Summary of “the life-changing magic of tidying up”:
Marie Kondo writes the “KonMari” method. The book ends up being as much about her mistakes in learning how to tidy as it is about how to tidy. The book conveys a certain positive energy that makes me want to recommend it, but the author also brings that energy in reaction to a kind of previous stress which accompanied tidying, which she does not seem to have completely dropped–if you are mysteriously anxious and feel you MUST discard everything after reading her book, this may be why.
The primary point she makes is meant to cure it: Decide what to keep and what to discard by physically touching each item, and asking if it brings you joy.
The rest of the method:
- Positivity. Everything in your house loves and wants to help you. If it is time to send off some of the items on their next adventure, this is no reason to be sad or anxious. You had a great time meeting, and they and you were both happy.
- Tidy all at once (at least by category, but preferably in a multi-day binge).
- Physically gather the category in once place, touching everything and asking if it brings you joy.
- Find out what you’ll keep and discard before putting things away or organizing.
- Organizing: ??? [I didn’t get any big takeaways here].
Marie Kondo’s best advice is realizations from her past mistakes–the sort of methods which seems reasonable to try, but end up being wrong for subtle reasons. They are:
- Tidy by category, not place. Otherwise, you won’t realize everything you have.
- “Storage” is storing things neatly, and lets you have more and more things. This is different than tidying, which is about bringing things in harmony, and having only things you love. Becoming better at “storage” can make you unhappy.
She also has encountered her clients making mistakes. For each category of things (clothes, books, etc) there are many reasons clients may not want to throw something out. Most of the book is meant to illustrate why these things are useless, and why throwing them out is okay and will make you happier.
The fun part is that many clients were more confident and more in touch with what they valued and who they wanted once they had only possessions they loved.