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Working My Way Through Tidying – Konmari Style

I am so excited about this wonderful book I’m reading called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, by Marie Kondo.

This is one of the best books I have ever encountered that transform the way one views their belongings. Since childhood Marie Kondo has known her purpose and she is master at helping people release emotional attachment to their belongings and to recognize when something has served its purpose.

Those who have followed her system, she claims, never revert back to a cluttered life-styled and I’m believing it. “You start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.”It’s the perfect time to do this now, as I’m purchasing a house soon.

Instead of organizing by rooms, you tidy by categories. Before you start to look for places for things to go, you have to discard all the items that no longer belong in your life. You only keep the?things?that spark joy. To make certain it sparks joy, you have to physically hold each item and make a decision about it. You purge through things systematically, following her order of categories. You start with your clothing and then move onto your books. You go down the list category by category.

I’m almost through the second category–books! And what a journey. For an author, books are nearly as difficult to sort through as personal mementos. Marie writes: In the end, you are going to read very few of your books again. As with our clothing, we need to stop and think about what purpose these books serve. She also writes: The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it. To avoid missing that moment, I recommend that you keep your collection small. While that might be true for the general population, it isn’t so for writers (though she does make note that our book collection will vary because of our art form.) Nevertheless, I tackled my bookshelves with an attempt to be even more honest. I had to ask myself over and over, will I truly re-read this or will I need to revisit how they laid out this plot. When it came to my books on craft, I had to ask myself which ones I’ll need to revisit and which ones can I release?

I took me three days to sort through my books, (and in all honesty, i still need to sort through my cookbooks.) Three long days of having to step over and around books piled over the floor. With her method, the first step is to pile everything in that?category on the floor–every book–and realize the sheer volume you own. It was a lot, and I’ve had four massive discarding of books over the past five years, easily halving my collection. I wasn’t certain I’d find much, but oh, did I!

Here’s a photo of my five bags clothing (which only took a few hours to sort through) and the books that I’ve weeded out of my life. You can’t see behind the bags of clothing, but trust me, there are piles of stacked books.


Look how much real estate I’m getting back in just two categories! I cannot wait to finish to this purge.

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