“The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.” - Marie Kondo
Ever had the urge to throw out all your old stuff in one sitting? Ever notice that once you do, your room seems to grow an equal amount of junk to replace the old? We’ve all been there and it can be extremely frustrating.
Well, author Marie Kondo has a unique solution to our cleaning woes: the KonMari method.
The KonMari method (a combination of her first and last name) is outlined throughout The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The book details exactly how to effectively clean a space and keep it clean. It also explains the ways in which cleaning can impact our state of mind. Kondo also addresses the cleaning mistakes we’ve been making (rolling up our socks is one!) and why we have not attained the results we’ve wanted.
What stands out from Kondo's self-help book is her assertion that cleaning is as much a spiritual exercise as a physical one. According to Kondo, your belongings represent special moments in your life, even the items you wear every day. Her book reminds us that the things we own have meaning, and they should be treated as such.
What I Loved About the Book:
- The main thing I loved was, as I mentioned before, the way Kondo connects cleaning with spirituality. (FYI, this isn't an explicitly religious book, but it does reference a higher power or "energy".) She discusses books and clothes as personal things, alive with feelings. Her perspective completely changed the way I looked at the belongings in my room. The idea of only keeping items that truly produce joy in your life, and treating those items with respect, is one of the many things I gained from the book.
- This book is motivating. You cannot read it without being inspired to clean up and declutter your space.
- The cleaning tips are quirky and delightful - I never would have thought to unfold my socks to "let them breathe", but I was amused by the idea. Marie's unique perspective brings a little fun to the dreaded cleaning process.
- It's commuter friendly! The book has small chapters, divided into sections that are small in size as well. Super easy to fling into your tote!
What I not-so-loved:
- The only criticism I have is that Kondo went into extreme detail about exactly how to clean specific objects in a house. Personally, as I mostly applied the tips to my room, it felt overwhelming. But for someone who is cleaning out an entire house, I can see why it would be helpful.
"You'll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already filled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure." - Marie Kondo
All in all, the book is a really great read, and not just for the cleaning tips. The way Kondo approaches cleaning as a way to also clean your life is truly inspiring.
What are your cleaning rituals?
Have you read Marie's book? Are you going to now? If you've read it, what did you think? How do you clean your space? Tell us in a comment!