3 concrete action points from the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" (by Marie Kondo)

Since childhood I got an education where organization and tidiness were taught as something as important as to brush my teeth or to say "Hi" and "Thanks".

So until recently, I kept applying what I had learnt during three decades and thought I wasn't doing so bad in the matters of decluttering and organizing.

This was until I stumble upon the best seller book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing".

For years, I looked for a method to always have our house in order, without any success.
KondoMari is the answer to your home organization and clutter issues!

KondoMari method is the answer to your home organization and clutter issues!

Before diving into the 3 action points I undertook right after finishing this book, I would like to share with you a secret that I learnt while getting back to reading.

This advice is valid for any topic in your life.

If you apply it, you will experience nothing else but success on the long run.

It is as simple as this: when you have to do something, never forget that some people must already have thought about this point beforehand, and that there must exist a methodology that can help you to perform better and more efficiently.

Google what you try to accomplish to learn more about the topic.

Find books.

Buy them.

Read them.

And get to improve your skills continuously!

Find a mentor (I don't like the word "expert") in the field of your interest, analyse his habits, check what he reads as well as what he writes about.
Dare to contact him to ask him your most stupid questions (there are none by the way)!

Now that this secret is shared, let's get back to our book review with the 3 action points I undertook.

1/ Sort by category, then discard

One of the magic point from this book is the way it makes you sort all your stuff. You can have a mansion or a tiny apartment, this method doesn't care and can treat each type of house with the same rigor.

After having finished the book, I was thinking about all the clutter my parents did accumulate during all those years.
This method could help them a lot! Even though they own a home twice as big as mine. How possible?!?

The key is to sort by items' category, not by room.

Once you understood this point, you'll have taken a huge step forward in your future clean and tidy life!

This literally means that:

  • 1/ You have to gather all the items of one category and put them on the floor of one room
  • 2/ Then process each item separately asking yourself: "Does this item spark joy?"
  • 3/ If no, drop it
  • 4/ If yes, keep it

Nothing more, nothing less.

As simple as one paragraph and four bullet points. If only I knew about it years ago...
At least I know what I'm gonna teach to my children!!!

The key is to sort by items' category, not by room.

As said above, before reading this book, I was deeply convinced I was quite well organized and that I wouldn't throw away the book's average of 40 garbage bags after this phase.

Let's count together what we ended up selling/donating/throwing away:

Mr. MP

  • Clothes = 4 bags
  • Shoes = 1 bag

Mrs. MP

  • Clothes = 4 bags
  • Books = 2 bags
  • Shoes = 1 bag

Mini MP 1

  • Toys = 2 bags

Mini MP 2

  • Toys = 3 bags

Kids (didn't split between them while sorting)

  • Clothes + teddy bears = 5 bags
  • Shoes = 1 bag

Kitchen

  • Equipment and various = 6 bags

Drugs

  • Family medicaments = 1/2 bag

Decoration

  • Vases and paintings = 3 bags

CD, DVD and PlayStation games

  • Physical old digital supports = 1 bag

Electric/electronic

  • Various equipments and cables = 3 bags

Stationery

  • Various ads' pens and papers to recycle - including old magazines = 3 bags

Course materials

  • Very old lectures notes that I thought I'd reopen someday - never did... = 1 bag

Various linens

  • House, bath and bed linens/textiles = 3 bags

Bathroom

  • Unused accessories and old fragrances = 1 bag

Sentimental items (presents from beloved, photos, etc.)

  • We didn't have to time to go through them but a rough estimation of how much we're gonna throw away is at least 1 bag

Did you keep computing while reading?

I'll do it for you: 45.5 bags in total!!!

How hard it is for me to believe this number when I was thinking I'd only throw away something like 3 to 5 bags, maybe 10 at max!
And I was considering myself as an organized person...


Our progress towards a tidier home (spreadsheet freek inside ^^)

2/ How to fold your clothes (really?!?) and organize them by heaviness and color (ergh!?)

The second take away from this book was an unexpected one.

Like, really, I never thought I would change my organized way of folding and piling my clothes.

Neither would I have thought to play with color harmony into my wardrobe to impact my daily mindset.

This may sound silly at first - my wife still qualifies me of a weirdo when I share with her that clothes can be happier if fold or organized in a specific way - waaaat ^^!!!

Don't believe me?

Dare to try and come back to comment this article!

What are these changes you wonder? Here you go:

  • A/ Fold and stand (almost) all your stuff vertically so to find at a glance exactly what you look for, as well as keep a global overview of all your belongings. This video shows it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIjGlMD0Nz8
    Life changing organization tip!
  • B/ Sort your clothes from left to right with the heaviest, longest and darkest color on the left, and the lightest, shortest and with the brighest color on the right.
    It just works. Try it!

3/ Organizing your items like you organize your dollars with YNAB!

If you're a YNABer like me, this advice will sound like "how the hell did I not do this before?!?".

Indeed, as you give every one of your dollar a job (see rule #1 here), you must give every room centimeter its object/item/stuff.
"Wait! Waat?".
No, I'm kidding you. That's the other way around!

Every beloved item you own must have its dedicated place in your home.

But first and foremost, you have to sort and get rid of all the overflow.
Only once this is done you can start with organizing - else the magic won't work...

Also, if you're a family, consider having one space per person with all his/her categories inside it.

Relating this book to money, I can't help but think that Marie Kondo and Jesse Mecham must have some family relationship like cousins or so. Don't you think so?

On your side, did you ever discover such a life changing home organizing and tidying method?
In case you used the KondoMarie one, how did it affect your life?



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