This book keeps popping up all over the web and since I’m kinda obsessed with organization (and books) I had to take a peek. Maybe because it made the New York Times bestseller list or because everyone and their mother is singing its praises, my hopes were really really high. They even call the author, Marie Kondo, “the warrior princess in the war on clutter”.
Wow. Professional organizer Marie gives advice from her time fighting the #woc in Japan. While trying to organize her own things she has the revelation:
““Why does my room still feel cluttered when I’ve worked so hard to organize and store things away?” I wondered. Filled with despair, I looked at the contents of each storage unit and had a flash of revelation. I didn’t need most of the things that were in them! Although I thought that I had been tidying, in fact I had merely been wasting my time shoving stuff out of sight, concealing the things I didn’t need under a lid. Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved”
If you have read other organizational books there are definitely overlapping ideas (i.e. purging) and personally I wouldn’t say the book was life changing but I walked away with three tips.
1. A main principle of the book is only keep things that bring joy. Organization is not just about finding a prettier way to store your things, but to actually own less stuff. We tend to hold on to things “just incase” or because we feel like we should keep it (gifts, old memorabilia, etc). As you are cleaning look at each item ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?”. If not sell, donate or throw it out.
2. Eliminate visual ‘noise’. There are many products that have labels/tags/advertisements. This causes excess visual noise that takes away from the peacefulness of a home. Marie recommends pulling off the printed part of products like bath soaps and laundry detergents to create a more calm space. As I looked around my home for visual noise I noticed a lot of labels in the laundry area. I purchase this container from the Container Store for laundry detergent so I could toss the box and another glass one from an antique market to hold my wool dryer balls that I use instead of fabric sheets. I also moved the extra tissues etc into the brown boxes and a basket for a cleaner look. Better, right?
3. Instead of organizing one room at a time the book suggests starting by category like clothing and collecting all items in that category in one space before starting the process. This way you can accurately see how much you have. I’ve always organized by room, but this makes total sense. In my home due to layout and closet space I have some of my clothes in the other room. It’s easy to forget what you can’t see. So I recently brought all my clothes together to sort them. I was able to donate a bunch and get my pre-pregnancy clothes ready to go (motivation to get back into them after I deliver!). The book goes into subcategories and offers lists that could be helpful to get started.
Overall, I’d recommend this book if you’ve never read a book on organization or are in need of new inspiration to start your fight against the #woc