The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo
Contributed by Sharen Felty

8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible by Cate La Farge Summers. Available at  

The author herein draws immense inspiration from the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”, which is widely acclaimed in the field of home economics. As such, the above article extensively reviews and lists eight important lessons that can be drawn from Kondo’s widely acclaimed book.

The first lesson that Summers draws from is that when tidying, it is crucial to tackle categories and not rooms. In this regard, a person should first identify a particular item and declutter their space once and for all, — instead of tidying by location, which is exhaustive and inefficient. Also, Summers takes note of the recommended order of tidying by Kondo, starting with clothes — since it is usually the least emotionally-loaded item.

The second describes how a person should respect their belongings. Summers stresses Kondo’s point, of a person taking into consideration the feelings of their items when they are cramped in a closet without much attention being given to them. Specifically, Summers relates to Kondo’s view that socks should not be balled up or tied together, but rather be handled with respect and properly folded.

For the third, Summers notes how nostalgia does not promote the tidying of spaces. Kondo warns that one should not show their family the bags to be discarded, since they will want to stop you from getting rid of so much. In Summers’ case, her young son, Henry, tried to capture an old hat that she had already decided to discard.

The fourth lesson that Summers experienced is the beauty and joy of purging the unnecessary and unwanted items. Instead of panicking for discarding twelve bags of clothes, Summers was happy for freeing up her space and getting rid of items that no longer sparked joy in her.

For number five, Summers learned that it was important to fold clothes rather than hang them. She decided to follow Kondo’s advice by folding her clothes in a presentable manner —which naturally leads to the sixth lesson: Kondo’s vertical fold. This made everything easier to spot, hard to mess up, and presentable and easy on the eyes.

When everything is properly decluttered and reorganized, the seventh lesson sets in: how a person should fall in love with their closet, and a mere look at it should inspire them into conquering the day. Last, but not least, the eighth lesson is for the individual to rediscover their style, as tidying up should help them rediscover their fashion sense and style.  

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