What intrigued me was her passionate belief that being tidier has the power to change our life and I realized her belief backs up something I’ve notice which is that our external world inevitably reflects our internal world. In other words the more mental clutter you have going on in your head, the more likely it is that you have external clutter going on around you.
- You can’t out-organize too much stuff which means the only way to get your house in order is to get rid of STUFF.
- When you have multiples of any one item (such as paperclips), store them in one place only so you don’t waste time searching all over the house for them.
- Only keep those things that bring you JOY. What this means is that instead of sorting for what you want to get rid of you are sorting for what will fill you with happiness when you see it and use it. If you’re having a hard time letting go of any item (such as a shirt that still has the price tag on it), Kondo suggests “thanking the item for the role it has already played in your life," and saying something to the shirt like "Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you" or "Thank you for teaching me what doesn't suit me." Acknowledging your appreciation is a way of freeing up your attachment to holding on so you are then free to send it on its way to someone who will genuinely enjoy using it.
- As for sentimental items, nothing should be kept out of guilt. So just because that ugly purple mug was the last gift Aunt Bessy ever gave you, it doesn’t mean you need to keep the mug.
- Don’t bother with fancy organizational paraphernalia, Marie has tried them all and now recommends shoe boxes as the best way for small items to stay neat and organized. You can see how beautifully they work for my yoga clothes in the photo below. What used to be a pile of predominantly black pants, shirts, and sports bras (that I would have to rummage through each time) are now neatly contained and easily found in their own sections.
Increase simplicity because, for one thing, you won’t be wasting your valuable time searching through closets, drawers, and shelves looking for something buried under piles of junk.
You will be surrounded by joy… seriously, who doesn’t want that?
Honoring what you do have…valuing it. We live in a disposable society so it’s a wonderful practice to step back and appreciate those things that truly bring happiness.
Your mind won’t be tripping over distracting clutter and that frees you up to focus on the things that really matter.
You will feel lighter and freer…which is why decluttering can quickly become addictive.
I may never adopt every aspect of Marie Kondo’s approach to tidiness but as I move forward with getting my house in order there is no doubt in my mind that she will have significant influence over the entire process.
And if you have any of your own organizing insights, successes, or struggles to share please add them to the comments below; I’d love to hear from you!!