What follows in this blog entry is my summary and thoughts on the self-help book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. My notes should in no way be construed as a replacement for the book and if you want to know more you are encouraged to purchase the original work and have a look for yourself.
Chapter 5 – the magic of tidying up dramatically transforms your life
Getting your house in order is a process not only of physical cleaning but of self-discovery. By casting off excessive things you are allowed the freedom to make room in your life for what’s really important to you, to get at the nub of existence. It also refines your ability make decisions as you repeated practice of deciding what to keep and what to be rid of.
We have trouble getting rid of things for two reasons. The first is a misplaced attachment to the past; a desire to go back to some point in our lives that we believe we have lost. The second is fear of the future, that we will need something we’re considering getting rid of. This is a dangerous thing because our ownership of things is a guiding principle in our lives so by allowing our lives to be ruled by regret and fear we never manage to grow beyond those things.
It should not be said, however, that discarding things is entirely without regret. Many of the author’s clients do end up regretting things they’ve gotten rid of, at least temporarily. Eventually, however, they find great relief in the certainty of not having to search for something and being able to focus on the job of moving to find a solution to the problem. The author points out too though that there are some things which are joyful and there may be pressure to get rid of them from others. You should never get rid of that which truly brings you joy no matter what the neighbors might have to say about it.
At the heart of all this though is the idea that you should treat your house with respect. Greet your home and thank it for sheltering you and welcoming you home. When tidying, remember that this is not a sad event. It’s a time of joy in which you can send off your unwanted possessions to a better life to do service for others.
To summarize extremely compactly, your home is a reflection of you. By tidying it you show it respect and in turn demonstrate respect for yourself. Her clients even go so far that tidying helps them lose weight and become healthier and while this might seem absurd, coming home to a tidy house just feels good. There is a joy in looking around your home and seeing everything all in its place and just so. Feeling good about your home and your surroundings is a vitally important thing and it would be easy to see how this positive feedback could impact your physical well-being.
View back-to-back on the YouTube Playlist
Chapter 1 – Why can’t I keep my house in order?
Chapter 2 – Finish discarding first
Chapter 3 – Tidying by category works like magic
Chapter 4 – Storing your things to make your life shine
Chapter 5 – The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life