10 Lessons from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

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For the last year, it feels like I've seen and heard about this book everywhere. In book stores, online, in articles, on podcasts, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up seems to have achieved near world-domination.Initially, I wasn't interested. Since Mr BWYA and I travel a lot, I don't own a lot to begin with (currently slightly more than will fit in a suitcase). My approach to home-making can be described as "fairly clean-ish, likes plants." It's just not a topic I care that much about. But after hearing about this book for what felt like the bajillionth time, I decided to give it a go and see what it was like.In general, I had mixed feelings about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. On the one hand, it does contain some useful ideas about the relationship between our values and our possessions, and how something as simple as keeping a tidy environment can have a big impact on our sense of confidence and wellbeing. It also offers common-sense practical suggestions that run counter to the usual tidying/decluttering advice. I learned some things that have been genuinely useful. In particular, I liked her deeper insights into the psychology behind tidying and clutter, and noticed how many of these apply to other aspects of life too. For example, she invites readers who struggling to control their clutter to think about why they might be distracting themselves from and to consider what they might have to face in their lives if they had a clear space (and therefore mind).At the same time, Marie Kondo is not easy to relate to, for me at least. Her theories about, for example, why we shouldn't ball up our socks are pretty far out (because they need to rest and they can't do that when they're scrunched into a tense little ball. What?). She takes tidying very seriously and advocates readers strive for no less than perfection when it comes to their homes. At times, this comes across as preachy, if not slightly condescending.With an unsympathetic view, it's easy to see why this book has been just as scorned and lampooned as it has been praised. As the book progresses, though, the more you start to glimpse why she's so fanatic. Frequently ignored by her family, she entertained herself by organising everyone's rooms and belongings (usually without their permission or willing participation). From the age of five, she opted to organise her classroom instead of playing with other children. As much joy as she seems to get out of tidying now, I couldn't help but feel a little sad for her.[Tweet "Discover 10 key lessons from 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo'"]For me, one of the hallmarks of a worthwhile book is I find myself thinking about it as I go about my day-to-day life afterwards. Despite my reservations, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been one of those books for me. It's definitely not going to be everyone's cup of tea but it shares some valuable suggestions about changing your relationship to mess and clutter. As with all personal development books, approach with an open mind and cherry-pick the bits that are going to work for you.Overall, I'm glad I took the time to read it. And I will continue to ball my socks.Download 10 key lessons from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo from the Becoming Who You Are Library.Image: Death to Stock Photo