Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

Started: 28th March
Finished: 29th March

I saw a link to this mentioned in this post on The Quince Tree blog (currently on hold), and I couldn't resist having a nosy to see what it was about. Hmm, interesting, I thought. I pondered for a bit longer, and eventually gave in and downloaded a copy onto my Kindle, which I read in about three hours, over a couple of evenings (although I don't think it's a particularly lengthy tome).

Marie Kondo is a Japanese Organising Consultant, because yes, that's a job. Basically, she tells you how to tidy up. Like with most self-help books, a lot of the advice is fairly obvious and common sense, but sometimes it just helps to have someone spell it out for you, or tell you something in a different way.

The basic premise, is that, for every item you own, you should ask yourself the question: "does it bring me joy?" If the answer is yes, then you simply have to choose a place where you are going to keep it. If the answer is no, then you get rid of it, in whatever manner suits the item (throw it away, give to charity etc). Eventually, you will only possess those things which make you happy, and they will all have a special place in your home, which in theory means you will never have to tidy up again.

Marie also states that you should never keep things 'just in case' or because they might come in useful one day. If it doesn't bring you joy, get rid of it. If you ever need it again in the future, you'll be able to buy/borrow/download etc whatever it is.

We have an awful lot of 'stuff' in our house and I'm sure we could part with a lot of it, but when I've tried to have a declutter, it's actually a lot harder than I think it's going to be. I'm definitely a 'keep-it-just-in-case' person. For example, I have a jar of those little white curtain hooks. It doesn't bring me joy, but I'm certainly not going to get rid of them all! On the other hand, just lately I've found it easier to part with books that I'm fairly sure I'm never going to get around to reading; at one time I would never have been able to contemplate getting rid of a book I hadn't yet read! So I can't say that this book has suddenly helped me have a clear out, but I did make a checklist to use to help me organise the clear out, if and when it ever happens!

It was a very interesting book, with lots of good advice, although I felt that it was (understandably) aimed at the Japanese market, and the Japanese-style homes and layouts, which I suspect are very different to European/Western houses (very broadly speaking).

Nothing earth-shattering, but it did give me lots to think about. And I now fold my socks, rather than balling them up.

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