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'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' - Marie Kondo

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FrancesHB Sun 07-Sep-14 15:46:35

Has anyone else read this? I did a search but couldn't find any previous threads.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese expert in tidying and decluttering and her book has been translated into English and is best selling. It's wonderfully eccentric and inspiring and in some ways rather a breath of fresh air compared to other books on the subject (have read 'em all and my house is still messy...).

She asks us to ask if an item brings us joy and if it doesn't we thank it and out it goes. A bit like fly lady 'you can't organise clutter', but in a less annoying and at times quite endearing way.

I wondered if any MNers had used her technique and if it helped them 'get their house in order'.

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BeCool Sun 07-Sep-14 22:32:05

I haven't read the book or heard of her - sounds lovely.

But I majorly decluttered our lives/flat by asking the following about each item:
Do I use it?
Do I need it?
Does it bring me joy?

very effective.

My home is still not perfect but it is massively improved by firstly throwing lots of stuff out (bin, recycled, charity shops, given away), and then by having more space, less clutter therefore everything is fairly easy to clean.

FrancesHB Sun 07-Sep-14 23:00:36

That's pretty much her method, it's a very good one. I'd recommend reading it; I loved the way she describes herself as lazy and that having v few possessions makes it easier to spend less time on her house, and the clarity of thought she gets from having her house in order is an added benefit.

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TeamEdward Sun 07-Sep-14 23:04:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaltySeaBird Sun 07-Sep-14 23:08:45

I get stuck on "Do I need it" as I answer "Maybe" so often. I have too many things with sentimental value too - I can't get rid of anything given to me. How do you manage with things like that?

KillmeNow Sun 07-Sep-14 23:26:58

I cant do it.

Its the 'might come in handy' things that get me every time. I am actually making progress of sorts and can do the big things now .The little things are holding me back though.

I know the things to do. Tell myself that the shops are full of XYZ that are cheap to buy. Ask myself the last time someone actually asked for that thing. Do I love it/like/bear to give it house room?

None of it works. I put it away again so I can make my mind up later.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Mon 08-Sep-14 10:28:06

That�s exactly how I feel KillmeNow.

I�m looking on here for inspiration as I need to do a major declutter. Our house doesn�t look too bad on the surface, but all cupboards/wardrobes etc are crammed with things that never or hardly get used and when we do want to find something, we can�t.

For example, a couple of weeks ago, we got a new caravan and wanted to put a carbon monoxide detector in it. We might have one in the house somewhere, but it might have been thrown away.

After a quick fruitless look, I decided that I would just buy one rather than turn the house upside down and we managed to get one on sale for ten pounds, so not too bad.

I suppose an element of �how much would it cost and how easily could I get it if I needed it in the future� might help with decision making?

Maybe a �matrix� like the health and safety risk assessment one but instead consider cost, chances of needing it again and ease of supply and only keep it if it ends up high on the scale?

BeCool Mon 08-Sep-14 10:33:20

Salty I use several methods.

I take photos of sentimental items.
I take photos of DC in clothes I like which makes it much easier to take those clothes to charity shop.
If something is truly sentimental and precious it may fall under 'joy' category so OK to keep.
I acknowledge it is a struggle, but I get pragmatic - would I rather have the space the object occupys on a daily basis to enjoy every day of my life, or will I sacrifice space to keep something I don't need/use/doesn't bring joy, simply because I can't release it?
Somethings I really struggled with letting go of - so I kept them and they went 6 months later. It's a process - for you and your stuff.

I have been changed in many ways by my decluttering and move towards what I call "pragmatic minimalism". It's a personal therapy as well an an environmental/physical therapy.

what I would say is TAKE BEFORE PHOTOS!!! I didn't because I couldn't face my home in photos. Wish I had though.

I didn't read any books but I did use/enjoy certain blogs. This is a good place to start:

BeCool Mon 08-Sep-14 10:41:07

I put it away again so I can make my mind up later.
Accept that you have made your mind up NOW. You have decided to keep it. You are choosing to live in/with clutter. That is OK, that is your choice.

I cant do it.
Well actually you can do it but you are choosing not to. That is OK.
But I would say perhaps start by looking at the language you use about the process.

Of course you CAN. If you accept that you can but you don't want to, you don't need to, then perhaps your thought process will start to change too?

I was very much I CAN'T, I NEED IT etc - but I knew I needed to change.
I was very lucky to have a friend who helped me - this was massive for me, as I don't think I could have done it alone, at least not initially.

It started with my kitchen - I'll link to the thread as it was a fab process.

fuzzpig Mon 08-Sep-14 10:45:44

I've got it ready to read. Have 6 fiction books to read by the end of the month though, so can't get round to it for a few more weeks! But my friend has read it and loves it, and has been telling me various tips and ideas.

I have been very gradually decluttering over the last... what, maybe a year? Or more? Unfortunately it's been painstakingly slow due to health constraints - and you wouldn't really know I've made a difference at all yet, as it was/is truly terrible to start with - but my entire mindset IS changing.

