Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I first heard about this book through other sewing bloggers (I can't remember if the first mention was from Andrea Schewe or Roobeedoo), and that little mention planted the seed of interest. I've always been a very "untidy" person. I "collected" things as a kid and had a hard time parting with them, even if it had no value at all. I went through a period of depression in my mid-twenties that even lead to severe hoarding, which I am still trying to counteract. I had some life-changing events occur as this year began, and one of the things my family did to help me get my mind off of things was to help me clean some things out. That event at the New Year shook me up enough to let all these old things go. I was getting rid of things, and doing lots of long planned home improvements suddenly (which are entirely credited to my sister, Shannon, for lighting a fire under my ass), and the more my surroundings improved, the more I wanted to do for them. I have been so much happier in my home since I started making these changes a part of my everyday life, and the biggest challenge still yet to come is finally digging out our "room of doom" as we call it. I have a bedroom in my house that is entirely filled with boxes of heaven-knows-what. Each time we have moved, we just keep moving all these old boxes with us, and our busy/lazy lives have lead us to just stick them all in a room together and ignore them for years. Well, no more. This will be the year that I finally tackle this room,along with the rest of the clutter in my house. I can feel such a palpable difference in the atmosphere of my home in the finished rooms - even my dog is happier and more playful! So in preparation for the vast war I plan to wage against our excess belongings, I knew that this book would be a nice chance to really learn how to deal with the mounds of junk.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is a wonderful guideline for those who have never really had any true knowledge of how keep their house in order. She details the types of reasons we keep things, and how to mentally allow ourselves to let them go. What I really love about the KonMari method (the title the author gives her plan) is that it is entirely focused on positivity. She has you write in detail why you want to declutter, then explain it down further and further until you come to the inevitable conclusion - that you want to be happier. She has you declutter in categories and in a specific order, always discarding things first. She has you pick up and hold each and every item in your space, and ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?" If the answer is yes, then you keep the item. Simple. If whatever it is does not bring you joy, you get rid of it. The result is not only that you have less items cluttering up your house, but that after you are done you are surrounded only by things that you truly love. Isn't that a wonderful thought? I recently finished the long-standing project of painting, decorating, and organizing my living room, and I can now honestly sit in that room and look at each item in it knowing that they are all things that I love. I want to be in that room all the time now, and I know this feeling can grow into the other rooms of my house as well. I feel that this small book has given me a basic knowledge of how to attain that goal.
This was a quick read, but cram packed with clear and concise information and advise. This book affected me so much that I have already begun at the first category - clothing. I got rid of things I have carried with me since high school because they were sentimental. Just that fact alone shows me what an impact this book has made on me, and I know I can refer back to it frequently when I run into trouble. I'm tired of my life being weighed down by the burden of all the "stuff" I have accumulated throughout my life. I am ready to change :) I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.