A few months ago I read this fascinating international bestseller.
Along with the rest of the internet, I fell completely in love with this little book.
Here are some of my favourite things about Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
You guys. Once you start folding your things so that they stand on end you won’t want to stop. (I have an entire post devoted to vertical folding in the works.)
I started using this type of folding on my clothes (as Kondo suggests), after dramatically paring them down. The effect was magical. I could fit twice as many clothes into my drawers, giving me much more space. In turn, I was able to take things off of shelves and off the closet floor and organize them into the newly-emptied drawers.
Take a look at my underwear drawer. (I can’t believe I just said that to the whole Internet.)
With that lower drawer empty, I now had a nice place for swimwear, which was previously always just kind of stuffed wherever it could fit.
Yay for more space!
The other great thing about folding your clothes this way is that you can see everything at a glance. None of your clothes end up hiding under your other items for months on end until you forget about them. You get a much better sense of what you really have. Beautiful.
After this new folding method transformed my bedroom, I started seeing opportunities to use this method all over the house. Like my dish cloths and towels in my kitchen. I managed to consolidate two drawers into one this way. (There’s also room for cheesecloth/ jelly bags/nut milk bags in there.)
Look at that empty drawer! I didn’t even have to get rid of anything to get it! It’ll come in handy when I reorganize my kitchen.
This was addictive. Next, my drawer of microfiber and other cleaning cloths got the same treatment.
Like I said in an earlier post: learning how to fold this way was worth the price of the book alone.
Use Shoe Boxes as Dividers
Marie Kondo advises against buying new storage solutions. If you feel like you need to head to the Container Store to organize your things, it means you have too much stuff. You need to get rid of more.
However, sometimes it’s nice to add dividers inside your drawer to separate things. She recommends using what you have, and makes a strong case for shoe boxes.
You might notice that I’ve done just that in the photos above. They work perfectly! They’re a great size, they’re sturdy, and they’re attractive. I spent zero dollars on dividers when organizing my stuff. Awesome!
The Criterion, “Does It Spark Joy?”
Marie Kondo’s criterion for whether to keep something is simple. She advises you to hold each item in your hand and ask, “Does this spark joy?” If not, discard it.
As longtime readers know, I’ve been striving towards minimalism for years. I’m constantly purging. So as I’ve been tidying with the KonMari method in the last few months, I haven’t had a ton of stuff to get rid of. However, this new criterion has helped me let go of a few things I’d still been holding onto. It’s been a relief to be able to do so.
Thanking Your Discarded Items for Doing Their Job
This was a paradigm-shifting idea for me, and I loved it.
Sometimes we struggle to let things go because we feel guilty doing so. We think of the money we spent on the item or the person who gave it to us. So we hang onto these things, even though we don’t like/need them and never use them, keeping them shoved in the back of our closet or dresser.
That’s why I love what Kondo suggests: consider whether it has already fulfilled its purpose. Then thank the item for doing its job as you let it go. This is how she explains it:
If, for example, you have some clothes that you bought but never wear, examine them one at a time. . . . If you bought it because you thought it looked cool in the shop, it has fulfilled the function of giving your a thrill when you bought it. Then why did you never wear it? Was it because you realized that it didn’t suit you when you tried it on at home? If so, and if you no longer buy clothes of the same style or color, it has fulfilled another important function — it has taught you what doesn’t suit you. In fact, that particular article of clothing has already completed its role in your life, and you are free to say, “Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you,” or “Thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me,” and let it go (p. 60, emphasis mine).
Later, Kondo adds that after someone has given you a gift, it has fulfilled its purpose. It has been instrumental in allowing that person show her love for you. If you don’t want or need it, you are free to let it go without guilt. It has done its job.
I could go on, but for now, these are my favourite ideas in this fascinating little book.
How about you? Have you read it? Did you love it? What did you like best?
(P.S. Update on Felix: For those of you who are interested . . . everything remains the same. Felix is still well. We’re just waiting through isolation at home. Thanks for your continued prayers, and I’ll provide a more thorough update soon!)
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