The Top 7 Things I Learned From Reading Marie Kondo's Book (Twice)
Who Is Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo is the organizing guru obsessed with the idea of decluttering. She coined her own “MarieKondo Method” which is detailed in her little blue book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. She has since changed people's lives all over the world with her step by step decluttering method. I actually discovered & bought her book in Barnes and Noble a while back before I knew who she was. I found it interesting but didn’t put her method (fully) to work until the second time I read it in August of this year. She has recently become even more well known through her show on Netflix.
Why did I read the book twice?
Those of you who know me know that my memory isn’t my greatest quality. Therefore, this book took two solid reads to stick (*cue me taking notes while reading it the second time, no I’m not kidding).
Life in an NYC apartment…
Noah and I moved into our apartment in September. Overwhelming was an understatement. He is so easy to live with, but throwing together all of my stuff + his stuff (okay, mostly my stuff…) then trying to squeeze it into a small NYC apartment was no small feat. I re-read Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying book for the second time right when we moved in to try and help me get through it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Okay, but aren’t her ideas a little bit crazy?
UMM YES. I know there is a lot of debate around whether or not her “KonMarie method” actually works but I can honestly say I’m a big believer. I don’t go to the extreme when using her methods—for instance, I don’t believe our socks have feelings and get tired when I bundle them… and I don’t say “thank you” to every item I get rid of, but I do think there’s a lot of stock in her methods as a whole. *Disclaimer: I love the idea of saying thank you and being grateful to the big man for all of my blessings. HOWEVER when I’m sorting through 3459382098 things I sometimes forget to thank each item personally.
“Order of Operations” Creates Efficiency
Me: Wait, so maybe my middle school math teacher was onto something here? Shoutout to *PEMDAS* for making its way back into my adult life. The MarieKondo method recommends sorting through things in this particular order: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous things), and sentimental items. Instead of organizing all items as you sort through them you must go through all and THEN organize. Declutter first, organize second. I struggled with this a little at first but it makes sense because once you get to the organizational stage you have a lot fewer items to deal with.
Marie: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.”
Things Can Spark Joy
Me: I have WAY less clothes than I used to. I was so scared at first throwing out clothes that haven’t seen the light of day in years… I was nervous I’d need them again. Update: it’s been 3 months and I haven’t missed a one! I took SO many trips to goodwill and purging my closet actually ended up being refreshing in the end. I now wear the clothes I do have a lot more often, but they are comfortable and look nice, and my closet isn’t bursting at the seams anymore. When I first read about clothes being tired it sounded pretty silly but truthfully the items in my closet used to be so squished together I couldn’t see what I had. Not only were they tired (as Marie might say LOL) but i was tired when I looked at them and tried to restack them, fix the hangers, etc. Now they have space to “breathe” and I too can breathe too when i swing open the closet doors.
—“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
—"The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life."
Everything Has a “Home”
Me: Having a million places for things is a bad idea. I used to have one pair of scissors for each room just in case I needed them and wanted to easily access, but that was truthfully a hot mess of an idea… Having one place for every item is so key. This past weekend I asked Noah to grab tweezers for me and he knew exactly where to grab them. Having one “home” for each (one place it can be found, everytime we need it) really saves a lot of time.
Marie: "A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming."
4. It’s OK (and healthy!) to Let Things Go
Me: Before reading this book i legitimately kept EVERY gift i received. It felt so rude and wrong not to keep what was given to me, even if it wasn’t my taste… or didn’t fit… That itchy sweater I got in a dirty santa swap? Kept it. That birthday card from my great great uncle who i met at a family reunion (once)? Kept it. Part of the issue was I was scared by getting rid of it I was telling that past experience goodbye. Marie Kondo’s idea is that it’s actually healthier to get rid of these things because you aren’t doing them justice by sticking them on a back shelf and never thinking of or using them. She helped me realize the experience isn’t lost through getting rid of the item because we’ve grown through the experience and it lasts in our memory. Keeping that old sweater isn’t changing that.
—"Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a closet or drawer that you have forgotten its existence? If things had feelings, they would certainly not be happy. Free them from the prison to which you have relegated them. Help them leave that deserted isle to which you have exiled them."
—"It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past."
5. Dressing Up To Organize
Me: Okay, sorry Marie girl, but this was actually one of the things mentioned that i didn’t agree with. Marie Kondo wears nice everyday dresses and clothing while she works. I tried it, but it wasn’t for me. I like to organize in comfy clothes (or even PJs LOL).
6. How To FOLD
Marie: "The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage. It is an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle. Therefore, when we fold, we should put our heart into it, thanking our clothes for protecting our bodies."
7. Using bins and boxes
Me: Organizing things in containers has been a game changer for us. It just keeps everything together and compact rather than falling all over the place. She even recommends having boxes within boxes when necessary and grouping “like with like”.
Marie: “Have one place or container for each of the three keep categories, and don’t bother with any further storage. The goal is to discard enough that it isn’t a hassle to go through everything you have to find what you need.”
I created some organizing templates for myself and I thought y’all might enjoy them too! They include: a November calendar, a weekly cleaning chart, and a weekly “to-do” list. Receive them by signing up for my email list here: https://mailchi.mp/b9037ac31027/bamatobrooklyn