Monday, January 11, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up-the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo.

Yesterday a friend asked me if I could write a book review of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up-the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo, for a newsletter for retired teachers.  

I thought I had actually already reviewed it and written about it  here, but I hadn't so now I am, as promised.

I confess to being a clutterer which does bother me and has  drawn me to Simple magazine and shows on decluttering.  My problem is I like my things and can be quite sentimental, but I also can get frustrated and overwhelmed when I can't find something.  I also have sometimes felt that people who spend their lives tidying don't get much done (but that is probably because it seems to take me a long time to do so).

Many teachers tell me that they are going to get organized at home when they retire.  No doubt because many of us tend to be pack rats because we might have a use for something someday.

The first step is cleaning out your classroom.  Organized people walk out of the school the last day of employment with everything done.  It probably took me off and on two weeks, and since my room wasn't used as a classroom for another year, I ended up spending a day a year later going through books left behind with the teacher, new to grade seven, who was taking over the classroom.

And of course I did bring home boxes from school and just as I was told most of the files I did keep have not been used.

But I think that all has something to do with the difficulty of letting go.

One of my friends had told me about this book initially and then I found it in a book store had had to bring it home.  I loved her writing style.  I liked the titles-section one-Why can't I keep my house in order? and chapters like-Tidy a little each day and you will be tidying forever, The moment you start you reset your life etc. etc.

I also liked how she told personal stories-explaining as she did how she developed her approach.  As my friend said it was inspirational.
Her bottom line is you must discard and then decide where to store things.

I started with my clothes and I did one drawer at a time-discarding what wasn't worn and using her folding method so that now I could see exactly what was in my drawer.  I mean who knew I had 31 pairs of socks!  And I have stuck to the folding method!  Why?  Because I know what is where!

As I brought out her book again (please don't ask to borrow it as I refuse to lend it)  it took me a few minutes to find it so I think there are some more books that need giving away.  Note she believes in tidying by category-easiest categories like clothes first.  She also believes that you make tidying an event not a daily chore.

I also like how she feels that the real task of tidying is to not the final destination, but a tool to establish the lifestyle you want, once your house is put in order.

So bottom line, is my house clutter free? No… but has this book helped me? Yes!!!  To learn more without even buying the book just go to her website!