So I just finished this great book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and if you’re not laughing or wondering what alien has taken over my body at this point, I salute you, because we all know tidying is not my thing. I didn’t even buy this book for myself; it was given to me for Christmas. But I’d heard about it from several people, and the wonderful David Levobitz included it in his holiday gift guide, and the person who gave it to me–my aunt, the English professor–is an excellent Giver of Books, so I was actually excited to dig into it.
I will reiterate here, in case you don’t already know, that cleaning is not high on my list of priorities. I’m not usually dirty, but I am definitely the kind of person who will throw her clothes on the floor or leave the dishes in the sink for a day or two longer than she should, or, you know, only sweep and mop if people are coming over. (This, FYI, is in direct opposition to the way R. feels about cleaning; he was raised by a neat-freak mom and is the kind of person who likes to organize his comic books to relax.)
Anyway, I started reading the book last week and zipped through it, and you guys, I donated/threw out five-and-a-half bags of clothes on Saturday and didn’t even flinch. The way Kondo–who’s a well-known Japanese cleaning consultant–explains her method of tidying just makes so much sense: You only keep something in your home if it “sparks joy,” be it a piece of clothing, a book or a memento. You’re also supposed to tidy in one fell swoop–at one point Kondo calls this a “tidying festival,” which I enjoy–and when you’re done, you’re done. She also breaks down the proper way to fold clothes, how to tidy by category, how to arrange your closet, etc., etc. So far I’ve only gotten three-quarters of the way through the closet part–I now have to launder and properly fold all the clothes I’ve decided to keep–but next up is shoes, followed by toiletries, papers and, to a lesser extent, books.
Oh, and now is probably the time to tell you that my personal “tidying festival” is being spurred on by our impending move; we’ll be in a new place by the end of the month, and I figure what better time than now to take inventory of my possessions (and, honestly, my life), you know? More on this later, though.
Have any of you read this book? I’d love to know what you thought, if so! Not sure I’ll be thanking my socks for their service anytime soon, as Kondo recommends, but I am definitely appreciating the “surround yourself only with things that bring you happiness” philosophy. That’s just good life advice.