The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (Marie Kondo)


Whether or not you want to learn how to tidy, it’s a riveting read, hilariously comic while simultaneously unshakeably earnest. But you should want to learn to tidy! — it’s a life-skill that everybody needs, whether or not they realise it. Kondo breaks the skill down into three parts: 1. discarding everything you don’t love; 2. storing the things you don’t need to discard; 3. being disciplined in keeping your possessions where they belong. And she is ruthless in her call to perfection in those three simple tasks.

…tidying is a special event. Don’t do it every day.

I never tidy my room. Why? Because it is already tidy.

When you tidy your space completely, you transform the scenery around you. The change is so profound that you will feel as if you are living in a totally different world. This deeply affects your mind and inspires a strong aversion to returning to your previously cluttered state. The key is to make the change so sudden that you experience a complete change of heart.

…there is significant similarity between meditating under a waterfall and tidying. When you stand under a waterfall, the only audible sound is the roar of water. As the cascade pummels your body, the sensation of pain soon disappears and numbness spreads. Then a sensation of heat warms you from the inside out, and you enter a meditative trance. Although I had never tried this form of meditation before, the sensation it generated seemed extremely familiar. It closely resembled what I experience when I am tidying.

The goal should be to organise the content so that you can see where every item is at a glance, just as you can see the spines of the books on your bookshelves. The key is to store things standing up rather than laid flat.

There is nothing more satisfying than finding that ‘sweet spot’. The piece of clothing keeps it shape when stood on edge and feels just right when held in your hand. It’s like a sudden revelation – so this is how you always wanted to be folded! – a special moment in which your mind and the piece of clothing connect. I love the way my clients’ faces light up at that moment.

If you missed your chance to read a particular book, even if it was recommended to you or is one you have been intending to read for ages, then this is your chance to let it go. You may have wanted to read it when you bought it, but if you haven’t read it by now, the book’s purpose was to teach you that you didn’t need it. There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway. So get rid of all those unread books. It will be far better for you to read the book that really grabs you right now than one that you left to gather dust for years.

Recently, I have noticed that having fewer books actually increases the impact of the information I read.

The essence of effective storage is this: designate a spot for every last thing you own.

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