Life Changing Magic? Indeed

I’m not what marketing experts call an Early Adopter. I lean more toward a wait-and-see attitude. I want to know what other peoples’ experiences are before I make a purchase.

The New York Times had been listing The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on their best seller list for over a year before this book came up on my radar. Sure, I had heard of it, even read an excerpt or two, but it wasn’t until several of my friends were singing its praises that I decided it was time to take a closer look.

My pal Trisha was going away for two weeks and we traded must reads with the agreement that these books where going back to their rightful owners upon her return. I took possession of her Marie Kondo book, and she took my dog-eared copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. You could say that Trish and I share a passion.

Since I opened for business in 2002, I have read a fair number of how to books on the subject of organizing. I have learned many ways to help people manage their lives and their stuff. Still, over time you develop your own preferred method, style, system. And that’s just what Marie has done in her book. She calls it the KonMari system. And I will tell you right now, I am a FAN!

Like any good system it comes with a caveat. For the system to work, you must follow the system. I couldn’t agree more. One of the game changers in the KonMari system is that organizing is a special event, not a daily occurrence. (FYI, Marie uses the word tidying in place of organizing.) To experience the life-changing magic you must do your entire house. A little at a time just won’t work.

Here’s why. “The work of tidying should be done once and for all within a single time period.” Marie calls this a-once-in-a-lifetime event. Once you’ve put your house in order, Marie says, tidying will be reduced to the very simple task of putting things back where they belong.

She’s right. And putting things back where they live is a deeply satisfying, mindfulness practice.

The further I got into this book the more I loved it. I am all for life changing magic, and Marie has the experience and expertise to back it up. Her system is simple. You start with discarding anything that doesn’t spark joy. I used to ask my clients Do you love it? But I like Marie’s Does this spark joy? even better.

Marie and I share a lot of similar philosophies about people, our stuff, and our happiness. These are my top five takeaways from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

1. Tidy by category; it works like magic.
2. Fold clothes correctly in order to make space.
3. Eliminate the need to store off-season clothes.
4. Discard books that you sometimes look at; translate “sometimes” as “never.”
5. Store things by how easy it is to put away rather than by the frequency of their use.

Everyone who is open to learning new perspectives and strategies for organizing their stuff can benefit from reading this book. If you want life changing magic, then do it just as she says. And should you need help with your tidying special event, give us a shout. Bettina & Company would love to help get the job done.

How do you fold your clothes? Have you tried the KonMari Method? Oh do tell in the comments below.

It’s such a great life, simplified. 😉

Bettina Blanchard

About Bettina Blanchard

It’s not what we have, it’s what we do that makes life fun. Professional organizer, business owner, radio show host, accordion player, I love to live and write about finding the balance between having and doing.