Have you read Marie Kondo’s book yet? It’s called “the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing”. It’s taken over the non-fiction best seller lists. It’s a little book, only 206 pages long, but full of interesting ideas; in fact, it’s her whole philosophy for organizing, de-cluttering, and beautifying not just your home, but your state of mind! Videos about her book are all over YouTube.
She has some great ideas and, of course, I like the ones that back up what I’ve been saying for some time.For instance, in my blog dated 11 Jan/15, I said to take everything out and put back the things you love and the things you use. Marie counsels we take everything and put it on the floor, and put back only the things that give you joy. Pretty close to my approach!However, I disagree with some of her recommendations. You shouldn’t throw out papers just because you might never need them (for an audit, for instance) and could probably get copies of them in a pinch. I keep my statements, paid bills, and all other business-related paperwork for 7 years, as advised by my lawyer husband. Older than that, definitely throw out or shred. Both of us put personal papers, like letters, in a special category. One has to review that kind of memorabilia on a case-by-case basis.
I also disagree with doing your whole home in about 2 days. That’s not realistic for most of us; certainly not in a multi-bedroom home! Maybe if you live alone in a small place, this is doable. She claims that following the rigorous decluttering process she recommends will make it a “once in a lifetime” event because everything you keep will have its place in your home, and all the unnecessary things will be gone. The frequency after that for minimal tidying up is up to your personality type.
I still believe that most of us can manage to do some decluttering every day and we’ll get to our goal — just not in 2 days! I don’t believe it will work as effectively in North America as it works in Japan, for instance. Between having larger homes (generally) than most societies, and being such a consumer culture, I think it would be very tricky to implement.
Still, it’s a book that will definitely influence you to get up and tackle decluttering your home. It has made me look at our home very closely (am I ever making my husband nervous – he’s quite the collector) and, as a result, I have taken some things to a consignment store, some to an antiques market, there were 16 bags in our garage ready for Cerebral Palsy volunteers to take to Value Village, and there’s a sizeable stack of very nice (but no longer required) items to donate for the church’s upcoming Christmas Bazaar. There are so many places that would love to receive your culled items.
And I literally do say to myself now, “does this give me joy?” when I cull clothes, books, knickknacks , kitchen paraphernalia, and all the truly mystifying things I’ve found in the back of cupboards, cabinets and drawers. (What’s with all the keys I’m finding? what did they open??).
For $19.99, it’s a good motivator. Once you pick it up, if you need moral support and help in staying the course, give me a call and I’ll come running!