The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,
and the follow up, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, both by Marie Kondo.
This method worked for me!Marie Kondo is a wonder, a princess of order and great good sense, and a magical spirit who can lead you to handle the Herculean hurdle of housekeeping so that your home becomes a joy and any sense of overwhelm magically leaves the building for good.
I know this is true because her method worked wonders for me. I'm not usually one to read best sellers or hop on the hottest trend, but this book is a bestseller for good reason and has changed many lives besides my own.
In my case, I felt like Sisyphus in that I could never get ahead of the housework! I was always cleaning, every.single.day- yet my house seemed always in a constant state of disorder! I hated it and felt way too much stress over stuff! We were stuck to the house because of the task of tending to messes; I repeatedly had to turn down invitations for fun things to do like swimming with friends and parties, because I felt it was irresponsible to run off for fun when there were things to be done.
Who wants to live like that? Not me, which is why I latched onto the concepts in this book like the lifesaver they were! The "tidying festival" recommended by Ms. Kondo is quite an undertaking, but the results will absolutely be worth every minute of your effort. She estimates that the process may take six months. I wanted to have order much sooner, so worked through my categories as quickly as I could. I made a huge difference and was practically finished in approximately a month of steady work. Actually, I made a huge difference in our home in the first day or weekend of working this method, and I rode the momentum of magic happening in my home to stay focused and complete the task as quickly as I could.
The Life Changing Magical Method: KonMariI know you are wondering what is so special about Marie Kondo's method. I want you to buy her books and let her tell you all about it; you don't want to miss the magic she imparts. But I'll tell you that the title of her second book is the heart of her method. When you look at all your stuff, you will choose what to keep- those items that "spark joy" for you- and donate, sell, or discard the rest.
It's not about "what to get rid of," but rather, what to keep!
This shift in thinking is incredibly helpful.
Once you have handled all of the items in your home and determined which ones spark joy and eliminated the rest, your home will be a haven of happiness, peace, and order. Having your clutter finally cleared and everything in its place will clear so much space not only in your home, but also your head, your heart, your life, leaving glorious space. And I bet you will be amazed at the new experiences and endeavors and yes, things, that begin to come into your life once you clear the space for them.
A few notes regarding items sparking joy:
We shouldn't throw out our toilet plungers or trash cans or other necessary things that we don't feel spark joy! An example from my process would be my towels. The ones we have are not beautiful, luxurious, matching, or joy sparkers. I got rid of any with holes or ridiculously threadbare, and kept a good amount for us to use. My well worn bath towels do not spark joy as individual items, but having them neatly folded and lined up on the shelf does for me. And always having plenty of clean towels and washrags available for showering now, does bring joy to my family for sure.
Our shower curtain was the single item I replaced in our home. We have found joy in the happy feng shui of having a Spring Tree reflected in our bathroom mirror.
Regarding owning many things that you do not love however, the point really is to get rid of these things. If you do not have many things you love or that spark joy, get rid of what is cluttering your home or your life and does not bring joy and is not essential. The biggest joy sparker I found in the entire process was SPACE and clearing this space will enable things that will spark joy to enter your life. That is a big part of the "magic" found here.
I also found lots of joy in passing along items that I felt would spark joy for others. I was delighted to be able to donate usable and beautiful things that were not needed in my life, so that these items could bless someone else, and hopefully, spark joy anew.
It is respectful to those items to do so in my opinion, and also according to Ms. Kondo. A part of the charm in her writing is her beliefs regarding objects. She thanks her socks and recommends thanking items for their service in your parting with them. Remember, she is Japanese, and she spent time working or serving in a Shinto shrine; animism seems to be a spiritual belief for her. You certainly don't need to believe your socks have a spirit to treat them with respect or just to fold and to wear them, but it is interesting to see things held in such a high regard.
Which Book Should You Order?
In her useful books, Marie Kondo explains exactly, step by step, how to "tidy up" everything, all in one go, for once and for all. Her first book took the world by storm, first in Japan, and then here in the U.S. and all over the world. You should start with this book, as she simply and clearly lays out her whole method and tells you what (and what not) to do.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a quick, easy read; here she sums her method up briefly, so you can begin to make order in your house immediately. It is a complete method and much different from other organizing or cleaning books you may have read before. Those of us who read it and ran with it found it to be more than adequate to tidy our lives.
However, the wonderful new companion volume, Spark Joy, now published, truly is a helpful mate to the first book.
In this illustrated guide, Ms. Kondo goes into detail on exactly how to fold various items of different shapes, for example. Folding is a key tenet in the practice of "KonMari," and every dresser in my house breathes in relief now that I have learned the perfect way to fold and store clothing.
While the first book clearly explained her method, there was not room there for step by step explanations for every category, item, and room in your house, but she does get into much of these details in Spark Joy. I found that all the questions and issues remaining in my mind after reading the first book were clearly and cleverly answered in the equally concise companion volume. So I definitely recommend that you get both of these handy guides and finally put your house in perfect order and eliminate the problem of clutter and mess in your home for once and for all.
I cannot stress enough how much these books have helped me. Gone are the days when folks get out of the shower searching for something to wear (or a towel)! Getting dressed is a joy for everyone in my home because everything is nicely folded and in its proper place. We used to spend so much time looking for things, but not anymore now that EVERYTHING in our home has a place. Sure I still have to clean, and with kids, things do still get left out of place, but these chores are now completed in a fraction of the time they used to take and are done with joy. Now I am overwhelmed with happiness to finally have time for the things I want to do, like blogging!
Good Luck and Enjoy!