(And Might Even Change Your Life)
The Japanese have an expression: Your heart shows in your room. Certainly, an individual’s choices about decor can reveal the narrative of her life in broad strokes. The grand piano in the living room, the chicken coop in the backyard, the state-of-the-art Peloton indoor bike: they all tell a story. But as they say, the devil is in the details. The stack of old, unopened mail on the piano; the broken furniture piled outside the chicken coop; and the clothes hanging from the handlebars of the Peloton all reveal the current condition of your life. And if you’re like most people, you’re a little overscheduled, overburdened and overwhelmed. And you’d rather binge watch a new series on Netflix than organize your space. Not because you’re lazy, but because you just don’t know where to start.
That’s why the new Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” is such a revelation. She is fully cognizant of the deep connection between the appearance of our personal space and our peace of mind, and has created a beautiful, orderly and informative program that reveals the ethos of organization in enticing, easy-to-digest segments. “Tidying is not just about cleaning,” explains Kondo “it is also about creating a space that sparks joy. By doing this, you get one step closer to your ideal life.”
Yep, Kondo takes great joy in creating order from chaos. It is her life’s work and the subject of her 2014 international best seller “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” If you think “life-changing” is an overstatement, then clearly you have yet to try the KonMari method, which is the special name Kondo gave to her decluttering sequence. Start by piling all of your clothes on top of your bed. Go through each item, piece by piece and ask yourself “does this sweater ‘spark joy’?” If not, discard or donate it, but definitely don’t keep it. Once you finish with your clothes, do the same with your books and papers. Then tackle your “komono” (kitchen, bath, garage, living room and everything miscellaneous). Finally, when your sensitivity to what ‘sparks joy’ is at its height, you are ready to address your sentimental items such as photographs, souvenirs and items received as gifts.
If you’re wondering where the phrase “sparks joy” comes from: it’s at very root of Kondo’s approach to organizing, and it’s a succinct summary of her raison d’être. When you remove detritus from your personal space, you free up energy to curate the home and lifestyle that you really want. And that truly is life-changing.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo