This is my first post and its about the book that has influenced me the most and lead my journey towards Valuism. “The life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo“. This book to me is not just a home organization book, but it is mindset altering book. It changes your perspective of how you view things, commitments etc and really helps you in choosing value. As the saying goes” A messy space leads to a messy mind”. Here are my 5 takeaways from the book..
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1) Start by DISCARDING:
Marie Kondo talks about getting all the stuff out of its existing location and then discard anything that doesn’t spark joy by asking 2 key questions- That is.. Is it functional? Does it make you happy? No? Then it doesn’t stay! Its that simple!
Lets take the example of clothes, which is a major source of clutter. Most people go through the closet and pull of the clothes that they don’t like to discard. The problem with this is that you are still left with “nothing good to wear” feeling. In the Konmarie method you take out all the clothes- every single piece of them out in the open- On the floor or on your bed. Then you go through every single piece and ask the 2 key question- is this functional? Does it make me happy. Now don’t get confused with the second key question, as this can be misleading. Lets say there is this beautiful black dress which you looked stunning in at one point in your life and this brings happy memories for you. For one reason or the other it doesn’t fit you now. Most people keep it ,either with the hope that one day you can wear it or because it is such a perfect dress. But the truth is this perfect dress is bringing a negative feeling- which is “I am not in a good shape or weight like I used to be” . So, discard it!
Once you are done with discarding , you put back only the clothes that are wearable and fits you perfectly back in your closet. You will be amazed by the change in mind set- you go from ‘I have nothing to wear” to “I have so much clothes to wear that fit” just by the simple act of discarding! And thats mind blowing. This will keep you from the viscous cycle of going shopping for more clothes and creating clutter.
2) Sort by CATEGORY:
Don’t sort by room, sort by Category. For example papers and documents. Go through all papers- mails, credit card statements, books, kids arts, user manuals, old contracts etc. You will come across a ton of paper clutter that can be shredded and discarded. Even the ones that you decide to keep there will be many that can be scanned in and saved in “Cloud storage” not in your physical space. Once you are done with one category then move to next- clothes , or kitchen utensils (small appliances). Again the key is not to stick with what is in the closet or what is in the kitchen, but to go through all things in the category which may be in other parts of your house- for example in the basement or garage storage.
3) Stop BUYING organizers:
People tend to be attracted to all the different organizers that you see in the store. I used to be one too. I used walk into stores like container store or walmart storage section and feel like I need all these fancy organizers to keep my home tidy. But the truth is buying organizers is just that “Bringing more stuff into the home”. Once you go through the Konmarie method of tidying you will realize you dont need any fancy organizers , all you need is some basic items which you probably already have at home.
4)The correct way of FOLDING:
The Konmarie way of folding is magical. We always see pictures of neatly stacked sweaters in home magazines, but when we try it at home it looks good for one day and soon enough you pull out the 4th sweater in the stack and it s a pile of mess already. The way she shows us to stack the stack cloths side by side is amazing. This is sustainable, even with kids clothing drawer. When you can see all the clothing item you have and you can pick out what you want without pulling it out of a pile, the drawers always look clean. It also lets us store a lot more in one space than you would with traditional stacking vertical storage. In her book she goes through this method of folding in detail. Even kids can fold their clothes easily.
5) Do it in ONE go:
This is by far the biggest difference from traditional organizers. While most organizing gurus advice to do little by little at a time-like start with your junk drawer, and then move to your closet etc, Marie Kondo says this will end up being a bottomless pit. She says do your entire house in one go. Depending on how much clutter you have it may be a day or a week but do it all in a set amount of time not little at a time. We did our house in a weekend. The dramatic effect will help you see and think with clarity which in turn changes your perspective and mindset. The change in mindset is what gives lasting effect of keeping your space tidy.
Once you go through all these steps you will be left with a ton of things to discard. Dont pile them in garage or basement. As you throw way things have a plan for them-
Donate : Purple heart is a good choice as you can choose between 3 organizations that you want to donate to, and they pick up the donations from your door step on a date you choose on their website. You can also donate books to the local library or preschools. You will feel good about it and also claim tax deductions for charitable donations
Compost: Especially shredded paper can be added to your compost
Sell: This is time consuming. So keep only a very few valuable items on this list. You can sell on Facebook market place, Craigslist, eBay, thread up(for clothes) etc. But again keep this list minimal as it is potential for more hoarding of things that doesn’t sell easily
Discard: Things that are unusable and have no value and cannot be composted throw them out in trash.
I hope every aspiring valuist will start off by reading this book. There is a lot of information in her book and each time you go back and read it you learn something new. As I stated in the beginning, this book is life changing, it changes your perspective about things and helps you focus more on Value.