The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Book Review from a Messy Person

Hello, lovelies!

Long time no write. September and October seems to be an extremely busy time in the life of teachers, so I’ve not had a lot of time (and energy) to make AND write about it.

Since last writing, I have been in a wedding, gone on a weekend retreat, and have gone to Disney to visit my sister!

PS: Made the ears myself!

It was magical.

What was not-so-magical with each event, is the state I would find my house each time I returned. Laundry piled high, stuff in the floor, dishes in the sink… Although, as my name suggests that I am a mess in many ways, I loathe having my house be a mess…which of course it always is in some way. Thus, I thought it was time to review a book that has given me inspiration to tidy up, and has changed the way I have looked at my home.

The ever so popular book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, may seem like an unusual read to an outsider (AND the guy that rang me up at the book store), but it is actually a good read. This book has actually changed my outlook on a large part of my married life.

My first time of reading it was when I checked it out as a library book. It was such a good read, that I had to have it in my collection of books. Even though Kondo asserts any collection of books should be slim.

Synopsis

Kondo begins the book by discussing her experiences with tidying up. She shares stories of her former clients that have been successful in getting their homes in order. The gist of the outcome is this: People quit their jobs and travel the world, they lose weight, find happiness, and other life changing events happen.

Now for my readers that clean can their homes without wanting to jump off of a cliff, you may not understand how believable those kinds of claims are. For someone who is messy, an in-place home is the key to finding peace in other parts of life. I somewhat grudgingly admit, that “material stuff” has been one of the hardest parts of being married for me. Going from owning one person’s belongings to two person’s belongings has really put me in a place of feeling overwhelmed with what to do with it. Thus, our possessions have sat, occasionally sorted around, but mainly piled up.

Marie Kondo shares her own journey of cleaning. She never had my issue. At a young age, Kondo discovered she was not one for clutter. She took this talent to develop a true understanding and style of how to get tidy, stay tidy, and all of the benefits that come with getting your house in order.

The Five Key Elements to Marie Kondo’s Style of Tidying (KonMari Method):

  1. Tackle clearing up by items type (ie clothes, books, etc)
  2. Complete all tidying up in one big day
  3. Devote all of your energy and attention to the task…this includes dressing to impress
  4. Discard any item that does not bring you joy
  5. Store each item respectfully
  6. Every item you own should have a place to remain for a reason.
  7. Although there could be many reasons you hang on to possessions, ultimately,

Before this book, I didn’t realize there was an incorrect way to fold socks. In fact, if I had folded the socks at all I thought I was successful.

Quotes

“Human beings can only truly cherish a limited number of things at one time.”

“What things will bring you joy if you keep them as a part of your life?”

“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”

“The question of what you own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

This Book & I

As I have made apparently clear, I am not the neatest person. Much of this book, though, has given me inspiration and motivation to be the tidy person KonMari way. Many times I feel tied to my home, because it is such a looming task on my to-do list. So many instances I have kept myself from going out or inviting people over. I feel like I can spend hours doing housework and have so much more to do. I am always in constant disappointment in myself. I definitely fit the “before” category of Kondo’s clients.

After reading this book, I committed to Kondo’s suggested clothes folding technique. I guess we all have to start somewhere. Even Cody, who never notices anything to do with housework, commented on the neatness. Since reading this book, I have donated four giant bags of clothes. However, I have yet to really commit myself to an entire day of going through the process of discarding. In fact, just the thought of dedicating hours to going through and throwing away stuff seems overwhelming. I may have attachment issues, like some of Kondo’s former clients did.

There are a couple of other queries I have with the compatibility to this book and my life, including what to do if you have an unwilling partner to go through the process with you. Cody, for example, has a hard time with letting go of some of his belongings, even if he doesn’t use them anymore. Based on what I read, you have to be all in, in order for the KonMari method to be successful and permanent. I also wonder what hobbyists do with their hobby possessions. After all, I hardly believe I can throw away half of what my craft room contains. Since I enjoy the concepts from this book, perhaps that will be my goal over the next couple months: to apply the KonMari Method to my life.

So lovelies, let’s turn the conversation to you. Are you a mess like I am? Or do you love to clean? To either, I recommend this book!

Brandi Amanda

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