Just in time for spring cleaning

By Alice Inoue Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Can you comment about the recent best seller by Marie Kondo, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?” I am interested in your take on it. Personally, I loved it!

I’d love to share the basics of this book for those interested. Marie Kondo originally wrote this book in Japanese, but it is now available in English as “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I found it fresh and insightful, offering new ways to deal with clutter and the things we keep.

Although I “kicked” the clutter habit quite a while ago, I still learned some new things and gained some amazing insight. The following is a recap of the book:

• Discard first, store later. The first stage of clearing clutter, in Kondo’s opinion, is all about discarding. She believes that clutter should not be organized, and to begin, you must first get rid of everything you don’t need.

• “Storage experts are hoarders.”

When you put things away, it creates an illusion that the clutter problem has been solved when in fact organized clutter is still clutter.

• Start sorting by category, not location. Instead, she advises sorting by category and discarding your clutter in the following order: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and finally, the things that have sentimental value.

• “Does this spark joy?” She invites you to ask yourself this question of every item you own, “Does it spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it.

• Never pile things up. Kondo’s “thing” is vertical storage. She says that stacking is hard on the things at the bottom. By storing things vertically, not only do you have a better view of what is in the drawer, but the garments are “happier” as well.

• Learn how to fold. She is adamant about properly folding things and has a technique that enables you to fold and store things vertically rather than horizontally.

The bottom line is Kondo’s methods are more about holding on to, and where to store, what brings you joy. If you are looking for some inspiration to get going on clearing your clutter, this book is a great place to start.

Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to alice@yourhappinessu.com.