I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo everywhere lately. I’ve been seeing posts all over blogs and social media about it, so I had to see what all the fuss was about.
If you’re not familiar with the book at all, I definitely recommend reading it. Although I didn’t agree with everything in it, I still learned a lot and was very inspired with it. (Next week, I’ll be sharing what I learned from the book.) In a nutshell it’s all about how to get your home organized once and for all. When she says “tidying,” it’s really what I think of as “organizing.”
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Like I said, I really did like the book and thought it was very helpful, but there were a few things that just didn’t quite click with me. I thought I’d share them with you here. The video below is a recording of a Periscope I did about this topic (follow me there at @iheartplanners). If you’d prefer to read rather than watch the video, I have the same information written below the video:
You’ll never rebound (or go back to your old untidy ways)
The book claims: If you use this method of organizing, you will never ever “rebound” (or fall back into your old disorganized habits).
While I wish that were true, I have to disagree. While I do think there’s definitely a lot to be said for the motivation that finally having your house completely in order (and getting in done in one fell swoop like she recommends), I DON’T think that alone will keep your house tidy from here on out. I think she overlooks the need to establish those small, daily habits that keep your house in order (like washing dishes right away, doing laundry from start to finish, etc).
Also, I’m living proof that getting your house completely in order once doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Before my first baby was born 14 months ago, I was in major nesting mode. My house wasn’t untidy or cluttered before I was pregnant with her, but I really went on a rampage against anything remotely resembling clutter before she arrived. About 3 weeks before she was born, I finally had every square inch of my home completely organized and tidy! I had tackled even those less obvious spaces like our unfinished basement laundry room / storage area. This lasted for exactly 3 weeks. I promise you, the house has not been in such a pristine state again since the day we arrived home from the hospital with her. I don’t regret the organizing I did, but it didn’t mean it stayed that way.
Thank your physical belongings
The book recommends: She personifies her physical belongings and recommends that you do the same. She literally thanks her socks for protecting her feet and wants to give them a chance to rest, and so on.
This is something that I can’t get on board with. As a Christian, I’ve changed this up to thank God for blessing me with those things instead of thanking the things themselves. This works for me.
Empty your purse daily
The book recommends emptying your purse daily.
I definitely don’t plan to do that. I want to be ready to go quickly instead of having to put things in my purse. I think it would be way too much trouble for no real benefit. I have a spot for my purse and keep it ready at all times. She didn’t mention if she recommends unpacking diaper bags regularly, but I definitely don’t do that. I leave my diaper bag packed and in the car at all times, which makes leaving so much more convenient.
Fold clothes vertically instead of hanging
The book says that folding clothes and placing them in drawers takes up less space than hanging them. She also recommends folding your clothes small and placing them front to back in the drawer like files.
At least for me, I don’t think my clothes take up less space in a drawer. Also, I LOVE the neat, organized look of the folded clothes going front to back in a drawer. However, I’ve tried myself in the past and my clothes wouldn’t stay standing, so it ended up being a pain. I might try it again at some point because I love the look.
Use “Sparking Joy” as the only criteria for deciding what to keep
She recommends touching every single item that you own and only keeping the things that spark joy.
I’m a huge fan of ruthlessly decluttering. I love using this criteria for most things, because it releases you from the guilt of getting rid of things. Plus you’re deciding what to keep, not what to get rid of, and I think this will help you declutter more thoroughly.
That said, I do think that practical considerations do need enter the picture somewhere when I comes to decluttering and she doesn’t cover these at all. For example, I’m needing to declutter some of my cleaning supplies, as I have some that I haven’t used in a very long time. For this, though, I don’t think the sparking joy criteria applies at all. For example, my toilet bowl brush definitely does not spark any joy for me, but I’m definitely not getting rid of it!
Next week, I’ll be talking about what I liked about the book (and that list is even longer). Stay tuned, and consider reading the book for yourself.
Leave a comment below or in the Facebook group letting me know if you’ve read the book and your thoughts on it.
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