My Favorite Lessons From Marie Kondo
I want to start off by saying I’ve read her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up twice not because I was a huge fan at first but because I was confused.
I loved the philosophy but had to look up videos to see how to fold the clothing.
Her first book is chock full of good advice but lacked the clarity and practicality in storage I truly wanted. After the second read through I paired down everything and still loved it.
Her second book, Spark Joy, is where the best advice comes from. It has illustrations and also goes into detail about storage that sometimes gives you multiple options to organize things.
People sometimes misconstrue her talking points but I think her opinions are solid. Here are some quotes and what I took from them.
“There’s no need to finish reading books that you only get halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway. So get rid of all those unread books. It will be far better for you to read the book that really grabs you right now than one that you left to gather dust for years.” — The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
This one quote hit me hard because I had mixed feelings about my books. My first thoughts were obvious: Why not keep the ones I haven’t read? I would read them eventually! I promise!
I was obviously wrong and delusional. I finally got rid of those un-read books and felt so much lighter.
It helped me develop a new rule for books as well. I only keep books I plan to re-read. So far this has helped me pair down quite a lot but I still do a yearly purge of books and clothing.
“If you can say without a doubt, “I really like this!” no matter what anyone else says, and if you like yourself for having it, then ignore what other people think.” — The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I took this rule to heart and have tried to stay true to it. The things I have kept that make me smile when looking at them include things that are sentimental. I have decided to display them, another piece of advice she says to do for things you plan to keep.
I have a Build-A-Bear doll of Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. This doll was a gift from my sister and I like changing their outfits seasonally. I have it on display in my bedroom and have clothes hung up above it.
This brings me visual joy.
Her advice for sentimental items and photos is clear. Simply keep the things that make you the happiest and discard the rest. This helped me years ago sort through old kpop memorabilia I was still holding onto, but I didn’t look at.
It guided me this past fall to start an Instagram for my cats and have a physical photo album of my favorite photos of them. I take my time to select the pictures before printing them. I look at the album whenever I want and it brings me joy.
People are surprised and think it’s strange that I even have an Instagram for the cats. I love them though and looking through the feed or the album makes me incredibly happy.
(You can find the Instagram @4catcastle if interested.)
“Another rule is that once the space has been divided, we should ignore how the others use their own space.” — Spark Joy
In her second book she goes into better detail on the cleaning and storage process. One suggestion she makes is to have designated spaces for household members’ individual items.
Simply put, someone’s bedroom is their bedroom to organize.
You cannot control how others store their items or what they choose to keep. You may think it’s ridiculous or messy but it is their space. Manage your own space and don’t worry about their space.
I like this idea and it also releases stress for me. My partner and I share most things in the house but he has a designated space for his personal items while I have mine. I am actually grateful because he loves organizing and displaying his things. He has a great knack for decorating.
I highly recommend if you are planning to read her books to actually just read the second book: Spark Joy. It brought me way more clarity then the first and it has pictures to explain everything.
In conclusion I will leave you with my favorite quote from Spark Joy:
“Secondly, if you cannot bring yourself to throw something away, keep it with confidence. It might be a T-shirt designed by your high school class for a school festival, for example, but if you can’t part with it, keep it.
Don’t berate yourself for not being able to throw away something as simple as that. Rather, trust your instincts, which you have already honed by choosing what to keep and what to discard for an astounding number of things.
As long as you have approached that T-shirt with integrity, the day will come when you know that it has fulfilled its job.”