I thought I had it pretty much all covered when I heard of Japanese author Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After all, I had just got through an intensive closet cleaning (nothing like a little public airing of some literal dirty laundry to motivate a reform) and then I pared down even more moving across the country from New York to California. Let's just say, I felt pretty smug. But then, I wasn't quite happy with the way that things were fitting in the new space so one night, without anything to read, I downloaded a Kindle version of the book. I was so fascinated that I got an Audible version to listen to while I drove, and I started cleaning out the closet, the very next day.
There is one principle concept that makes this book life-changing. It's the way that Kondo teaches you how to evaluate whether you really love something. The oft-repeated William Morris quotation, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" seemed like an impossibility until I read the Kondo book. The exercise is simple. Hold every object and ask yourself if it brings you joy, and if the answer is no, then get rid of it. Simple, but unbelievably difficult. "Keep only those things that speak to your heart," she explains. "Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle." But once you begin to pay attention to how you feel about your things, some thing changes. It's an true exercise in mindfulness.
1. Organize by category, not room.
2. Chose what you want to keep rather than what you want to get rid of
3. Nostalgia is not your friend.
4. Don't be afraid to talk to your things
5. Get it out of the house asap.