A little while back, I wrote a post about how I tidied my bedroom and I was pretty pleased with myself. But after reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and using the Konmari method, I can say with complete confidence that I have never known what “tidy” was until now. This post will be part-book-review, part-personal-account of my experience.
What is Konmari?
If you haven’t yet heard of Marie Kondo’s method of tidying called Konmari, I will sum it up in a single sentence for you: keep only the things that “spark joy.” By doing so, you can create a space for yourself that allows you to live joyfully and peacefully. After thinking deeply about the kind of space you want to create and the kind of life you want to live, you can begin the tidying process. For each category of items, you should gather everything of that type into one place so that you can visually grasp how much stuff you actually own, which can be a shocking sight! Then, one by one, pick up each item and follow your intuition. If you feel a spark of joy, you may keep it, but if not, you should discard it. Each category of items has its own difficulties but there is a lot of advice throughout the book for dealing with different items and situations. Once you are done discarding, then and only then can you begin storing the items you’ve chosen to keep, and there is no need for fancy store-bought storage solutions. According to Kondo and her experiences with her clients, there has never been a single case of rebounding, and there has never been an instance where there was not enough space for everything to be put back. It’s quite an amazing track record!
I started tidying a little over three weeks ago, and just recently completed the Konmari process about two days ago. To be honest, my house still contains a lot of clutter. I was only able to tidy my own bedroom because I live in my mother’s house along with my sister, and every other room contains mostly other people’s belongings, so I followed Kondo’s recommendation and only tidied the items that belong to me, which means I really only tidied one room and a little bit of the bathroom I use. Even so, I was able to make considerable progress in the spaces that are my own. I jumped head first into the clothing category, and the books and papers categories were equally fast-paced. The Komono, or miscellaneous items category, was probably the most difficult and drawn-out, but the sentimental items category was surprisingly easy. (I guess I’m not as sentimental as I thought!) After I finished discarding, the process of finding a place for everything was actually really enjoyable, and I tried my best to implement all of Marie Kondo’s little tidbits of advice for creating a good relationship with your belongings, like always putting them back in their resting place, thanking your things for taking care of you, and more. Now that everything is in order, I feel happier, more organized, even healthier! I am more productive, and more confident. I wont lie, getting to this point was a difficult process, but it was completely worth it.
I discarded/donated: 5 1/2 garbage bags of clothes and shoes, 3 large shopping bags of books, 3 large shopping bags of papers, 1 large shopping bag of electronics, 8-10 garbage bags of, well, garbage, and I still have a large pile of empty boxes, containers, even furniture, that I am in the process of getting rid of. (I’m just trying to find the time to bring items to donation centers, and I can only fill my trash bin so much each week.)
After: No more items on the floor. I got rid of that purple bin full of random junk, and that white set of drawers that I was using for the clothes that simply would not fit in my closet. (Spoiler alert: everything fits in my closet now!)
After: No more purses on the back of the door. Added colored paper to the set of drawers to reduce visual clutter. Don’t worry! The drawers are organized inside!
After: New lamp, smaller bluetooth speaker, and small shelf/trays for storing desk supplies.
After: Stored jewelry in a drawer. New tray for holding purse contents and a small organizer for important papers and letters.
After: Noticeably fewer shoes and clothes. I followed Marie Kondo’s advice and used my closet wall to display some posters etc. that I didn’t want to part with, but also didn’t want to display in my room.
After: I moved the TV so that it no longer obstructed my line of sight. I ended up with two empty shelves after the book purge, so I used them to display my kpop collection and to store some toiletries.
Other little details:
The differences between the before and after shots might seem subtle to an outsider, but as the person who lives in this space, the differences are huge in my eyes. Knowing that there are no more piles or drawers full of random things and that every single item has a home makes me feel so at peace. The phrase “life-changing” seems like a really huge promise, but I assure you, if you faithfully follow Marie Kondo’s instructions, you really can change your life just by tidying up!
I really want my family to read this book, not only so that my whole home can receive a transformation and be more comfortable for me to live in, but also so they can experience the same level of joy and contentment that I have gotten from this whole process. I’ve been recommending it to friends left and right, so you can probably guess, I enjoyed this book immensely.
If you’ve always been someone who struggles with clutter, I would highly recommend this book. Even if you think you are a pretty organized person, I would still recommend this book because you may still be holding on to items that really don’t make you happy. To be honest, this whole process really isn’t about tidying or organizing, or anything so simplistic and shallow. It’s more about letting go of the past and holding onto what really is precious to you, what really makes you happy, what will really allow you to thrive in the future. Give it a try already!
***** 5/5 stars