The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (up) is THE decluttering guide by professional organiser Marie Kondo. Though rather quirky in some ways, this little book contains a myriad of helpful tips. It is an amazing guide to start decluttering your life and letting go of possessions you no longer use, wear or love. I intend to review both the book and her method, since I actually have applied it. And I want to talk about how reading this book was the beginning of my journey and basically turned my life upside down.
At the beginning, I have to admit, I was more than a little sceptical. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (up) was praised in so many YouTube videos and I was curious what the hype was about. So I wasted a lot of time looking for the American edition of the book, since I was just not sure, if Amazon showed me the right book (the American edition has a different cover and a slightly different title). When I finally realised that it was just showing me the British edition, I ordered it right away. Once it arrived, I started reading and immediately liked it.
Marie Kondo uses both personal anecdotes and what she experienced with her clients to explain her method of decluttering. This turns it into a lively story rather than an instruction book. Her explanations are on point and she never fails to make a point. Her way of decluttering encompasses gratitude and mindfulness, which turns the entire process into way more than just physical cleansing. Handling every possession and asking yourself “Does this spark joy?” is quite therapeutic – and will unearth many things you entirely forgot about.
“The KonMari Method is a simple, smart and effective way to banish clutter forever. Start by discarding. Then organise your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.” – Marie Kondo
I found all her personal anecdotes both endearing and educational. Sometimes she had me chuckle quite a bit, since what she described sounded somewhat familiar. Her overall tone is something else I thoroughly enjoyed – though firm, it was always friendly and amiable (up until that point I only ever experienced being ordered to clean my room). All of a sudden, I wanted to clean my room – the way she described an ideal home undoubtedly resonated with me. And clean my room I did. Along the way I expanded this process of cleaning, organising and decluttering to my entire flat (and my boyfriends room). And I’m still not done.
Yet there are some steps of her process I haven’t and probably won’t take (for several reasons) – but that’s fine since I adapted her method to my needs. Which is exactly what I would recommend: Use the KonMari method as a starting point. It really is a great tool to free up physical and mental space, to banish clutter, to enrich your living environment. Because the KonMari method (if applied correctly) helps you realise that you absolutely don’t need so much stuff. If you let it, it can teach you to be just as happy with less (if not happier).
Decluttering á la KonMari makes you appreciate everything you keep – and being surrounded by things you love is incredibly liberating. Marie Kondo sent me on a journey, a journey I am still on, and I am in the process of acquiring a more minimalistic mindset and adapting a minimalistic lifestyle. (Important side note: don’t ever “measure” minimalism with the amount of stuff you throw out or keep. A minimalistic lifestyle means something entirely different for everyone and that is ok! Appreciating what you own and being happy is the only thing that counts.) Be honest with yourself and keep asking: Does this spark joy?
If you want, I’ll keep you updated on how my journey is going and where it is taking me. Have you ever heard of the KonMari method? And have you ever used it? If so, what did you think about it? Has it worked out for you?