Organizing is not your life’s purpose; it is merely a technique for living well.
Marie Kondo urges people who want to declutter their homes to use joy as the yardstick when deciding what to keep and what to discard.Kondo’s simple approach, KonMari Spark Joy Method of Decluttering,is easy for anyone to use.
Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Artof Decluttering and Organizing, 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 oforganization.
“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 five points: (1) Envision your “ideal life”; (2) declutter by category and tackle the categories in the proper order; (3) focus on what to keep by picking it up and asking whether it sparksjoy in you; (4) look closely at each individual item to decide whether it should be kept or discarded; and (5) tackle decluttering as an all-at-once project, completing the task 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 lifemeans 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 choose to keep with respect, and this means designating a clear and specific place to store each one. Once youdo this, putting them back in their place after you use them becomes a natural habit.”
Organizing is not your life’s purpose; it is merely a technique for living well. Unambiguous on this point, Kondo’s straightforward method hasa lot in common with the MUJI Compact Life philosophy.