I know, without a doubt, that my energy feels uplifted after tidying up or de-cluttering. I believe that clutter and chaos depresses the spirit in an invisible way that you may never notice until after a good cleaning and clearing session like I do.
I didn’t develop a healthy habit of tidying up as a child or as a teen, as my mother did all the housework. I tended to disorderliness, a sign I think of not having or wanting to have my feet firmly planted on this earth.
As long as it’s not noisy, I can work in a physically chaotic environment due to my enhanced ability to focus. But it doesn’t feel optimal. Also, I notice an immediate feeling of aversion whenever I encounter a messy house or space. I see this as a sign that disorder is not conducive for my own well-being. I suspect this is true across the board for almost all of us. How is it for you?
During my one-week spring break, I went into active cleaning, decluttering, and organizing mode. It felt so good to clean out under the sinks, reorganize my closet, and reduce my archive file box to a few inches of folders from its previous bursting at the seems appearance. During this time, I decided to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo to keep the positive momentum going.
To be honest, I find most books on decluttering boring. But this book is unique, perhaps due to its roots in Japanese culture. It’s been wildly popular, selling more than 2 million copies. Kondo’s book confirmed my intuitive claims by asserting that putting your house in order can positively effect all other areas of your life. She even suggests that your life will change dramatically when you finish the process.
There are two phases to the tidying up process using the KonMari method:
- Finding a place for everything that remains
Here are ten of the most important tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and my commentary on what I found useful or not.