Which is why I end up reading about it. I am avoiding doing it.
But most books about organization tell you stuff you already know, like “File, don’t pile.”
I know that.
What they don’t tell you is how to make yourself do it.
So, when I read in the New York Times about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book by a Japanese professional organizer, Marie Kondo, and it seemed ... well … different, I read it.
Marie Kondo, who is as cute as a button, is kind of nutty. She treats objects as if they are alive. She tells you to fold your socks a certain way because when they are in your drawer, they are “on holiday” and deserve to be comfortable. She admits having a hard time bonding with people, saying “It was material things and my house that taught me to appreciate unconditional love first, not my parents or friends.”
You’d think she wouldn’t be keen on throwing stuff out, but she says unwanted objects want to be discarded. She tells you to thank a thing for its service before you can it. A gift you hate? “Thank you for the joy of receiving you.” Clothes you don’t like? “Thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me.”
Kondo’s clients end up getting rid of most of what they own. “My basic principle for sorting papers is to throw them all away,” she says.
But, really, she focuses on, not which things to trash, but which to keep. “Take each item in one’s hand,” she says, “and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.”
While I won’t be folding my socks anytime soon, I am all fired up to throw stuff out.