The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Kondo quote image

What would happen if you treated decluttering as a spiritual practice? Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2014), takes this novel angle on aligning your space, your stuff, and your life. It will appeal to minimalists and meditators.

I found some really useful nuggets in this slim volume. My favorite? Kondo recommends transforming the process of discarding into a gratitude practice.

I’ve realized that I’ve kept many objects because I somehow felt that getting rid of them was synonymous with treating them like garbage. Infusing the decision to keep or release an item with gratitude feels liberating.

Kondo’s distinct voice and approach shine throughout. She succinctly observes that people keep unnecessary items out of attachment to the past or anxiety about the future. For her, the main benefit of keeping only those few items that “spark joy” is the clarity about life in the present that results.

Kondo sums up her philosophy on page 21: “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state. You can see any issues you have been avoiding, and are forced to deal with them.” Elsewhere, she likens the process of purging excess to the painful yet exhilarating practice of meditating under a waterfall.

If are you among the vast majority that would self-administer electric shocks in a room with no other entertainment option, this is NOT your organizing book.

Feeling brave and ready to take the plunge? Kondo recommends taking about 6 months to move from chaos to calm, starting with clothes and ending with photographs. She also gives her readers permission to discard her book. I recommend just borrowing it from a library. 🙂