I started hearing about this book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, from various sources and my interest was peaked. What could possibly be so life-changing about tidying up? I was skeptical, but after hearing about it from so many people, I decided to pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble this weekend. I am about 3/4 of the way done with reading it, but I've already started my decluttering.
She explains her history in detail, and how she came to finally develop the KonMari method of tidying. I'll admit, some of the things in the book are a bit over the top for me, such as thanking inanimate objects for a job well done, but I get the idea behind it. For me, I'm not going to be talking to my stuff, but it has made me think about things differently. I am more mindful. I am thankful that my clothes protect my body. If you don't think that clothes have that big of a job, you haven't watched Naked and Afraid. And really, if I'm not thankful for something, why am I spending my precious time caring for it (picking it up, putting it away, maintaining it, cleaning it, thinking about it, etc.)
I think that has been the biggest revelation of this book. That most of us have WAY too much stuff, and we can't possibly care about all of it, yet we allow it to take up our space, our time, and our mind.
I've started following her method, and already my house feels a lot different.
Yes, it is a lot of work.
No, it is not like any decluttering you've ever done.
Her method is different, in that it doesn't ask you to do it gradually, or by room, etc. You go by category, and you save the memento category for last, because it is the hardest. By the time you get to the memento category, you should be good at her method, and ready to part with things that no longer bring you joy or what she calls a "thrill of pleasure".
This has been pretty eye-opening. Say you received a gift two years ago from a loved one. You didn't like or couldn't use the gift for whatever reason, but you've saved it all this time. It has probably even bothered you that you have it, yet haven't been able to use it.
It actually brings you guilt.
Are you tracking with me?
When they gave you the gift, you certainly felt joy that they actually thought to give you a gift. Do you think the giver would like you to hold onto something you can't use for years and have that guilt in the back of your mind? No. It has fulfilled its purpose of bringing you joy, and now you are done with it.
The same goes for those mountains of cards we tend to save forever. If you are going through your cards to sort which will be discarded, she doesn't say you need to get rid of every last card, but simply hold each one in your hand (this applies to everything) and only keep the ones that still bring you that thrill of pleasure. Saving things forever that once made us happy, will amount to a whole lot of stuff that we will have to care for, move around, organize, etc.
I'm less than a week in, and since she has you start with the easiest category, clothing, you should SEE my closet! I have never seen my closet like this, not even when we first moved in to this house. Her instructions on folding clothes so that they stand up in drawers? Magic in itself.
I have empty cupboards.
Hear me, empty cupboards.
This has never happened to me. This is the magic she talks about that ensures her clients never rebound.
I will freely admit, it is a mess and a lot of work to restart your life in this way. The thought of getting to the komono (which is basically a miscellaneous category) has me all
, but I will do it because I am seeing the magic. I will have so much more time when there is so much less to pick up and put away.
This book has also made me rethink when I want to buy something and bring it into my house. Do I love it enough to care for it long term?
I haven't even come close to describing her method, because you really need to read the book for yourself, so don't jump in based on this blog post, because you will rebound from not accurately knowing her instructions. In the meantime, look for the town's largest yard sale in the next month or two! ;)