Monday, January 09, 2017

Best of 2016: Tidying!

reviewed by Janae K.,
senior library assistant/
circulation supervisor

For the first time ever, I accomplished my New Year’s resolution! In 2016, I resolved to declutter, and am proud to say that I actually achieved that goal. It was thanks to two books that I finally found a method to help me bring order to my belongings.

Like many people, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, when it was released at the end of 2014, but it was not until I read Kondo’s follow-up book, Spark Joy, that things finally clicked for me. The first book gives great instructions on Kondo’s method of decluttering (called the KonMari method), while the second book focuses more on the details of organizing all the stuff that made the decluttering cut, and addresses a few misconceptions some readers had after the first book. I recommend reading both books and reading them in order, as they are complementary.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing expert, and her method emphasizes only keeping those items that “spark joy” and getting rid of everything that does not. Instead of decluttering room by room, Kondo instructs to declutter by category, starting with the emotionally easiest category to declutter and progressing to harder categories.

There is an element of Shinto to the KonMari method (like thanking an old, worn out pair of socks before getting rid of them), but what Kondo means to emphasize with that is the necessity to take care of our belongings so that they last us a long time and to appreciate all that we have.

I didn’t have too many belongings to begin with, but I still felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I did have. After completing the entire KonMari method, I can now say that everything I possess brings joy to my life and does not cause a burden. Tidying up truly is life-changing!

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