Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (affiliate link) is one of the most widely read books of the year and there’s a good reason for it. When applied, her methods are changing lives and homes for the better. It sure has worked for my family.
This summer we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas. We didn’t know what size house we’d be moving into until a couple weeks before we moved. In fact, we were close to having to move in with my parents until we found a house to rent. So I took Kondo’s advice:
The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.
I got rid of 75% of the boys’ toys. We gave away 200 books and listed 150 more to sell on half.com. I passed on any clothes that didn’t fit or that I didn’t like anymore. We sold or gave away furniture from every room in the house.
Kondo believes you shouldn’t tidy a little each day. She teaches you should do a complete overhaul of a category. For example, get every piece of clothing in your home and go through them at one time.
“When we disperse storage of a particular item throughout the house and tidy one place at a time, we can never grasp the overall volume and therefore can never finish. To escape this negative spiral, tidy by category, not by place.”
“All you need to do is take the time to sit down and examine each item you own, decide whether you want to keep or discard it, and then choose where to put what you keep.”
“Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever”
It sounds overwhelming, but I had gotten to a point of feeling overwhelmed by our stuff (especially toys the boys didn’t play with anymore). So taking the time to do it all was worth the work.
As we’ve settled into the new house, having less stuff has been very helpful. We’re church planting and have people over every week. Because we have less stuff, it takes me much less time to clean. And it just feels better to live with less stuff. Minimalism works for our family!
More on the topic:
- 8 weeks to a less cluttered home from Keeper of the Home
- The secret to not fighting with your kids about their messy room
- The life-changing magic of tidying up for kids from Modern Mrs. Darcy
- The life-changing magic of tidying up from Modern Mrs. Darcy
- 7 daily habits for a clutter-free home from Becoming Minimalist