Spring reading list: ‘The life-changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo

Book cover ‘the life-changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo

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The life-changing magic of tidying ey? Can tidying ever be magical? Unless one was to wave a wand and miraculous things happen, now that would be life-changing and quite marvellous too!

It’s officially spring which means we should all be having a big clear out round about now. I really want to be one of those people that lives in a clutter-free home and with that in mind it’s time to tick off a book from my spring reading list and the perfect opportunity to attempt some serious spring organisation.

Book cover ‘the life-changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo

There’s been a bit of a cleaning and tidying craze since ‘The life-changing magic of tidying’ became an international sensation selling over 3 million copies. I have heard so many amazing things about this book and half of me was sure it is just a fad while the other half is genuinely intrigued to delve deeper into ‘the Japanese art’ of tidying using the KonMari method. Off I popped to Waterstones to seek out the pearls of wisdom and try out the ‘art’ for myself.

‘The life-changing magic of tidying in the Self Help section of Waterstones

I headed straight for the self-help section in the book shop it was easy to find sitting neatly (obvs) between a book teaching you how to break free from overthinking (guilty) and embracing the diva rules (not guilty). This was the most logical place for the book, after all, this method isn’t just about giving organisation and cleaning tips, it delves much deeper asking the reader to approach the task of transforming their home by looking at their belongings in completely new light…

Marie Kondo encourages us to ask ourselves just one simple question: do they spark joy? 

Through treasuring the things you love and letting go of the things you don’t, you’ll not only create a beautiful home but find the confidence and motivation to live the life you long for and make space for future sucess-Marie Kondo

That is a big claim!

Just reading the back of the book brings me out in a bit of a cold sweat but I am excited anyway. Is it really possible for me to just get rid of all this stuff we’ve accumulated over the years, and how will I know if I am making a terrible mistake? What if I chuck out something irreplaceable that I later regret or I suddenly find a use for my 27 pairs of jeans that I would have to be shoehorned into?

So I like keeping hold of my ‘just in case jeans’ what of it?

This book is really not just about filling black bin bags until they’re bursting or looking for superfluous items to get rid of just to feel as though you’ve done a good job at tidying up. No, it’s actually much more than that. It’s about getting to a space where you look closely at your things and decide which items you really want to keep rather than being fixated on the things you don’t.

The KonMari method advises you that the best (and only) way to do this is by sorting through your belongings by category rather than the place you keep them. This actually makes a lot of sense and eliminates the problem of thinking you’ve got to the bottom of your child’s excess toys only to find yet more in a different location, such as going through everything in the playroom only to have to start all over again in the bedroom or even the car and so on.

Reading the life changing magic of tidying

BEFORE (Rose wasn’t much help with the task in hand!)

But where to start?

When we moved house I thought we had managed a pretty good sort out. However, almost a year on and the house is filling, the cupboards are overflowing and the stress is building. Each Monday I clean my house, I do this because I feel almost incapable of sitting down and doing any work until my house is clean and tidy (ish) the thing is, what I am guilty of and what I suspect many people do, is move stuff around without putting much thought into it. So we’ll put every single toy back into the already bulging toy box and shove clothes into draws that are already bursting at the seams. This gives the outwards appearance of looking tidy yet really when you have too many things how can you ever feel completely organised?

Now, obviously I still have to clean but what I really need to focus on is dedicating a decent chunk of time to sorting and organising my ‘categories’ until they are all complete. That way when it does come around to ‘cleaning day’ it should be a quicker and easier process with less chance of clutter getting in the way the rest of the time. The KonMari method advises you to gradually build yourself up to the harder categories-items that will hold more emotional and sentimental value. I started on clothes as suggested in the book, because these are the items you tend to have the least connection with but the most of and isn’t that the truth! I am the biggest culprit here and still have clothes from 20 years ago and I still add to my collection regularly much to my husband’s dismay.

“What that old thing? Oh I’ve had that ages”

I know you’ve all spun that one.

