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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up


Read it. Try it. It’s awesome.

Dudes. I read it. It actually is life changing.

So, first I read The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. (That also helped a lot.) When I realized that it was
a parady of this book, my brain started ticking away. I could do with some advice on tidying indeed, especially in
the harsh light of my impending move. While technically, I’m upsizing to a two-bedroom with a roommate, something in me was screaming to downsize.

The author, Mari Kondo, looks like a cheery stepford wife in the folding videos I’ve watched of her. She can fold
anything and does with joy and vigor, blissfully attacking any article of clothing and gently creasing it into
submission. While she claims she can be lazy and untidy, that claim seems like a stretch. The woman has confessed to being fascinated with tidying, storage, and housekeeping magazines since the ageI’ of five. If she’s been doing it this long, she must have some tricks up her sleeve for me.

In reading, I found that not only does she have a few tricks, she has an entire method: The KonMari Method. To put it in my words, in the span of six months or less the tidy-er must take a searching and fearless moral inventory of their possessions, deciding which to keep or dispose of based on the sole criteria of “Does this bring me joy”. After the inventory and the disposing (or discarding as Mari Kondo says), we store, and we store appropriately, generally with things standing on end in a gravity defying manner.

The order of broad categories is as follow:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Misc.
  • Keepsakes

These are broken down into smaller categories with tips, guidance and tidying wisdom sprinkled in, flavoring the book with reason and prim respectability. My gut feels it can trust this book; it can rely on the advice given. So I dove in. For your entertainment, I’ll break down my progress.

I have had the book for a month and I’ve gone through nearly all of my possessions:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Misc.
  • Keepsakes

Areas Untouched:

  • My filing cabinet
  • My images
  • My wallet
  • My costume box
  • Medicine box

Short list though… I did well.

Areas Needing Revisiting:

  • My wardrobe, again. It’s so easy to keep clothes that don’t bring you joy because inertia exists
  • Books. As the second category, I still was not into the full groove yet
  • Kitchen items
  • Then probably everything else, all over again.

Things I was Surprised to get rid of:

  • My boxing gloves
  • My charm bracelet (amid other jewelry)
  • A tank top that I hated to fold but fit and looked fine
  • My longboard.. because it just wasn’t fitting my lifestyle these days
  • My soccer ball, volleyball, and jump ropes
  • A lot of cds

Things I was Surprised I still had (but unsurprisingly discarded): Caution Tape from High School pranks, a full box of sidewalk chalk, a Warholesque book I forgot that I had bought drunkenly bought in Las Vegas, graphing calculators, staples and a staple remover (but no stapler), a wooden mallot from a childhood toolset. Fortunately, I had very few surprise in my wardrobe; my back was well-patted for seeing that nothing too ancient lingered in it’s dusty recess (Lies. That makes it sound deep and dark. It was a well-lit walk through to my bathroom. It was awfully dusty though.)

So did it change my life?

Actually, yes, sort of. I don’t feel compelled to use everything around me, thus torn in a bajillion different
directions. I actually could feel a difference walking into my closet after discarding. The “less” was tangible; my
body and mind felt lighter. Most importantly, as I’m mindfully thinking about what I want to KEEP in my life, I’m
unintentionally thinking more about WHAT and WHO I want to BRING INTO my life. I’m even spending more time thinking about what I want to DO with my time? What brings me joy? I’ve done small bouts of yoga this week, just because it brought me joy in that moment, that day, and not because I needed to feel fit. I anticipate more changes to come. You should anticipate an update.

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