Books We Love: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Reviewed by Emily D. Tisdale

We all want a well-organized workspace and a perfectly ordered home, but as busy entrepreneurs, life sometimes gets in the way and clutter takes over. We already have so much to do that it’s easy to put off tidying up.

Unfortunately, while we all want to be organized, it can be really hard to know where to begin. Whether it’s stacks of papers in our office or a closet overflowing with clothes, there seem to be a million obstacles keeping us from getting (and staying) organized.

Luckily, Japanese organizing consultant Marie “KonMari” Kondo is here to save the day with her bestselling book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Things We Learned

Forget Conventional Wisdom

For most of us, our natural instinct is to tidy up on a room-by-room basis. While this sounds great in theory, have you ever organized your office one day and your closets the next, only to find that your office is in shambles again a few days later?

The KonMari method focuses on tidying by category rather than by area. Kondo suggests starting with clothes, followed by books, papers, komono (the Japanese word for miscellany), and finally mementos. For each category, you’ll gather items from your various storage spots in your home.

This results in a space that is immediately tidier in multiple areas.


Re-Think How You View Your Belongings

Once you delve into the KonMari method, you’ll likely be surprised at the sheer amount of belongings you unearth. Seeing so many objects in one spot will help you re-think your relationship to each individual object.

The principle of the KonMari method is to keep only items that bring you joy, ignoring whether you might use this item later or even how recently you purchased the item. While this sounds counterintuitive to how most of us tidy, the results are undeniable. Whether it’s a sweater that makes you feel just meh, or a book that’s been gathering dust for years, the KonMari method gives you the confidence to say goodbye to items that have outlived their purpose.

Soon, your space will be filled only with items that make you happy – and isn’t that the point of tidying up?


Change Your Approach to Storage

The KonMari method isn’t just about tidying up, it’s also about achieving simplicity in storage. The goal is for all of your things to have a designated spot in your home, rather than being stored in random spaces throughout.

Once you’ve pared down your possessions only to the objects that truly spark joy, you’ll find that you no longer need complex storage solutions. You’ll no longer have an overwhelming number of possessions, and those that you’ve kept are in frequent use.

Your method of storage and display also matters in the KonMari method. Easy access and attractive presentation are important. Kondo’s book provides detailed instructions on methods for folding your clothes and focuses on vertical storage rather than stacking.


Favorite Quote

I can think of no greater happiness in life than to be surrounded only by the things I love. How about you? All you need to do is to get rid of anything that doesn’t touch your heart. There is no simpler way to contentment.

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