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I had no intention of reading Marie Kondo’s book THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP, but I couldn’t resist picking up the small, turquoise book from the express shelf at the library. I needed to see for myself why this book has become so popular.

I’m already a minimalist. I know the joy of eliminating things we don’t need and living in a place without clutter. Marie Kondo showed me how I can take my tidying to the next level. I couldn’t put the book down and read it rather quickly.

The Kon Marie method is comprised of two steps:

  1. Go through everything you own by category in the order she suggests (clothes first and leaving photos for last.) Pick up each item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, then get rid of it.
  2. Once you are only left with the items that bring you joy, then you need to find a place for everything

Marie Kondo says the process can take up to six months, but once you complete her method you will never have to tidy again. I understand the logic, but I honestly have trouble finding places for everything. The items in my kitchen cabinets, drawers, and closets are not always neatly placed.

I opened the book to help me with my kitchen cabinets and I didn’t find much help. I may pull everything out and go through my items and see if I can store things in a more efficient manner. However, when you live with other people they may listen to your instructions about where everything goes, but they’ll still put the cheese grater in the wrong place.

The book includes a lot of helpful ideas on what can be thrown away. She addresses the fears we have with getting rid of our things, but also the joy of being surrounded only by the things you appreciate. She also debunks tidying myths and says storage systems are for hoarders.

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The Habits I Will and Won’t Change

I had to turn in the book today, so I’m jotting down some notes to help me remember what I learned. These are habits I will change and won’t change after reading this book.

– I will go through each of my photos. Discard duplicates and unnecessary photos. Then put my photos in albums with notes for reference. No more random boxes of photos.

– I will get rid of clothes that don’t spark joy and thank the discarded ones for teaching me what I don’t like.

– I will not empty my purse each time I get home. I’m sure my kids would love waiting an extra five minutes for dinner while I clean out my receipts and thank my purse for a job well done (/end sarcasm font).

– I will fold my t-shirts in neat little squares so they can sit up vertically and I can see what I have at a glance. I tried this yesterday and it totally works.

– I will not fold my kids’ clothes into neat squares, but continue to throw their shirts in their shirt drawer like messy noodles.

– I will collect all my homeschool stuff into one pile and sort through each item. I have homeschool stuff in the garage and upstairs in my closet. I’m not entirely sure of what all I have.

– I will not wipe down my shampoo and conditioner after each use and store them in a dry location. They are perfectly fine on the ledge of the bathtub.

– I will get rid of our little bucket of coins. Any future coins will go straight to my wallet to be spent.

– I will go through my books and DVDs and keep only the ones that belong in my hall of fame.

– I will not keep my socks neatly folded in my drawer. I don’t care if balling my socks makes them wear out faster. I need to put my socks away quickly and find them quickly. Balling works for me. I only own three different kinds of socks anyway.

There is a lot of practical advice in THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP. Each reader will take different notes, but the goal is to live a life surrounded by only the things that bring you enjoy. If you are even a little bit curious about how to organize and tidy up your place, then I highly recommend this book.

Have you read THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP? What were your takeaways?