BeCool Mon 08-Sep-14 10:53:43

fuzzpig I'm pretty sure you are on that thread? Or perhaps it was the GH Minimalism threads I subsequently joined I am thinking of smile

BeCool Fri 05-Apr-13 11:03:15
I need a WOK!
I'm making a list of things I need. If I still need them after 30 days I can think about buying them.
This is a brave new world!

^ is from my 2013 thread and I am delighted to report I still don't have a WOK as I decided I didn't need one & I get on just fine with my all purpose large pan. Awesome!!!

starfishmummy Mon 08-Sep-14 11:13:57

I wish I could be ruthless!
Am decluttering at the moment and I am so dithery!!

fuzzpig Mon 08-Sep-14 11:23:45

I'm sure I've read your kitchen declutter thread in the past but not sure I posted. Yes, I am on the minimalist threads <waves> it's quiet on there at the moment! Hopefully it'll pick up again now summer hols are over and we have more time to dedicate to the cause wink

I'm also on a hoarder support thread too, I am still struggling with the Letting Go when it comes to certain types of item.

Sounds like you're doing brilliantly! grin

BeCool Mon 08-Sep-14 11:35:08

Doing OK yes - it is an ongoing process though.

I always have a large pile of papers to sort/file/etc.
Papers and toys are my nemesis, and I curse the day loom bands were born.

but my life has changed radically and fundamentally since that thread - no going back.

fuzzpig Mon 08-Sep-14 11:35:55

Killmenow that's the kind of struggle I have. Too many little things that I just can't decide on. For example if I'm clearing out a drawer, I'll manage to sort out maybe half of it but the rest will remain (or get shoved into a different box). Very very slow process. I am really trying to be more ruthless.

fuzzpig Mon 08-Sep-14 11:37:44

Ah good old loom bands. Thankfully DD only got a few bags and they fit nicely into a pencil-tin-sized box.

Right. I am going to chuck some stuff RIGHT NOW.

fuzzpig Mon 08-Sep-14 12:18:13

One bin bag filled and out of the house smile

BeCool Mon 08-Sep-14 12:28:14

good work fuzz

BertieBotts Mon 08-Sep-14 12:37:42

Salty (and anyone else struggling with "do I need it" you need to ask a different question. "What is the purpose of this item?"

Once you know what it's for, you know whether you need it. If you can't say what it's for, then you don't. It's okay for items to have a frivolous purpose, such as sentimental reasons or decoration or just for fun, they don't have to be "useful" as such. But it allows you to ask hmm, OK, what is this for, and could I achieve this thing with anything else that I already have. When you have two or more items achieving the same purpose, do you really need both? Pick the one you like best and keep that. Even for sentimental items! Do you need every craft item your DC made in nursery or would just one or two be enough?

Thirdly once you know what something is for it becomes easier to decide where you should keep it.

Lastly, when you're left with only purposeful things, if there's anything you're hanging onto because it serves a purpose but you dislike it, you can look for a replacement for those things. Just make sure you throw out the old one straight away!

CiderwithBuda Mon 08-Sep-14 13:21:33

The book sounds interesting. I will have a look. I end up on lots of these threads! I start decluttering and then get distracted. I'm making progress at the moment - slowly but surely!

I was terrible for keeping hold of bags for the charity shop and using the dining room as a 'holding centre' and of course then it is a huge job to get rid. Now I just take stuff as and when even if it's just one or two items or even books.

FrancesHB Mon 08-Sep-14 18:29:43

Marie Kondo suggests not decluttering by place but by category. ie don't declutter your drawers, or your understairs cupboard - instead declutter your tops, then your trousers, then your shoes. After clothes, fiction books then non fiction then paperwork. She leaves sentimental items until the end. The rationale being that by then (perhaps six months in) you're getting very good at working out what truly gives you joy having practised on non sentimental items.

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ForexTrader Mon 08-Sep-14 20:47:00

Yes I have the book and it really works. Some of the techniques are the complete opposite of Flylady which I found good as I could never quite get on with Flylady.

My clothes take up half the space they did before thanks to her rolling method and I now have empty drawers. It is the best book I have ever read for decluttering.

Crikeyblimey Mon 08-Sep-14 20:54:11

I try to live by the 'if it isn't useful or beautiful, I'm not keeping it' but I change mind on 'beautiful' all the time!
I'll check out the book.

mirpuppet Mon 08-Sep-14 20:57:52

I read Kondo's book and enjoyed it although I think she is a little bit crazy I plan to read it again and actually put some of the stuff into practise.

I actually like clothes so starting with those is hard for me. But I will.

FrancesHB Mon 08-Sep-14 21:03:35

She is a bit bonkers but in a very sweet way. When she talks about her socks getting stressed out being squashed twixt foot and shoe, then becoming stressed by being balled instead of folded I thought she'd actually lost it....

I am actually quite an organised person and I find it quite easy to declutter but I have also done it this 'categorical' way so maybe that's another reason I like it. I still have too much stuff though.

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