The Book Talk #17 – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

6 min read…

Hey, welcome to the 17th episode of our book series – The Book Talk. If it’s your first time here, check our other posts. In this episode, we’ll discuss The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Every one of us has tried to declutter and organize our homes at least once in our life. But, despite our constant efforts, the house goes back to its cluttered stage again in a few days. How do our clothes always tangle up like noodles, and why do our stationery items (pens, papers, etc) get scattered everywhere around the house?

Marie Kondo, the popular Japanese consultant promises that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. She breaks a lot of conventional ideas like room-by-room or little-by-little approach. A dramatic reorganization of your house results in dramatic lifestyle and perspective changes.

The KonMari method is ultra-successful and none of Marie’s clients has ever lapsed. The book sparked a revolution and inspired the hit Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Here’s everything that you need to know about the KonMari method –

The KonMari method is a simple, smart and effective way to banish clutter forever. Start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly and completely in one go.

Marie Kondo

Before we begin

You must tidy only once, and properly

We regularly try to organize our place but it is not too long before it becomes messy again. We clean our bedroom one week and by the time we move to the kitchen the following week, our bedroom is back to how it was.

This is because we are taught by experts to tackle one room at a time, or tidy little by little. But, these methods lead to rebound. Tidy a little a day, and you will be tidying forever.

Thus, the best approach is to aim for perfection. Do it once, do it right.

1. Sort By Category, not by location

We often have the habit of storing similar items in multiple places. The best example would be books, pens, and paper. When we tidy each place separately, we would repeat the same work in many locations.

So, instead of deciding that you’ll tidy a particular room today, set categorical goals like ‘clothes today, books tomorrow.’

2. Discard first

Before we think about tidying up, we must first start by discarding, all at once. For a lot of us, parting away with things is challenging. But, accumulating a lot can become overwhelming.

1.An easier way to discard things is to hold them in your hand and ask the magic question – ‘does this spark joy’?

For instance, I have a Diesel T-shirt which I can wear any time of the year for any occasion. Also, I have another t-shirt which I have in my cupboard for some reason but never wear. It is paramount to ask the question and see if you have any happy feelings towards that particular stuff.

2.Another way is to discard things when they cease being functional (broken beyond repair, out of date, or past the expiry date) Start with things that are easy to choose from, because, it is easy to get rid of things when there’s an obvious reason.

Remember – Choose what you want to keep, not what you want to discard.

3. How to tidy by category

This order works for most people –

Additional suggestions –

  1. Start with off-season clothing. If you are in the summer season now, start with your winter wear. Are you eagerly waiting to wear a piece of clothing? Would you wear it the moment winter arrives? If not, discard.
  2. To hang clothes, consider this – lines that slope up to the right make people comfortable. This means, hang heavy/long clothes like your jacket on the left and light/thin/short clothes on the right.

4. 7 Tips for expert storing

  1. Use square boxes rather than round shapes, which take up more space.
  2. Do not scatter storage. Store similar things together
  3. Explore vertical storage where possible. (books, stocking, socks, etc.)
  4. For the above reason, prefer pull-out drawers over cupboard where possible.
  5. In case you only have a cupboard – make off-season clothes difficult and regular clothes easiest to access. Allot top shelf for bedding and bottom shelf for electrical appliances like toasters and heaters.
  6. Things on the floor belong in the cupboard.
  7. Empty your bag every day.

5. Bathroom and Kitchen

  1. Never leave shampoo or soap in the sink. Move everything back to the shelf after bathing.
  2. Dry colanders, dishes and sponges on the veranda.
  3. NEVER store oil, salt, pepper, or sauces near the stove.

Final thoughts

Most times, the only reasons we cannot let go of things are either due to past attachment or fear of the future. Physical declutter is a sign of mental declutter. So, detoxing our house is a way of detoxing ourselves. Being surrounded by things that bring joy makes you happy. It also helps you identify what is truly precious.

If you think tidying must be done daily, wake up. It can be done in one shot. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.

Marie Kondo

If you like this book, purchase it on Amazon now! US: Amazon.com | UK: Amazon.co.uk

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