A system to help you tackle clutter in your life. In simplest terms, you go through every item in your home and discard or donate anything that doesn’t give you joy. If you are keeping something out of guilt or a sense of obligation, stop.
Once you have purged your belongings, you put away the things you keep so every item has a home. The idea is to make your storage system super easy on the “putting away” side of usage so you don’t leave things in random places. Those random places lead to clutter.
I love this idea of keeping only what brings you joy. I have many things I have kept because
- I paid money for it and don’t feel I’ve used it enough
- Someone gave it to me
- I liked it at one time but now I don’t anymore, and I feel guilty
- It reminds me of something or someone.
I was energized by the book’s possibilities – the thought of open space and less stuff in my house. I couldn’t wait to give it a try!
I didn’t care for the sort of “spiritual” bits about thanking your possessions for their work. But I do agree that I could be a lot more grateful for my home and my possessions, which is another theme in the book. For me, I took the parts that I thought would be helpful, and set aside the parts that weren’t a good fit for me.
I have applied her system to my clothes already. Before I started, I had clothes in half a closet, several dresser drawers and three large tubs in our laundry room. I had to break into the tubs any time the weather started to change. For the “tidying up” system, I pulled all of the clothes out by type. If I didn’t love something, I set it aside. I reassessed how I stored my clothes so I could see what I had and make things accessible. When I was done, I had more room in each of my drawers, and all of my clothes fit in the closet and drawers in the bedroom. Our local homeless shelter happily took the three tubs of cast offs!
I used the system on my books, too, which was a big deal. I kept more than she recommends in the book, but books are my life! I weeded by reading the description on each one. If the description didn’t make me want to sit down and read instead of doing something else, I didn’t keep the book. Yes, it was hard to part with things that I spent good money on at one point in time. Ms. Kondo would say that the purchase served its purpose – it made me happy when I made it. But hanging onto it now was not serving me well, and it was okay to let it go.
I haven’t finished applying the system to the whole house, but I love what I have done so far. I feel free because there is less clutter. I walk into the rooms that are done, or look at my closet, and I just feel happy. If you are looking for some inspiration before you start a major decluttering project of your own, I recommend reading this.