Without even reading the back cover, I knew this book was coming home with me.
I have read it through twice so far and plan to go through it once more.
This is not to imply that the book is complicated, or that this art of decluttering and organizing is a complex one that requires some intricate mastery. It is because I can hardly believe its simplicity.
In this book Marie Kondo lays out her "KonMari" method of tidying up. It entails one no-holds barred attack on all of your things and, Kondo ensures her readers - BAM! - your life will be changed. She claims that after going through the intense process of truly deciding what you want to surround yourself with in your home, you will never turn back to your disorganized ways. While I have read this claim before, I must admit there are some things about this technique that ring true to me.
1. The time and dedication you must devote to this process.
Let me begin with the intensity of Kondo's technique. She says, done correctly, this method usually takes approximately six months. How could this be? I wondered, until I had a full grasp of what I would be undertaking with the KonMari method. In this method you must literally hold every piece of clothing, every single thing you own, in your hands and ask, "Does this bring me joy?" Just imagine for a moment how long that will take. If I were dedicated enough to devote all of this time to making this happen, I can be pretty sure I'd have to be crazy to turn my back on it in the end.
2. The focus on joy.
Did that question - "Does this bring me joy?" - strike you as odd? Probably not. It seems simple enough, but how often, when organizing, do we focus on what we should keep? I know, for me, whenever I get into one of my moods it is all about how much I can get rid of. The KonMarie Method takes the complete opposite approach, and this is one of the reasons I have been rereading this book - this is a complete paradigm shift for me! Imagine for a moment if you only kept things around you that truly brought you joy - not things that are convenient, or there to please someone else - just the stuff that makes you happy. I think once you got to that point, you'd never clutter up your space with things that bring you down again!
3. The order.
Marie Kondo has a specific order that she instructs us to approach our tidying:
"Start with clothes, then move on to books, papers, kimono (miscellany), and finally things with sentimental value." (Mondo, p.65)As I'm sure you can tell, the order is to approach our things in an order which increases in difficulty. The hardest stuff to get rid of is at the end so that we have perfected our technique for deciding what brings us true joy, so we are already seeing an impact when it comes time to tackle that stuff that almost always leads to giving up. It's one of those things that feels like common sense the second you get to the end of the sentence, but - if you are being honest with yourself - you never thought of doing before.
So - yeah - I'm excited about this book. It is an easy read that makes you feel confident in your ability to change your life with its proposed "magic." Does it work? I can't say for sure yet, I have only just begun, but I do find myself looking at my things very differently now that I have begun to search for the joy-givers. There is no guilt about donating, selling, or even just throwing away things that do not serve me well anymore. For me that's a huge step in the right direction!
If you are fascinated with various organizational techniques, or are looking for this kind of life-changing magic, then I invite you to join me on this adventure. Get a copy of this book and let me know what you think. If you've already begun (or finished!) going through the KonMarie method, let us know how it went for you!