Monday, January 26, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

available here

Just one quote, which I thought was worth the price of the book (emphasis mine):


"When you come across something that's hard to discard, consider carefully why you have that specific item in the first place. When did you get it and what meaning did it have for you then? Reassess the role it plays in your life. If, for example, you have some clothes that you bought but never wear, examine them one at a time. Where dd you buy that particular outfit and why? If you bought it because you thought it looked cool in the shop, it has fulfilled the function of giving you a thrill when you bought it. Then why did you never wear it? Was it because you realized that it didn't suit you when you tried it on at home? If so, and if you no longer buy clothes of the same style or color, it has fulfilled another important function - it has taught you what doesn't suit you. In fact, that particular article of clothing has already completed its role in your life, and you are free to say, "Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you," or "Thank you for teaching me what doesn't suit me," and let it go."

love,
Janice

yoox.com

16 comments:

  1. I love that book. While I don't follow everything she recommends, it has been enormously helpful.

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  2. I absolutely adore that book! It gave me the courage to face my clutter - assess if the item still had a place in my life, and if not, let go without a feeling of guilt or sadness! I still have ways to go, but a beginning has been made!

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  3. "Let it go," when the time has come, is a good mantra for living.

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  4. My daughter is now folding all her sweaters the way this book recommends, vertically in a drawer rather than horizontally. Another tip worth the price of the book!

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  5. I just read this very book last week! How coincidental. I do recommend it and am telling everyone I know about it. What a great thing!

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  6. I have been reading the book over the weekend and am about to start working on my clothing. Boy, the last year has been Wardrobe Year for me, for sure. I've done so much, but there are a few ideas in this book that make me want to do more. I've long lived by the quote you shared, but it's the kind of thing that you need to revisit in layers, if that makes sense. Time for another visit, this time to consider what clothing I have gotten in the last year that has taught me something but has finished its time with me.

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  7. Love this premise. We get bound up in the guilt and cost of inappropriate choices, and depending on the cost really find it hard to let pieces go. But if we learn from them it is freeing.

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  8. Its my fabric stash that I hold on to; I am getting better about sharing it with sewing friends. However, I just made the best coat and dress from fabric I had treasured for over 15 years........ so not sure about my learning there.

    Deb from Vancouver

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  9. I just finished this book as well, and, while I couldn't relate to the idea that our "stuff" has feelings, and resents being treated badly (!), the quote you mentioned above really resonated with me. And the following as well:

    'Truly precious memories will never vanish even if you discard the objects associated with them. When you think about your future, is it worth keeping mementos of things that you would otherwise forget? We live in the present. No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important. So, once again, the way to decide what to keep is to pick up each item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”'

    I have had an issue with discarding sentimental items in the past, whether they be clothes or knick knacks or gifts, but the thought that the object has served its purpose, and we don't need the actual object to keep the memory, moved me very deeply. I don't need to hold on to things that physically no longer bring me no joy, I am free to let go of them without guilt...a very profound thought for letting go of objects, or habits, or clothing, that no longer works for us. And it frees us up to new experiences and objects that work for our lives NOW. So interesting!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing that quote and insight. The emotional attachment is what gets me. There are items in my closet that I purchased on the last shopping trip my mother and I will ever take. I have not worn some of those items in a few years now, but didn't want to pass them on due to the emotional tag. Thanks for helping me to understand that even if the cardigan goes, the memory will not.

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    2. I'm going through this phase at the moment. I ended up with a lot of stuff which belonged to my late mother that no one else wanted (my sister is not the sentimental type) but I couldn't bear to throw away.

      One of those things was a miniature old fashioned school bell - the type with the wooden handle that you would ring by hand. Mum kept it on her desk when she was a school librarian (a job she had for 25 years and which she loved).

      Three weeks ago I bumped into a friend of my mothers at an antiques fair. We got to chatting and this lady mentioned, right out of the blue, that she would love find an old school bell.

      The next Sunday I gave her mum's little bell and told her the story about it. She was very deeply touched and I was too when I realised that here was someone else who loved my mother and missed her very much.

      Now I have the memory of mum with that bell on her desk and another precious one - of this dear lady who has something she loves to remember my mother by.

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  10. Great quote! I found her concept of decluttering by topic not area, inspiring. But I would never put all my clothes in the floor to sort them. Nor would I empty my purse daily and out everything away. Such a hassle! She has some good points and I wholeheartedly agree with keeping what sparks joy.

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  11. Thank you Janice for choosing a quote from Marie Kondo's book for your post today! My favorite observation is this one: "The true purpose of a present is to be received. Presents are not 'things' but a means for conveying someone's feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don't need to feel guilty for throwing a gift away. [...] Surely the person who gave it to you doesn't want you to use it out of a sense of obligation, or to put it away without using it, only to feel guilty every time you see it. When you throw it away, you do so for the sake of the giver too."

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  12. I recently read this too. I pulled everything out of my closet and drawers to sort through last week. It was very revealing to see how many clothes I have. I discarded around a fourth of my tops & bottoms and the consolidation left an entire closet empty. I plan to do it again in 6 months with the hope of discarding another fourth.

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  13. Janice, your blog is such a pleasure! Thank you for everything you do to enrich our lives. I ordered the book and am anxious to apply the principles. My greatest challenge is admitting the wastefulness of my clothing "gluttony"! I actually really enjoy most of my wardrobe, but, do I really need clothes in four closets?? Methinks not! The mental energy used in decision-making my clothing choices for each day offsets the pleasure I receive from reading your posts! Wish me success at the great purge...and, thank you again for all you do for us!

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