I love reading even though I don’t often share what I’ve read. But this year I’m planning to share a book every month or so, starting with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve had several people tell me about the KonMari method and I’ve seen it all over the internet, so I bought and downloaded the Kindle version onto my iPad mini to read on the plane when we went to Canada.
UPDATE: I first read the book & wrote this article in 2017, when I came back to update it in 2023, I found that there is a whole series by Marie Kondo now! Take a look below… they’re available on Amazon.
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What Did I Think of KonMari?
Just in case you want to know upfront, yes, I did like the book and I do recommend it. I think there are a lot of things you can glean from it. But as a word of warning, the author, Marie Kondo, does have a very different worldview from most of my readers. I’ll tell you about that as I go through a few of the things I picked out from the book.
5 Things I Learned from the KonMari Method:
ONE: TIDYING UP CAN BE DIVIDED INTO TWO ACTS
Tidying up can be divided into two acts: deciding to dispose of something and deciding where to put it. Discarding must come first. Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved so Kondo wants you to pull EVERYTHING out when you tidy. Then choose what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. She also wants you to touch every single item and ask if it “sparks joy” in your life. I translate that into, “only keep what you love.”
TWO: BE THANKFUL
The author and I agree on this point but disagree about WHO to give thanks TO. For example, every day when she gets home from work she tells her shoes and coat, “Thank you for the good job you did today.” As a Christian, I should be thanking God for providing those things for me, not the things themselves. But this was a good reminder that I should be more thankful, even for the little things like having a warm coat and more pairs of shoes than I really need.
THREE: TIDY BY CATEGORY, NOT LOCATION
This is the first thing I’m going to try from this book. I’ve always chosen a room to tidy. The author recommends you gather EVERYTHING together in one place so you can see how much you really own. We usually have too much stuff because we don’t have an accurate account of what we own. She then explains the correct and easiest order to tidy. I completely agree with the order she lists and why. She also has some unique ideas about folding and hanging clothes. I’ve already changed some of my folding habits and it’s working really well for me! She also shared a few other great ideas including vertical storage and how to eliminate the need for off-season clothing storage.
FOUR: TIDYING SHOULD NOT BE DONE EVERYDAY
At first, I disagreed with this comment. Until I read on and saw that she recognizes two types of tidying: “daily tidying” and “special event tidying”. What’s described in this book is the “special event tidying”, kind of like spring cleaning. You’ll still need to do a daily “pick up” around the house.
FIVE: DECORATE YOUR CLOSET WITH YOUR SECRET DELIGHTS
This is actually something I’ve done before. I collect paint-by-number and other amateur oil paintings that my hubby, aka “Bikeman”, calls “ugly art”. He didn’t like it hung in the living room so I hung them all in my closet so I could still see them every day.
How I Disagree with the KonMari Method
There were a few things I didn’t quite agree with:
Similar items should be stored together. Most of the time. But I have two bathrooms so I will still be storing toilet paper and window cleaner in two places. I can see having a portable basket of cleaning supplies to take from room to room but I’m going to keep some cleaner upstairs AND downstairs.
“Treat your socks with respect.” Hmmm… I was raised to take care of the things I had but she goes even further and says that your socks need to rest in the drawers after working so hard during the day. And that you should touch the clothes in your drawer from time to time to let them know you care and look forward to wearing them again. Sorry, I’m still gonna roll my socks into “potato-shaped balls”.
More Organizing & Decluttering Books
If you’re not quite ready for such a drastic change, here are a few other decluttering books I’ve found. BTW, Ruth Soukup is one of my favorites!
More Articles About Decluttering Your Home
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these:
- One Simple Trick to Keep Your Home Clutter Free
- How to Declutter Your Home
- Why You Will Never Be Clutter Free
- 7 Common Decorating Tactics That Just Create Clutter
- 5 Ways to Eliminate Clutter in a Tiny Bathroom
I would love to hear what you’ve been reading. Leave a comment and let me know what you think I should read next.
‘Til the next project,
Ann @ Duct Tape and Denim
Originally published on Jan 17, 2017.