By Jennifer Kapraun, LAc
New Year's is upon us again. Time to reflect on our goals, plans, and intentions for the coming year. If your New Year's resolutions include getting more organized or creating a more peaceful, beautiful and healthful home, consider reading The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
Don't be fooled by the word "magic". Kondo's system is simple, detailed, and methodical. We think the "magic" is in her philosophy: Kondo's tidying principles get to the root of what creates disorder in the home, adapt beautifully to each individual or type of living space, and create a self-sustaining balance that requires minimal effort to maintain. We think Kondo may have discovered a "natural law" of how belongings behave in the home. She recognizes that, though man-made, the objects we are surrounded by have a "life", are a part of nature, and effect our health and the course of our lives profoundly. We see some lovely parallels with Chinese Medicine.
So what can you expect this book to do for you, practically? First, it will show you how to decide what to keep. Kondo insists this is the most important step. She emphasizes the decision is what to keep, not what to discard, and shows you how to do this with ease and no regrets. Next, she outlines the proper order in which to tidy up a home. Where you start really matters, she says, and if you follow the order she prescribes, she guarantees success, claiming that never has she had a client relapse into clutter. And finally, she tells you how items should be stored. You do not need any special equipment to store your items, and her book is full of tricks for keeping things neatly put away. They actually work; we've tried them!
What we really love about The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up is that it addresses the root cause of clutter rather than cosmetic or temporary fixes or "symptom suppression". Kondo's approach is revolutionary. After reading her book, you will discard a large percentage of your possessions without a moment's remorse, feel more at home in your home, and what's more: tidying will become a pleasure, not a chore.