Compact Life Storage in the Shape of Life


Envisioning your ideal life

Marie KondouOrganization consultant

Organizing is not a life’s purpose; it is merely a technique for living well.

Organization consultant Marie Kondo urges people who want to declutter their homes to use joy as the measure when deciding what to keep and what to discard. Kondo’s simple approach to decluttering is aimed to be easily adopted by anyone.

Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has quickly sold more than a million copies in Japan, and the English translation has now sold more than 1.5 million copies in the US. Kondo’s method is fast becoming a global standard of organization.

“So many people say that they have too much stuff and want to declutter, but they do not know where to begin or how to go about it. In the past, I’d only known how things are in Japan, but the truth is that people in other countries also struggle with storing their belongings.This was a surprise to me, too.”

Kondo’s method emphasizes on five points: (1) Envision your “ideal life”; (2) declutter by category and tackle these categories in the proper order; (3) focus on what to keep by picking it up and asking whether it means something to you; (4) look closely at each individual item to decide whether it should be kept or discarded; and (5) treat decluttering a project to be completed once and for all, over a short period of time.

“What kind of life do you want to live? You can’t organize your things well if you don’t have a clear picture of this. Focus on what that ideal life means to you, and then keep only those things that bring you joy. Do this all in one go, and you’ll be able to finish ‘discarding’ things quickly.”

Kondo advocates tidying based on categories and tackling these categories in a specific order: clothing, books, papers, small objects, and finally mementos. It is important that each item you own has a proper home. This means designating a specific place to store each item that you have kept because it sparks joy in you.

“We should treat the things we chose to keep with respect, and this means designating a clear and specific place to store each one. Once you do this, putting them back in their place after you use them becomes a natural habit.”

Organizing is not a life’s purpose; it is merely a technique for living well. Unambiguous on this point, Kondo’s straightforward method has a lot in common with the MUJI Compact Life philosophy.