The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing
By Marie Kondo
Here are the notes I took while reading this book. I was told to read this book by my sister’s mother in-law first. Then I was told by a friend from Bible Study “you should read this book”. So I went to the library to check it out and there were no copies available. Then I called my other local library and the same story with them, “no copies” available. So I was walking past one of my favorite bookstores, Prairie Lights, and thought I’ll just go in and see what the book looks like. So I picked it up and I quickly found that I was likely going to be writing in the book, underlining, taking notes, so I bought it.
Here is what I gleamed from reading this book:
- pg 4 when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.This sounds good to me. I like to think I have an organized house, but deep down I know what is lurking in closets, drawers, boxes in the basement storage, and memories in my head (the good old past).
- pg 5 Success is 90 percent dependent on our mind-set.So true, very true. My mind-set definitely affects my physical and mental well-being.
- pg 14 If you use the right approach, you’ll never rebound.The author told herself this after she tried tidying up and falling back into untidiness. She found through her own trial and error (for instance she doesn’t believe in organizing/tidying by rooms, but instead by subject matter- i.e. all clothes in your whole house- not just your bedroom). I think this comment can be very true with many different challenges or changes we try to make in our lives. Sometimes it isn’t that we try to make change, but the way in which we try to change that could affect your success with changing.
-pg 15 People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.Don’t think I need to elaborate on this.
-pg 21 When a room becomes cluttered, the cause is more than just physical. Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.Looking forward to finding out what “true messes” are in my life.
-pg 43 always think in terms of category, not place.Category, not place, category, not place- may be hard to stick to, but the author when helping clients has a rule if you (her client) don’t bring let’s say all shirts out to the “table” then if any other shirts are found in the house they immediately go in the “get rid of pile”- this ensures that her clients really bring out all category items or else sayonara shirts. Now I won’t have her (the author) looking over my shoulder, but I hope to follow through with this same rule when going through my categories.
-pg 46 The best sequence is this: clothes first, then books, papers, komono (miscellany), and lastly, mementos.This is how I plan to attack the tidying frenzy.
-pg 48 it’s extremely stressful for parents to see what their children discard.Thought this was a pretty honest truth.
-pg 53The urge to point out someone else’s failure to tidy is usually a sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space.I think this sentence could be reworded to say so many things beyond tidying, for instance switch out “tidy” with “parent” and switch “space” with “family”. Or switch out “tidy” for “work” and “space” switched to “job”. See what I’m saying- smart author.
-pg 58 that we should feel a thrill of joy when we touch it.This is the author’s way to decide whether an item is kept or tossed/recycled. Some, my sister, for instance didn’t like the idea of humanizing an item or giving the item the ability/power to produce joy, but for me, being an emotional person I liked the idea of holding something in my hands and really evaluating is this “shirt making me happy”, or “is this book bringing joy” to my life.
-pg 60 When you come across something that’s hard to discard, consider carefully why you have that specific item in the first place…Reassess the role it plays in your life.Hoping this is helpful advice as I see struggling with some of the categories in particular: books, and mementos.
-pg 61 To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.Again I think somewhat applicable not only to items in my life, but sometimes relationships or people in my life. Look at what really brings you joy/happiness.
-pg 87 Remove all the books from your bookcases. You cannot judge whether or not a book really grabs you when it’s still on the shelf.
This should be interesting- can’t wait to see the piles lying all over my floor as I clean the shelves out.
-pg 114 Truly precious memories will never vanish even if you discard the objects associated with them.-pg 114 No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important.
This touches me because of my quest to find peace in my life and be present in the present.
Pg 119 As always, only keep the ones that inspire joy.This in regard to photos. Again a challenging purge is ahead of me with photos, but as noted in the book the author comes across so many people who have boxes and boxes of photos just hanging out in the basement and so no one is getting any joy at being able to look at them anyways, This purging of pictures will give me a time to go back in my past, which I so love doing (except for those lovely Junior High years), and at the same time putting in albums pictures that I really want to look at.
-pg 125 As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you’ll see what your true values are, what is really important to you in your life.Sounds lovely!
-pg 168 By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.In reference to extra packing, i.e. shrink wrap with advertising that comes around multi pack items. Take off that wrap holding all your deodorants together from Costco. Instead unwrap and place deodorant all in the same spot, but less wrap/clutter getting in your way of use and looks much nicer than seeing all that plastic and advertising.
-pg 182 The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.Exactly!
-pg 183 The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.
So as I send this out into cyber land I embark on the first category: clothes. Hope to update you as I go.