“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” sheds a fresh light on cleaning up

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A cluttered home is a cluttered mind. Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo’s number one New York Times bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, is a step by step guide to decluttering your home and clearing your mind along with it. Kondo makes tidying sound appealing and exciting– something that I never thought was possible. Her encouraging words inspire readers to liberate themselves once and for all from unneeded possessions.

The KonMari method of tidying up is unlike any other organizing method floating around the Internet. Kondo’s method is heavily based on the connection between physical and mental clutter. If you are in an environment that is crowded and untidy, then your thoughts will also be crowded. She does not believe in unnecessary storage, more so getting rid of belongings that you do not need, to avoid having so many things in storage to begin with. She is basically saving you from the thousands of short term storage solutions on the Internet that are bound to end in failure.

Letting go is the difference between successful decluttering, and not so successful decluttering. “Does it spark joy?” is the question that is key to effective tidying. If you answer no to this question, it is probable that you do not need it and should get rid of it. Why have something that you do not need? It only takes up space.

When it comes down to the actual cleaning process, Kondo separates organizing into two categories: discarding and organizing. Kondo tackles the common misconception that people should tidy little by little, room by room. Instead, she is saying that it should be done all at once.

It starts with laying out all your belongings and sorting through them, discarding everything that does not make you feel an overwhelming sense of joy. When you get rid of these things, you also get rid of the clutter that has been living in your mind. By decluttering all at once, you can see the overwhelming difference versus cleaning little by little, where it takes a considerable amount of time to completely finish. This is why cleaning up little by little often results in a rebound effect. People do not see the difference immediately and do not get the full feel that a clean space should bring; therefore, they do not see the worth. Next comes the organizing. She keeps this part simple. She says to limit storage to a single location in the home and recommends vertical storage.

In this book, Kondo creates the feel of an intimate relationship, as if she was your one-on-one consultant. She guides the reader not only through the steps to tidying, but also on a mental journey, helping the reader to break such heavy emotional connections to material objects, releasing them from burden. What you are left with is a clear space and a clear mind.


By Amanda Molina

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