Take a minute to think about all your possessions — clothes, books, toiletries, stationery, paperwork, linens, tableware, and so on. Now, consider how you feel about each and every item in an emotional sense. Do they spark joy? If not, you should throw them out, according to tidiness guru, Marie Kondo.
Obsessed with clutter from a young age, Marie Kondo developed a radical new technique for tidying up, which she outlined in her aptly titled book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ($10.19, Amazon). Most people consider tidying up a tiresome chore, so it's somewhat surprising to discover that the book has taken the world by storm, selling upwards of four million copies.
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It's not so much the tidying up that is appealing but rather the benefits you gain by clearing your home of clutter. "In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever," is her opening sentence, which sounds somewhat ambitious but actually rings true.
Marie Kondo's cleaning method, called KonMari, has gained a dedicated group of converts who can hardly contain their excitement about the results. "I am about two weeks into my de-cluttering and I am much happier in my home," writes Elsomalo in a customer review on Amazon. "An unexpected surprise for me (and total joy to my husband) is my newfound frugality while shopping. I used to be a borderline shopaholic. But now, I truly just buy things I want around me."
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Even celebrities are jumping onboard. "This takes spring cleaning to a whole new level!" commented Kate Hudson when posting a picture of the book cover on Instagram. "Love this book and the process is liberating!"
The process itself is utterly ingenious in its simplicity. Deal with your stuff on a categorical basis: first clothes and then move onto books etc. Dump everything on the floor to create a sense of chaos and then pick up one item at a time, weighing it in your hands, and if it does not incite a feeling of joy — then ditch it! Once you have sorted through all your possessions, make a greater effort to take care of them. Kondo asks that you consider their feelings; do your clothes enjoy being crumpled and buried in your wardrobe? Probably not.
In her latest book, Spark Joy ($12.65, Amazon), Kondo takes tidying up a step further with illustrations on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house. This includes her famous patented folding method that transforms unruly garments into neat little rectangles that can be stacked vertically in boxes and drawers.
Convert to KonMari and you will never experience "rebound" again. If you associate the term rebound with breakups, think again. It also refers to when your home quickly regresses to chaos after you have tidied up. You might have to follow Kondo's methods to the letter, but imagine never having to tidy up again! Rather than drowning in clutter and mess, you can kick back and read a book, do a little gardening, or even enjoy a long soak in the bath! It's a delightful prospect that's bound to keep selling millions of books.
This post was written by Alexandra Fishburn. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.