One of the most popular self-help books of recent years has been the ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo. Her book explains a simple yet effective approach to banishing clutter from your home. Let’s take a look at it in more detail.
One look at Marie Kondo’s Instagram account and you might be forgiven for feeling a little bit jealous. Her feed is awash with photos of show home style pictures of divine uncluttered mess. But how achievable is this level of orderliness for the average person?
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying has sold well over 8 million copies around the world to date and a horde of support from both literary and lifestyle critics and many people attest to real lifechanging effects from following her instructions. So, what exactly is her approach to tidying?
The core tenant of Marie Kondo’s philosophy is that we should only keep items in our home that ‘spark joy’ in our lives. So many of us pack our homes full of things that we don’t really need, or even want but are unsure as to whether to keep.
One of the biggest problems that people have with mass-clear outs is that they focus on the negative aspect of throwing things away. Instead Kondo encourages people to acknowledge what brings us happiness and cherish those items.
By adopting a principled approach like this you can quickly cut down on the things that you own to create a minimalist, clean aesthetic throughout your home as well as surrounding yourself with positive energy.
Tidy all at once
Marie Kondo encourages people to tidy all at once rather than doing it little by little every day. Instead of removing one item from your wardrobe or tossing out one pair of old shoes every day you should set aside one specific day that you are going to tackle the entire house. Make it as soon as possible so that you can feel the benefits sooner rather than later.
Follow a specific order
When you start tidying it is important that you work methodically. Kondo suggests that you work in order of clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items and finally keepsakes and mementos (often the hardest items to part with). When working on each group of items you should gather up everything, so instead of dipping from room to room group every item of clothes you own together and ask yourself whether it sparks joy, or you no longer need it. Grouping everything together will help you truly understand how much you have and may help you be more ruthless with your decisions.
Take pleasure in the beauty of a clean room
There’s no harm in some self-indulgence during the cleaning process. Take before and after photos so that you can see how far you have come and try and organize in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing. This could be folding your clothes in a specific way, organizing by colours or something else that makes the photos look great on your Instagram feed. Once the likes and comments start rolling so will the satisfaction of knowing you’ve nailed it with your clutter cleanse.
Kondo’s minimalist strategy doesn’t need to be cold and impersonal. In fact, she actually encourages the opposite. Take your office desk for instance. She says that you should incorporate ‘pockets of joy’ which might be a family photo, a potted plant, an artistic object or something else which hits the ‘spark joy’ button for you.
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