This was much easier than I thought when armed with the knowledge and ‘the question‘ but one heck of a job trying to attempt in one day. It is the Easter holidays and the children are all off school so I’ve vowed to work my way through each category until it’s done, doesn’t that sound like a fun way to spend the holidays?! Seriously though I know my unsuspecting children (and husband) are probably not going to get much excitement out of this but it says in the book not to tell them what you’re doing anyway. I’m not sure I’ll get away with much of an undercover stealth tidying mission.

Ikea Trofast storage drawers

AFTER

I haven’t quite finished on the clothes category but I’m getting there and feeling totally cleansed already. I’m actually looking forward to working my way through the rest of the house and really think that if I could get to a place where we are totally clutter free I would feel so much better and far more productive. Even as I type this I’m looking around the room trying to decide which category to take on next. According to the book, my real life will begin after putting my house in order.

We will soon see…

If you want to change your life with ‘The life-changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo you can pick up your copy from Waterstones, look for it in the Self Help aisle.

Let me know how you get on, or if you’ve read the book and it’s helped I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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Comments

    • Amy

      Written on 28th March 2016

      Reply

      It’s really good! I honestly wasn’t sure if it was just a fad or how much substance the book would actually have but I seriously can’t wait to move on with it all and go through each category one by one. It makes sense that it would improve your life by helping you to feel more in control.

      And I understand the clothes and the weight thing, this is why I hang on to so many clothes in the hope that I’ll be able to wear them again but it’s just not going to happen for me! xx

  • Mackenzie Glanville

    Written on 30th March 2016

    Reply

    We did a huge clean out (filled a skip, donated loads and sold some) when we moved out of our home late last year. We are in temporary accommodation for another few weeks whilst our home finishes getting ready for us. But I still feel like I need to get rid of more, I just know when I unpack our boxes I will have things I don’t need or the kids no longer need. My daughters are teddy bear crazy so I know they have more of those to unpack, but I fear they will not part with those quite yet. (although I fear they will as I am not sure I want my almost 12 year old to grow up). Seeing your photo of the fairy boot house made me sad as this is one thing we gave away to my daughters old kinder. I have the same storage unit too. Our new home is smaller than the last so decluttering is the key I think. Anyway I am rambling as I tend to do. great post this book sounds great! Good luck with your sorting, be brave!
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…Allow a little balance into your lifeMy Profile

  • Michelle

    Written on 31st March 2016

    Reply

    I’ve read a couple of posts now about this book, and the Marie Kondo method. I think I’m going to have to check it out, as, like you, when we moved I thought I’d had a good declutter, but it’s just built up and built up again >_< I have always used the mantra of "if something hasn't been used/worn in 6 months, then it goes" but trying to get other family members to follow suit is hard!! Great post! x

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 31st March 2016

      Reply

      Thanks hun, I think you’d really like it if you’re up for a good de-clutter. It just makes you really think about how you can go about the task because it does seem a bit daunting but doing it the KonMari way makes it so much easier! x

  • Emma T

    Written on 31st March 2016

    Reply

    I love this book and I’m halfway through having done clothes and books last summer. Those categories are still immaculate and streamlined (I also had about 30 pairs of jeans – all went except the 3 pairs that fitted me at the time…unfortunately I’ve then gone on a diet and lost 2 dress sizes so far so annoyingly could have done with keeping some of them!). What I love about it is how you just get rid of everything at once. No hanging on to sell things because I take ages to get round to it, and then they hang around waiting to sell, so this way it’s all swishing to friends/colleagues/charity/recycling and all gone in one go.

    I’ve just got the paper and miscellaneous to do, and I just need the time to sit down and do them…then I’ll start again on toys which are escalating again. Always easier over summer when N is always outside and doesn’t mind about toys going!

    I wrote a post about my first stage last year, so do find it on my blog if you fancy a read.
    Emma T recently posted…Photographing children and making memoriesMy Profile

    • Amy Treasure

      Written on 31st March 2016

      Reply

      It’s really good isn’t it? I do think she is possibly a tiny bit neurotic- especially the part about chucking out her family’s stuff without asking BUT it just has to be done. I can’t tell you how much better I feel now that my life is getting organised. You’ve just reminded me to gift the bag of stuff I am ‘saving for ebay’ because in all fairness I bloody hate ebay and it stresses me out so better to give it to someone I know that needs it! I’ll check out your post too x

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