Decluttering for Good: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


We revisit the timeless lessons from Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the seminal bible on decluttering your home and life.

Marie Kondo published The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up six years ago, but its valuable decluttering lessons have not aged a day. Here are the takeaways that resonate most with us:

  1. Start by Discarding at Once, Intensely and Completely. Not only does purging early feel great, but it saves the focus and energy for organizing on the belongings that are worth keeping. You will feel lighter on your feet once you are through this important first step.
  2. Organize by Category, Not by Room. It is tempting to try to declutter your home one room at a time, but Kondo warns against this.  Kondo suggests tackling categories one-by-one. Start with clothing (which is loaded with the fewest emotions), then books, then papers, and lastly photographs.
  3. Beware of Nostalgia. Memories are essential to a happy life, but Kondo reminds us that getting swept up in them while decluttering is a sure way to undermine the effort. 
  4. Surround Yourself with Things That You Love. Letting go of physical objects is naturally challenging. But by deciding what not to discard, you are freeing yourself up to cherish what you keep. This is truly liberating.
  5. Fold vertically! And reuse old shoe boxes or box tops to organize your small garment drawers. This changed our lives. The book explains it clearly, but even better is this video.
  6. Tidy Home, Tidy Life. In Kondo’s words “when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.” We could not agree more. It takes disciple and dedication to declutter your home, but it is a life-transforming investment of time and energy. This is the hidden magic of a tidy home.

We’ve shared our top takeaways above, just scratching the surface on what Marie Kondo has to offer. If you’d like to go further, consider picking up the book below. 

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Decluttering Book Review

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering & Organizing

 By Marie Kondō
GoodReads: 3.7 of 5 stars
Amazon:  4.5 of 5 stars
213 pages, first published January 15th 2011)
Purchase at: Amazon |  B&N 

If you enjoyed reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we would recommend the following (click each to view at Amazon):

Amazon    Amazon  

Have a dry wit? See this review of a tongue-in-cheek approach to tidying by Sarah Knight in her new book on strategies to streamline your life.

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