I’m reading a new book, the title of which is the title of this blog. It is written by a young woman from Japan, and has sold 6 million copies. Her premise in the book is that “tidying up” is essential to discovering who we really are. How can that be? Well, I admit, it has been difficult at times to follow the author’s way of thinking. Yet, somehow, I know she is essentially right. Getting our “stuff” in order somehow affects our minds, our souls, and helps us to climb out of the mess and move forward in a positive direction.
Although I am not following her method jot and tittle (which, by the way, she would never be satisfied with!), my husband and I have both applied her “tidying” method during the last two weeks. The first phase is to “discard.” During the discarding phase, which can take six months, you don’t organize or put things away, you only discard.
She has the most interesting way of helping her reader decide what to discard, and amazingly, it works. You put a category of things before you, perhaps clothes or books, and you hold each item in your hands and ask yourself, “Does this item bring me joy?” If it doesn’t, it is to be discarded (either thrown out or donated).
So Mike and I have a new, clean trash can that we will fill each week, full of the things that don’t bring us joy. These items are usually things that we have kept because we felt guilty getting rid of them, or because “someday I might need this.” These are two fallacies that must be abandoned in order to tidy.
Marie, the author, has the most amazing relationship with clothes. In discussing how to organize socks, she insists that they should never, ever be tied or balled up. “Look at them carefully. This should be a time for them to rest. Do you really think they can get any rest like that?” She is referring, of course, to the fact the stress on the fabric will cause it to stretch and get old before its time. She emphasizes that clothes need to be exposed to fresh air, handled, even talked to, or they get stale and unwearable.
So this review could go on, but I’ll leave it at that. Overall, I believe that “tidying” or getting rid of clutter and getting organized is a vital part of both inward and outward sparkle. It clears the mind, refreshes the soul, even helps us know who we really are, as we evaluate what gives us joy and what does not.
So I recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. You may not connect with all her methods and ways of thinking, but you will surely benefit from her experience and, if you’re like me, will find her attitudes and perspectives refreshing and ones that will make you smile.