Prepare to be proselytized to, because I’m reading a book that is changing my life–and I think I will change yours, too. It’s called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and based on the day, it’s the Amazon number-one best seller in either Home Organization or Self Help. It’s by Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo, and it presents her “KonMari” system for making and keeping your house clutter-free. In a nutshell, you’re supposed to sort through your items by category, touching each one and asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you thank it for the joy it did bring you, and let it go.
I am still reading and won’t try any of this life-changing magic until the weekend, but the simple phrasing of “let it go” versus “get rid of it” totally got me–along with talking to inanimate objects, acknowledging the “energy” in objects and houses, and the admonishment to let your own heart be your guide.
Really, it’s organizing for hippies. And here are some passages that have really struck me so far:
Talking about what prompted her method:
“Somewhere along the way, I had begun to see my things and even my house as an adversary that I had to beat, and I was constantly in fighting mode.”
What she really thinks of “storage solutions”:
“Storage ‘solutions’ are really just prisons within which to bury possessions that spark no joy.”
The importance of touching each item during the sorting process:
“Remove all the books from your bookcases. You cannot judge whether or not a book really grabs you when it’s still on the shelf. Like clothes or any other belongings, books that have been left untouched on the shelf for a long time are dormant. Or perhaps I should say they’re ‘invisible.’ Although in plain sight, they remain unseen, just like a praying mantis still in the grass, merging with its surroundings.”
How sorting mementoes will help you move on:
“By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past. If you just stow these things away in a drawer or cardboard box, before you realize it, your past will become a weight that holds you back and keeps you from living in the here and now. To put your things in order means to put your past in order, too. It’s like resetting your life and settling your accounts so that you can take the next step forward.”
And finally, the philosophy I want to live by going forward:
“The space in which we live now should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”