Ok guys real talk time. I tried to read Marie Kondo’s uber popular book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and I’m sad to say that it wasn’t a super magical experience for me. I can hear the collective blogosphere gasping in horror as Pinterest softly cries in the corner, but I believe in being honest, and honestly I just couldn’t get into it. I really wanted to like the book, I wanted something life changing, I wanted to embrace the KonMari method and finally live with the peace of a Tibetan monk, but it just didn’t happen. I’ve thought about it a lot and I’m going to outline some of my thoughts in this post, just incase there is anyone out there besides me who felt some of these same things while reading Kondo’s book (unlikely I know but I’m also on a mission truth y’all and I gotta call ‘em like I see ‘emJ)
What I didn’t care for:
- My first problem is her lack of openness to doing things in different ways based on your personality. I’m all about everyone walking their own path and so right out of the gate I had some concerns about her firm stance that everyone only fits into certain categories and there is only one way to achieve total tidiness.
- “If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image.” Hold up home girl, sweatpants=life! My philosophy is that pants in general are overrated, the concept of sweatpants and leggings are the only things that challenge that belief.
- “When we disperse storage of a particular item throughout the house and tidy one place at a time, we can never grasp the overall volume and therefore can never finish. To escape this negative spiral, tidy by category, not by place.” This kind of goes back to my first point, I think it depends on your personality and how you like to clean and I also know that for me this method just doesn’t work. I like tackling one room at a time. Having the finished product of a totally clean room motivates me to tackle the next room. When you tidy by category you don’t see the finished product until the very end and it can be hard to stay motivated.
- I know lots of people who swear by her folding method but I just couldn’t jump on the bandwagon. Personally I think you can get the same benefits by rolling your clothing and it’s way easier. She claimed that her method made it so there weren’t any wrinkles and I don’t know how that compares with the wrinkles that might happen if you roll your clothing. Not going to lie if I have a piece of clothing that wrinkles easily it either gets hung in my closet or I don’t keep it. I also don’t own clothing that can’t be washed and dried because I know myself well enough to know with absolute certainty that I will shrink the crap out of dry clean only garments. Basically only low maintenance clothing survives my reign of wardrobe terror if you’re not like this you might love her folding method, to each his own.
- She’s kind of obsessed with the one fell swoop method, “It is not hard to tidy up perfectly and completely in one fell swoop. In fact, anyone can do it. And if you want to avoid rebound, this is the only way to do it.” I really disagree with this. I’ve always been a tortoise and I have no desire to be a hare. I’ve been slowly getting rid of excess for several months now. I have to do it slowly for several reasons. 1. I don’t have time to tackle my whole house at once. 2. I like being thoughtful and taking my time. 3. If I say that I’m going to wait for a day when I can do everything at once I’m never going to do it. I can carve out 10 minutes or a couple hours here and there but it’s hard to committee the time that it would take to do the whole house. By chipping away at it I ensure that it actually gets done, not just pushed off to some mystical future date and time that never actually arrives.
- “There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to 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.” One word comes to mind…BLASPHEMY!!!! Leave my books alone lady! Need I say more?
All of that being said here are some of the things I did like:
- “Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.” I’ve noticed that when I’m overwhelmed and stressed on the inside my surroundings start looking like how I’m feeling. The reverse is also true, when I clean up my surroundings I begin to feel more at peace and calm internally.
- “People with large book collections are almost always diligent learners.” Does no one see the hypocrisy of this statement given her “get rid of the books” comment? No, just me, ok moving on then.
- “…we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” This was a really helpful tip for me in my own process of downsizing. Instead of thinking “should I keep this?” I instead asked myself two questions: 1. If I were in a store would I buy this right now? 2. Does keeping this bring me joy? Will I be happy when I see this in my closet?
- “It is the same with people. Not every person you meet in life will become a close friend or lover. Some you will find hard to get along with or impossible to like. But these people, too, teach you the precious lesson of who you do like, so that you will appreciate those.” PREACH it sister! I’ve learned this the hard way (both with people and cloths!)
- “To get rid of what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a closet or drawer that you have forgotten its existence?” My grandmother lived through the Great Depression and growing up we were far from well to do so I hate throwing things away or getting rid of anything that could possible have a future use. Given my background this point really resonated with me. If something is going to simple take up space and never be useful is it really better to keep it or get rid of it? For me the answer was get rid of it.
- “At their core, the things we really do like do not change over time. Putting your house in order is a great way to discover what they are.” We all have the perfect pair of jean, the old sweater that’s warmer and better than any other, the pair of shoes that are comfortable and seem to go with everything you own, or the perfect little black dress. Now imagine that what you owned was only these things, the things you love most and get the most joy from. When you love something it becomes timeless. This is what my goal is, to love every single thing my closet. Kondo said it this way, “Now imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy. Isn’t this the lifestyle you dream of?”
So that’s my two cents on “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. What were your thoughts? If you haven’t read it yet here’s the Amazon link for ordering it: “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”
The links in this post are affiliated.