Cliffs Notes on Marie Kondo’s Famous Book

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo is absolutely a book worth reading or listening to! The author’s got a gem of a voice that makes my recommendation lean towards the audio version.

That said, I know the majority of the world is not half as obsessed with cleaning as I am! I also know there’s only so much time in the day. So, if you’ve been wondering about Marie Kondo’s famous book but haven’t necessarily felt moved to read it, here’s my version of the top three most important take-aways.

Be a good steward to all you own. I’m endeared to Marie Kondo for the way in which she impresses on the reader that all possessions should be cared for with affection. If there’s no energy to care for something, lovingly discard it so that there’s an opportunity for someone else to care for it. By doing this you will reclaim lost energy that was most likely being wasted on feeling guilty that you weren’t taking good care of it.

Only keep what brings you joy. Hold an object in your hand. How do you feel about it? Resentment that it’s got a hole in it? Tired of looking at it and remembering you really wanted to purchase its mate that was higher up on the shelf? Or do you feel elated to own such a thing? Does it make you sparkle inside to see it? Are you smiling right now thinking of that precious belonging? The premise of Kondo’s book is that you should only keep something in your space if it brings you joy. Everything else goes!

Sort by category, not by room. Wow, this is a big one. When getting geared up for a big clean out people often strategize which rooms they will tackle first. What “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” recommends is actually getting all of your things in a specific category together in one place before sorting. For example, scour your house, car, and garage for all the articles of clothing you own and bring them into your bedroom to sort alongside those clothes in your dryer, closet, and dresser drawers. This will give you a much better opportunity to keep only what you truly love because you will have a clear visual of everything that you currently have.

A side note. There is a hilarious part of the book where Marie Kondo recounts going to a client’s house to have a look around prior to working together. She talks about her client excitedly opening her sock drawer and showing Marie how neatly she has paired up all her socks by rolling them into balls. Marie responds absolutely appalled, “How do they rest?!”. Ha! That has stayed with me ever since.

P.S. – If you are curious, Marie suggests laying paired socks one on top of the other so that they have room to breathe and rest while not in use. ❤︎