If you are not a big reader, you might have missed the buzz on Marie Kondo’s book: “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up- The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing”. This small book has been on the NY Times Best Seller list for several weeks and is creating a lot of chatter. I suspect “Kondo” will be added as a new dictionary word for decluttering this year (as in: I ‘kondo’d’ my pantry this weekend; Kondo’d my closet, etc.).
Those who know me are frequently aggravated by the fact that I do not keep many ‘things’. I am quick to discard, recycle or donate clothing, books, home décor, paperwork (of any kind) and anything else that makes its way into my home or office. Family sees this as a lack of sentimentality. Marie Kondo sees this as a requirement for a clean, uncluttered, peaceful and enjoyable home.
Read this quote from The London Times:
“[It is] enough to salute Kondo for her recognition of something quietly profound: that mess is often about unhappiness, and that the right kind of tidying can be a kind of psychotherapy for the home as well as for the people in it … Its strength is its simplicity.” – The London Times
I was in Atlanta the other week for a business conference and had the pleasure of listening to a talk by Suzanne Kasler, one of the best interior designers in the country.
She was speaking about our job as designers and how that job is not about the ‘buying’ but the ‘editing’. I see this all the time. Many clients simply have too much ‘stuff’ but struggle to part with it. They buy and buy, but what they’ve bought just is not right so they are unfulfilled.
Frequently we hear: it was expensive, it was given by a relative, I might need it someday. But, the client doesn’t love it and it doesn’t bring them joy. Marie Kondo tells you how to deal with this once and for all.
She claims you just need to do a thorough tidy once and you never have to do it again. She tells you how to move past keeping things like old electronics, power cords, warranty cards, extra makeup, lotions and travel size samples. If it is in your home, she tells you how to categorize it, eliminate it, or store it at no expense (no need to purchase any systems or storage bins).
Kondo helps those of us emotionally attached to things for sentimental reasons or personal reasons. She explains how to thank the item for its usefulness and then move it out of your home. Her big take away is that you handle every item and ask yourself: “Does this bring me joy”.
Kondo is passionate and serious about her position. I giggled at several of her statements and points of view (including how to care for your socks). But, I agree completely with her major concepts and advice for how to store items (for example, store items vertically so you can see them, not one on top of the other).