Since “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” debuted on Netflix last week, my mind has been consumed with the decluttering guru’s KonMari method, piles on piles of items, and the idea that objects can spark joy. This is all new information to me because, unlike most of my AT colleagues, I have yet to crack open “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“—that is, until now.
When I absorbed the opening intro statement that read “I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever,” I knew that Kondo’s guide meant business. Coming out of the gate with such confidence, how could I not immediately be persuaded that this book could really save someone (me) from a cluttered way of living.
So as I continued into the magical world of the KonMari Method, I started to discover what so many others have claimed to experience: pure joy. Here are my most profound thoughts that I cultivated during the experience.
This is so much more than an organizing book
Within the introduction, Kondo provides testimonies from former clients that imply the KonMari Method does much more than tidy up their home. From moving forward with divorce to losing 10 pounds, Kondo’s technique results in major lifestyle changes beyond the home, and I am so there for it. It also goes to show how coming home to a cleaner space allows the tenant to think about how they can live their lives more cleanly as well.
Tidying is a skill that needs to be studied and learned
Kondo brings up a valid point: we rarely think of tidying as an ability, and therefore result to self-teaching ourselves through our parents who have also self-taught themselves. In other words, we never learn how to properly clean, which is the whole point of Kondo’s guide. By shifting perception of what tidying truly is and treating it more as a skill that needs to be taught to us, we can take steps toward developing the act of cleaning as a talent that we are thoughtful about.
Marie Kondo truly knows her stuff
Not that I had any real doubts, but learning Kondo started thinking about the concept of “tidying” at age five was very impressive. I can’t remember any thoughts I had at such a young age beyond what Barbie I was playing with next, where my sister was, and how many pancakes I wanted to eat for breakfast.
The book itself is an example of decluttering
Kondo’s guide is structured in such a simple, easy format that you don’t even need to read the full thing. I’m sure it’s beneficial if you take the time to do so, but each chapter is so visually bulleted with big-picture thoughts that you can get by with reading just the subchapters.
Tidying is about the journey and the destination
I’m not going to follow Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote verbatim by saying that the journey is all that matters, because when it comes to tidying up, that’s simply not true. Imagine focusing on getting to a more organized place to not even enjoy the end result? That sounds like a straight-up tease.
However, Kondo does emphasize the importance of “visualizing the destination,” which is a future without all the clutter you previously had before. The guide says to take a moment to identify your end goal based on why you picked up the book in the first place, and let those thoughts be your guide toward achieving your ideal lifestyle. If those goals don’t come naturally to you, fear not, comforts Kondo. “If you find that hard, if you can’t picture the kind of life you would like to have, try looking into interior decorating magazines for photos that grab you.” And of course, ask yourself the question, does it spark joy?
This guide teaches you a lot about yourself
Kondo’s book seems to deliver emotional support during your tidying process that comes with a lot of baggage, from dealing with the feelings that surface when decluttering to handling the anxiety that comes with the future expectations of your space. But it also teaches the reader about themselves, too, through paying attention to your emotional reactions. The experience of going through “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” and actually completing it is not the same for any two people because it’s truly about self-discovery. As Kondo concludes, “Life truly begins after you put your house in order.”
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