There’s one thing that I cannot agree more from the book “The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up” and it’s this: Tidying can transform your life.
You probably have experienced this — the moment of satisfaction when you look around your sparkly clean living space after a long, hard work of decluttering.
Something about the tidy surrounding uplifts your mood. It’s a sense of accomplishment. Or, perhaps, a sense of control.
But, here’s the thing. So often the tidy surrounding doesn’t last long. And then, we lose control.
I believe it isn’t about the act of tidying alone, but more of the mind-set behind the act. That’s why it must start with the right mind-set, and only then you can truly change your life.
In her book “The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up,” Marie Kondo teaches you how to do exactly that.
Here are six important lessons I’ve learned from this book:
Lesson #1. Understand Your Why
In order to achieve something, you must always have a goal in mind and this is no different when it comes to tidying. Start with a general goal and work your way into being more specific and visualize them. What is your ideal lifestyle? What is it that you ultimately want to achieve? And then, delve deeper into the why. Continue asking — Why do you want that lifestyle? Why do you want to achieve that goal? The point is to realize your true intention and desire of tidying.
Lesson #2. It’s All About What Sparks Joy
The only criterion utilized in KonMari method is whether the thing you are holding sparks joy or not. If the item you are holding sparks joy, you keep it, but if it doesn’t, you discard it — It’s that simple. The point is to surround yourself with things that only makes you happy and joyful.
Lesson #3. Having A Strategy Goes A Long Way
It’s true — the very reason we aren’t really good at tidying is probably because we’ve never really learned how. So, it’s noteworthy to take some notes from the Japanese tidy guru. Here’s some of the ‘how-tos’ mentioned in the book:
- Tidy by category (clothes, books, papers, etc.) and never by location (bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc.).
- Tidy in this particular order: Clothes > Books > Papers > Misc. > Momentos. It’s lot easier to make decisions on what sparks joy of the things that has less sentimental values and work your way to the items that has more sentimental values.
- Always tidy on one-go.
- Remove all items from the current storage and pile them up. Then, touch the item one by one to determine whether it sparks joy or not.
- Store the items at a place where it requires less effort to put them away.
Lesson #4. Every Item Needs a Home To Return To
Just like how we have a place to go at the end of the day, assign a storage place for each item to return to after being used. By having one designated space from the get go, there will be no confusion where to store the item. By doing so, the house will always be in order, and no more rebound effect.
Lesson #5. Enthusiastically Say Good-Bye To Those Items That Served Its Full Purpose
We tend to come up with many reasons why we keep the things we do. Whether it’s that trendy jeans that are two sizes too small or a designer handbag we’ve spent too much money on, take a moment and think about what was the real reason you bought something in the first place? More specifically, think about whether they served their purpose?
For example, why did you buy that jeans that doesn’t fit you? Was it to motivate you to lose weight? If it doesn’t fit you today, and most importantly, it no longer sparks joy, don’t hesitate to say good-bye. If buying smaller jeans helped you to be more active, then it certainly did served its purpose.
Lesson #6. Be Thankful – Things Are Just Not Things
We live such a comfortable life because of all the things we have. As Kondo puts it, they work really hard for us. My handbag holds all of my essential items. My laptop and phone keep me things organized in one central place. And my clothes and shoes protect my body and feet from external obstacles.
Whether things have feelings or not is up for debate (I guess?). But here’s the core concept — if your things are working so hard everyday serving you to your needs without fail, should you really treat them as just things? It’s certainly much more. So, take good care of them, and they will take good care of you.
Without a doubt, tidying and putting house in order isn’t the only way to transform your life. But, it is one of the most effective and therapeutic ways and indeed a perfect way to re-set your life.
So, tidy up and let your new life begin!
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