As this year’s birthday neared, I decided to sort through the junk of my past. I’ve had a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing for sometime now, but never bothered to read it. Then it started to frequently appear on my social media feed and I decided to pay attention. So, I finished off the book in a day or two . . . and with little to no motivation decided to tackle the outlined tasks.
Kondo instructs that you take on your stuff by categories. Begin with clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and finally sentimental items. So, clothes, right? The first day, I pulled out every single piece of clothing that I owned and tossed it on the guest bed. When I saw the pile I immediately started to cry and rushed out of the room. When I finally pulled myself together, I accomplished gathering about 10 bags of shoes, clothes, and purses for donation. I even reorganized my closet and drawers and folded everything as recommended.
Books. So, you know my first reaction was, I ain’t getting rid of my books! What reader isn’t proud of their book collection? But, as Kondo notes, there are books we own that we say we’ll read one day. We probably never will though. There are books we tell ourselves we will re-read. Doubt it if we really will though. The real goal is to only keep the books that spark joy when you touch them. Most importantly, you shouldn’t read the books while deciding what to keep.
Over the years, I’ve amassed quite the black literature collection. Some of these books, I wouldn’t notice or care if they were gone. Others–and I don’t care if I ever read them–I’m just not going to part with. But, thanks to Kondo, my bookshelves only feature my absolute favorite books and references now. I managed to part with 5 boxes of books, but still packed away 2 boxes. I don’t think I would have accomplished any of this without the help of this book.
I purchased a copy of Kondo’s book for my mother in hopes that she will consider decluttering. Unfortunately, the idea of piling all her belongings in the middle of the room and sorting for hours has frightened her away. This is definitely a book you should approach when ready. Thanks to Kondo, I’ve organized and sorted through every single thing in my house that I’d once shoved into boxes, closets, and drawers over the years. My husband still can’t understand the purpose, but he sure can appreciate the magic of tidy.
Back to reading, y’all!