#Meaningful Reading :: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up ::

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you had a good start of the week. This is my first week back at work - so I am still trying to find my feet and my new routine. I will be blogging regularly but I need to find the time to do it properly. Just bear with me for a couple of weeks. 

However I really wanted to tell you about the life-changing magic of tidying - the Konmari method. Other bloggers have referred to this book. It took 4 months for me to get it out of the library - clearly I am not the only one wanting to read it. And was it worth the wait? Oh people, it was! I read it in 5 days, and I kept taking notes. At first I was only going to mention it on a Friday Randomly Sharing post, but this book is so important to me that it deserved a post of its own. 

I have to add a little bit of disclaimer here - because it might explain why this book spoke to me - I love tidying, and I have no issue getting rid of things. Also since Little Baby MiH left us, I have been rethinking the meaning of stuff - hence my word for 2016. So the book came exactly at the right time for me. 

The book explains two main points to enjoy the magic of tidying: deciding whether or not to throw something away and deciding where to put it (only after you fully decluttered your house). As Marie Kondo explains 'tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order. .. This lifestyle should bring you joy'. 

As I mentioned I love to declutter my house - whereas Mr MiH is quite happy to accumulate and be untidy. However I actually never thought of a method to declutter, and I would usually work on one location and then run out of steam quite quickly. If you have read reviews of this book, you will know that the key to throw away is to take each item in you hand and ask whether it sparks joy or not - and by taking it in your hands your body is supposed to react. This is a very powerful tool of course. But I was also really interested in her way to approach tidying by categories rather than location. And finally she does address the guilt in getting rid of things that might be still new or were gifts from people. 

The book explains everything step by step. It is not written as a manual per say, but processes are clearly identified. Also she spends quite a bit of time explaining why some of her steps are more likely to work than other methods of tidying. From my point of view, the main driver to follow her method is my aim - being surrounded by meaningful objects that bring joy into our lives. In fact I wanted to tackle one category quite quickly - my craft stash. I have been quite uninspired recently. And one of my main issues is that my stash did not inspire the person I aspire to be - an ethical crafter. I have started with my yarn stash, and already I feel much lighter and happier to knit. There is still a lot of tidying to be done, before I get to where I want to be, but I feel I am on my way. 

A snippet from my new stash
One area I also had to tackle was my handmade accessories - I tackled the category 'accessories' yesterday (scarves, belts, mittens, beanie hats etc). I had kept everything I made for myself, except that not everything I made sparked joy yesterday. In fact only a small proportion did and I parted with the majority of it - and it was fine and in fact enlightening. I had to make decisions about my style, what suits me (colour, shape etc) - and the next day I was sporting my favourite beanie hat on my way to work - because it was easy to access, and I knew it sparked joy. I do not regret making any of the other accessories I got rid of because I learnt construction techniques, improved my knitting and crochet skills, made some mistakes and got engaged in the craft community - and it helped me the crafter I am now. 

I loved the book and its message. I have to say though that sometimes I felt she was totally OTT - she was reading homemaker magazines at the age of 5 and started being interested in tidying techniques then - well WTF?! Equally I am just wondering about her early fascination for filing devices - I am not sure I am getting it. However these quirky aspects of the book makes it a much more palatable read than a mere tidying manual.

Read it, be open minded about it. You will find yourself nodding at some of the characters she refers to. I will now carry on with my own tidying. I have not followed her recommended order - because of how strongly I felt about some categories. So accessories, socks, underwear and yarn stash. Tomorrow is jewellery. According to the book, it should take 6 months... I might be able to do it, whether I can rope Mr MiH in my tidying adventures... and ask him which object spark joy to him... yeah I may need more than 6 months for that to happen. 


  1. I borrowed it from the library too.....one less book to keep! I certainly have the guilty feelings and also the fact something could be made into something else at a later date, but I'm trying. Looks like you will be more successful than me, keep it up and you'll be sorted before you know it.

  2. It is odd how somethings are difficult to part with! I have been trying to destash my fabric this week, which is very difficult! Hopefully you will be able to get Mister MiH on board to help with the task! It could prove overwhelming....

  3. Oh, that is one book I'm interested in reading too! Another crafting friend was telling me about this months ago.. But of course I forgot about it. Good luck on your meaningful journey!

  4. I've read this book, and it is such a great approach to decluttering- I completely agree with you about how holding each object is hugely impactful and makes it a lot easier to figure out how you feel about a possession. My biggest challenge is getting the stuff out of the house as fast I can declutter it- it tends to pile up in big bags for a couple of weeks like an eyesore before they get dragged off to charity.

  5. I completely agree, it's a fabulous book! I made a start but got sidetracked so will have to reread and tackle more stuff. I had bags and bags to donate/bin!

  6. I completely agree, it's a fabulous book! I made a start but got sidetracked so will have to reread and tackle more stuff. I had bags and bags to donate/bin!