The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo’s book the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has taken the world by storm – since it was first published it has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. 

Known as the KonMari method, her book is based on the principle that by organising your home and getting rid of things you don’t need or use you can in turn change your life.

It might seem like a tall order, but the success of the book speaks volumes; people all over the world are responding to the idea that they are weighted down by clutter in their homes, and that too much ‘stuff’ creates tension and stress in the mind.

Curious to learn more? Here’s what the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has to teach us…

Get tidied once and for all

The book’s author Marie Kondo recommends a large scale one-time organisational event where you go through the whole house and get things organised from top to bottom. If you’re tidying a little every day, you’ll be tidying forever. Instead, it’s better to set aside a day or weekend to get through one massive de-cluttering session.

Tidy by category, not room  

Instead of going room by room, the book advises that we should tackle clutter by category in the following order: clothing, books, paper, miscellany and then things with sentimental value. The logic here is that it’s easiest to go through your clothing first and quickly decide what to keep and what is no longer serving you. Once it comes time to sort through the more complicated sentimental items, you’ll be warmed up and ready to go.

Keep only what “sparks joy”

The most important tip from the book is to keep only the items that “spark joy” – but what does this mean? The author recommends holding items in your hand for a moment to see if they bring you joy – if they don’t, it’s time to thank them for their service and discard or donate them. For many of us, the idea that an item would spark a feeling of joy is ridiculous, but the idea behind it is worthwhile. The book says to only keep items that serve a purpose and make you happy – if not, why are you keeping it?

Respect your belongings

Once your big de-clutter is done ideally what’s left behind is a home full of items you love and treat with respect. The book urges us to treat our items as if they have feelings and use them with pride and respect – instead of crumpling clothing in the back of the wardrobe, they should be neatly and proudly arranged on hangers or folded properly in drawers.



Think you might like to discover the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? You can buy it online or in any good bookstore.

What do you think – is this a revolutionary system or just a load of hype? Let us know your thoughts on clutter and tidying up in the comments below!

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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13th Apr 2016
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Since my comment of 30th March below I have in fact obtained a copy of this book! I have read nearly all of it and while I still stand by my comment earlier about one day or one weekend sounding a little ambitious to completely clear a house of junk, I do think there are some useful ideas there, if you look past the sometimes rather flowery language. And although the request to 'thank' an item before disposing of it sounds a little fanciful I think I see the point - it is about 'letting go' and not hanging on to stuff because 'it may come in useful one day' or 'I might wear that again'. Because it never comes in useful and we never wear it again, do we! We are encouraged to think about the pleasure or use an item has been to us, however brief that time might have been, and then get rid of it!
30th Mar 2016
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Just a comment about buying groceries monthly instead of weekly, to save money and the temptation to buy what you don't really need is a good idea. But it does not work for me living with a small kitchen with limited cupboard and fridge/freezer space. With regard to the KonMari idea that you can de-clutter a whole house in just ONE DAY or even ONE WEEKEND!! There cannot be much in a house of that kind to start with! I suppose it might also depend on when you last had a good clear out too but that kind of timescale does not allow time for meals or any other activities either.
9th Mar 2016
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A good guide is Kim and Aggies guide to cleaning. I put on the calendar what jobs on what days/months/weeks needing doing. It works. Also I remember a boyfriend who was very tidy and every Wednesday he had to prepare and cook the evening meal. His mother said she was training him so that he was not entirely useless when he got married, also took him out to restaurants to learn how to behave at the table. She had a good system for keeping the house tidy, she had a laundry basket in the hall. Anything she found lying around went in the basket, every Thursday morning it was emptied on the back lawn. If they were still there by evening it went in the bin. I remember his dad moaning it had snowed and his wellies he needed for work were full of snow.

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