The life-changing magic of tidying up

Otherwise known as the KonMarie Method. I have read it. Have I applied it? Let’s see.

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Alright. When I started this book, I had heard only good things, so I was hopeful. I *tend* to be on the hoarding side of things when it comes to clothes, beauty products, books (especially books) and objects relating to various hobbies. I thought this might give me a kick in the butt to do some thorough spring cleaning, and it did!

However, what this book ultimately wants to do is not to help you along your personnal cleaning and organizing journey, it is to brainwash you into getting rid of absolutely everything you own that you don’t use regularily on the basis that it’s useless and therefore cluttering your life and cramping your style, causing you unhapiness. Let me tell you that if I’d follow every step requested in this book I’d be far unhappier than I was before picking up this book, and let me tell you why.

According to this lady, you have to first of all aknowledge every item you possess by touching them and thanking them for their service to you. You also have to fold clothes in a certain way, not just because its a more efficient storage method, but because the clothing item at the bottom of a pile will not thrive and it will basically hurt their soul. That whole part about talking to my shoes and my books, and thinking about their well being in the world, not for me. But if it helps you in any way, go for it. I didn’t go into this book in quest of a spiritual journey, so I’ll skip that.

There is also the fact that if you hold an item in your hand and it doesn’t spark joy right away, you should discard it. Wait a minute. There is absolutely no cooking equipment in my kitchen that gives me a feeling of joy. I have them because I need them and I use them. Same goes for a lot of necessary things, so I don’t think this rule applies all the time, and so shouldn’t be enforced so strictly.

Finally, she goes on about how nobody will ever use spare buttons so it’s useless to keep them (I agree), how it’s not useful to keep 5 times the amount of kleenex boxes you can use in one year because you buy them everytime they’re one sale (I also agree)… however, telling us to throw away electrical device warranty papers because ” you will never need it” doesn’t make sense. What if a bluray or coffee machine that cost me a lot breaks? I’ll just have to buy a new one because I threw away something that barely takes any space? That’s not a good advice. Telling us to get rid of memorabilia and family pictures that are emotionally important to us just because we don’t look at them on a weekly basis isn’t right either.

I feel like her method is just a tad too extreme. She says that not one of her clients have had rebound and gone back to accumulating too much stuff, but I feel like when you get rid of too much, you loose a part of your personality along with it. Your space may become and stay tidy, allowing you to breathe and experience an uncluttered environment, but everything is so plain you probably just end up feeling guilty of purchasing anything after having gone to all the trouble of throwing half your life away so thats why you don’t go back to how it was before.

She insists that only doing her method halfway won’t ever give you lasting results and that doing a little at a time will only give you temporary relief but… what’s wrong with that. It’s not like I feel unhappy with my life.

Also, there is a whole chapter about books where she says that unless you’re a scholar or an author, you won’t ever reread books that you love and can therefore give them away as soon as you read them, or that if a book as been sitting unread for more than a few months, you’ll never really read them. Obviously this may apply for the majority, but a book lover like me who reads an average of 100 books a year DOES reread her favorite books on a regular basis and does eventually get to most books she owns. I also feel like having my own personal library brings me a lot more joy than a blank wall would (were I to get rid of them), so I will skip her advice on that one as well.

On a better note, the book still did what I wanted it to do for me. I’m not following her method and probably never will, but it gave me a push to really look at what I owned and stop staying attached to old clothes that fit well but haven’t been worn in years or shoes that are still brand new but that I bought on a whim and will most likely never wear, clean up old make up etc. I have a very very large black garbage bag full of clothes, shoes, purses and other things to bring to the thrift store, I threw away a few grocery bags worth of ungiveable stuff, and I have some free storage space again, and it feels great.

So all in all, I don’t think this particular book has changed my way of looking at things and doing things, and I think that any book about organizing would have had the desired effect on me, but I still enjoyed the first half of it a lot. The second half got a little intense for me, but I still see the appeal.

3/5 stars!

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