Though "Marie Kondo" has been a household name for years now, her show has brought her back into mainstream media, leading to a huge comeback for her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, on The New York Times bestsellers list.
After having read the book myself, I still can't get over the information I've learned and just how much work I have to do before I can KonMari my life successfully. Like...apparently most of us have folded our laundry incorrectly our entire lives—if at all. Here are some of the other surprising things I learned about tidying from her book. Yes, it really is all life-changing:
It's More Than Just Organizing, It's Life-Changing.
One thing that really stood out to me in the book was how many people's testimonials were about how much the KonMari Method changed their lives—literally. In the words of Marie Kondo, "The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life." This is so true that one woman literally revealed she actually ended up getting a divorce because the course taught her to see what she needed...and what she didn't. Clearly her husband wasn't sparking joy in her, so it was time to say goodbye.
Tidying Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint.
For many people, myself included, the goal is to get everything organized at once and as quickly as possible so you don't have to keep looking at all the stuff—at least for a while. In doing so, Marie Kondo notes, we are actually setting ourselves up for a rebound. Yikes.
"Rebound occurs because people mistakenly believe they have tidied thoroughly, when in fact they have only sorted and stored things halfway." In other words, rushing the process just to "get it done" is actually giving you more work because you'll be back at the starting line again in a week. To pass the finish line, you have to actually run the tidying race...even if it takes a little longer.
Putting Things In Storage ≠ Successfully Tidying.
This one really blew my mind because I had never really thought about it in this way. If it's not cluttering my space and instead neatly tucked out of sight, aren't I tidy? Short answer: no. "Storage experts are hoarders," Marie declares. "Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved." But in reality, there's only so much storage space, so it will eventually become clutter again.
This, of course, is not to say Marie doesn't want you to store anything. Instead, she suggests you pursue simplicity when it comes to storage. Her absolute best piece of advice in doing so is as follows: "When you are choosing what to keep, ask your heart; when you are choosing what to store, ask your house."
Always Tidy By Category, Not Location.
Unless you've followed the KonMari Method to tidy your house, you might otherwise assume the best bet is to tackle one room at a time, but Marie says that's a hard no. By organizing room by room, discarding, and then putting everything back, you aren't doing yourselves any favors. For example, if you tidy your bedroom first, then go to the bathroom, you might end up creating two separate spots for the same type of items. Why save a spot for hair ties in your bathroom and your bedroom when you could neatly store all of them in one location? By organizing category by category, you'll keep all items of the same type neatly in the same place.
Key: Choose What You Want to Keep, Not What You Want To Toss.
Instead of focusing on what you want to throw away—which, of course, naturally brings unhappiness—Marie encourages readers to focus, instead, on the things we want to keep. To do so: Hold each item and ask yourself whether or not it sparks joy. "If it does," she says, "keep it. If not, dispose of it." It's that simple. The final step? Take the items you wish to get rid of and say goodbye with a ceremony.
You're Probably Folding Wrong.
"The goal should be to organize the contents so that you can see where every item is at a glance," Marie wrote. So when each clothing item is stacked on top of another, it becomes impossible to see what's in your drawer without lifting and shifting the contents inside to find the right piece. Instead, it's important to make sure your items are standing up.
In order to do this, the key is to fold each item compactly into a smooth rectangle.
How To Fold Marie Kondo Style
1. Fold each lengthwise side toward the center.
2. Lift the short end and fold it toward the opposite short end.
3. Fold again in halves or thirds.
Note: "The number of folds should be adjusted so that the folded clothing when standing on edge fits the height of the drawer."
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Taylor is a freelance writer, editor, and social media manager for beauty, wellness, and lifestyle brands and publications.
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