Book Inspiration: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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I am inspired!

A friend recently gave me a copy of Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and I can already see how it’s changed the way I think about my home, and my possessions. How have I been so mindless about my clutter all this time?

Kondo encourages us to clean and organize by first discarding a large proportion of our belongings, and then choosing a place for each item.

To determine which things to keep, Kondo asserts that we should take each item in our hands, one at a time, and ask ourselves whether that particular item sparks joy for us, discarding anything that does not.

In this way, Kondo says, we surround ourselves with only the items we love the very most.

“When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state. You can see any issues you have been avoiding and are forced to deal with them. From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order.” (pg. 21)

Kondo’s is a fairly ruthless system, suggesting that we should let go of many things. But I am attracted to her philosophy. It has forced me to consider how many items I hold onto mindlessly, even though so much has become redundant or useless, or gone out of style. How many things do I hold onto simply because it’s always been there? Or because it was a gift (guilt/obligation)? Or because the thing I really wanted wasn’t available?

Then, there are the many other items I hold onto because I am sentimental, or believe I will use it someday… but mainly, they just gather dust in my cupboard. Kondo hits the nail on the head:  “But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” (pg. 181)

This morning as I was putting away the laundry, it occurred to me how many items of clothing I own that I don’t really love. Immediately, I emptied my sock drawer, selected my favourite pairs, and discarded the rest (into a donation bin).

It felt so good.

But the best part is knowing that the next time I open my drawer to choose socks, the decision will be easy. I won’t be wading through my collection to find one I like. They’re all favourites, and after thinning my collection of stocks, I can see each and every pair easily.

I’ve already moved on to other clothes too.

I’m feeling so motivated about my new summer vacation project! This book is a great, mindful read.

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