I felt none of the panic I was expecting despite throwing out more than half of my belongings — just pure relief.
2. You’ll feel better getting dressed every day.
Some people in the fashion industry are all about paring down their wardrobes to just a few essential pieces that they know will always suit, are of a high quality and fit perfectly. This method of discarding is in the same vein, although not as strict with numbers and allows you to also keep the daggy old favourites along with the best and most flattering.
When you keep only the clothes that spark joy, bad clothing days are gone! All you’re left with are clothes that feel comfortable and look great.
3. You’ll be more creative, more efficient, and happier.
When my room is messy, I retreat into hiding and would prefer to watch Netflix than pump out anything creative. However, in the last six weeks I have written more than ever before and genuinely feel more inspired and energised when I sit down at my desk. In the book, Kondo reports that many of her clients have experiences similar to this — some have even had dramatic career changes as a result of freely clarifying what’s important in their lives.
Deciding which objects to keep and which to throw away strengthens your decision-making muscle. Not only will you end up finding it easier to make choices about your stuff, you’ll soon find yourself more confident making decisions in other areas too: friends you want to stay close with, how to spend your time.
When you’re surrounded by only what you love, you can’t help but feel more joyful.