Living With Less: A Review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up & How To Declutter the KonMari Way!

Hello and welcome to instalment number one of my Living With Less series!  Today I’m tackling the first step in anyone’s minimalism journey, decluttering, with the help of the KonMari method.  This method was developed by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (and an absolute genius.) I’m going to give you a summary and review of the book and outline the simple steps you can take to rid your life of clutter for good!

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Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant and author from Japan.  She has a wonderful no-nonsense approach that really appeals to me, and is extremely likeable.  Marie explains why most people are suffering under the weight of their belongings and how to free yourself from clutter.  The book is easy to read and understand, and incredibly engaging.  I read it from cover to cover in a couple of days and was immediately itching to declutter!  This book is such an inspiring read; I’m not surprised that it’s amassed such a large following!  

The book begins by shedding light on the common problems with organizing and decluttering that the majority of us share.  She then goes on to explain her method of organization and why it works.  Next comes an in depth guide to decluttering your home from top to bottom and storing those precious items you decide to keep.

Marie's method is a breath of fresh air which focuses on the joy special possessions can bring rather than the need for acquisition or holding on to useless items "just in case".  She demands perfection, which is kind of wonderful in a world full of unnecessary moderation, yet understands that her clients and her readers are only human, and that some things just mean so much to us on a sentimental level that they belong in our lives.  She also believes that tidying should happen only once, not everyday.  This is wonderful news for all of us busy people who want to do it all at once and be done for good!

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to absolutely anyone. Click on the book cover to buy it on amazon and get started on your minimalism journey with me!  (Friendly Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link.  There is no extra cost for you, but the small commission I receive if you purchase through my link helps me keep this site up and running!)

Read on to learn how to declutter using the the KonMari method!

How To Declutter Your Life, the KonMari Way!

ONE Dress up for the event.  One of Marie's main beliefs is that tidying should be a special event, not a daily chore.  And don't we usually dress up for special events?  Don't do all of your tidying in sweatpants; through on a smart blazer or a pretty dress and give tidying the respect it deserves!

TWO Tidy all at once.  I'll say it again, just because it's such a revolutionary thought!  Marie asserts that tidying should be a one time event not a daily chore!  Clear your schedule so that you can do it once and do it right.

THREE Discard by category, not location.  Don't tidy your kitchen, then the bedroom, and so on.  Marie has learned the optimal method of decluttering from trial and error and her extensive experience.  Go category by category, and in the order she outlines in the book:

  • Clothing;
  • Books;
  • Papers;
  • Miscellaneous items, and;
  • Sentimental items.

FOUR Put everything on the floor.  One category at a time, go around the house and grab every item then put it in one big pile on the floor.  Not only does this ensure that you don't forget or miss anything, but it shows you just how much you actually own; a pretty sobering realization!

FIVE Hold each and every item.  Pick up each belonging, one at a time, and ask yourself  "Does this spark joy?"  If yes, keep it.  If not, put it in the donate or sell pile!

SIX Focus. Don't play music or watch TV while you sort.  This is an important task that deserves 100% of your focus!

SEVEN Discard all, then organize. Resist the urge to put things away as you go.  Marie says it's important to go through each category and discard before organizing what you've decided to keep.

EIGHT Thank your belongings for their service. This one can seem a bit bizarre, but is quite nice when you think about it.  Marie suggests that you take a moment to thank the items you are discarding for their service.  Even if you are only thanking them for teaching you what you don't like, she says you should find a reason to be thankful for the time they spent in your possession.  

This is just a summary of Marie's advice.  Go read the book to get the full benefit of her method and to hear all of the principles right from the horse's mouth!

I hope I've inspired at least one of you to explore the KonMari method and bring it into your life.  It has only been a month and a bit since I applied these principles in my own home, and while I'm still a bit of a work in progress, I'm noticing incredible benefits!  Remember that I will be posting a new Living with Less post each and every Tuesday for the foreseeable future.  Don't forget to check in on the blog every week or subscribe to the Plant Based Bride newsletter (you'll find the form at the bottom of this page) for updates right to your inbox!

Until next time,

Have you read Marie's book?  I'd love to hear your review in the comments below!

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