The magic effect of tidying - The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo 2014

The magic effect of tidying
The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life

“Up to now, I believed it was important to do things that added to my life, so I took seminars and studied to increase my knowledge. But through your course on how to put my space in order, I realized for the first time that letting go is even more important than adding.”

This comment was made by a client in her thirties who loved to study and who had developed a vast network of contacts. Her life changed drastically after she took my course. The primary item she did not want to part with was her enormous collection of seminar notes and materials, but when she finally disposed of them, she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from her. After getting rid of almost five hundred books she had been intending to read someday, she found that she received new information daily. And when she discarded her huge stack of business cards, the people that she had been wanting to meet started calling her and she was able to meet them quite naturally. Whereas before she had been into spirituality, when the course concluded she said contentedly, “Tidying has far more effect than feng shui or power stones and other spiritual goods.” Since then, she has leaped headlong into a new life, quitting her job and finding a publisher for her book.

Tidying dramatically changes one’s life. This is true for everyone, 100 percent. The impact of this effect, which I have dubbed “the magic of tidying,” is phenomenal. Sometimes I ask my clients how their lives changed after taking the course. Although I have grown accustomed to their answers, in the beginning even I was surprised. The lives of those who tidy thoroughly and completely, in a single shot, are without exception dramatically altered.

The client I just described had been messy all her life. When her mother saw her room clutter-free, she was so impressed that she signed up for my course, too. Although she believed herself to be a tidy person, the sight of her daughter’s room convinced her that she was not. She came to enjoy discarding so much that she had no regrets about getting rid of her tea ceremony equipment, which had cost $250, and looked forward eagerly to trash and recycle pickup days.

“Previously, I had no confidence. I kept thinking that I needed to change, that I should be different, but now I can believe that I am okay just the way I am. By gaining a clear standard by which I can judge things, I gained a great deal of confidence in myself.” As you can see from her testimony, one of the magical effects of tidying is confidence in your decision-making capacity. Tidying means taking each item in your hand, asking yourself whether it sparks joy, and deciding on this basis whether or not to keep it. By repeating this process hundreds and thousands of times, we naturally hone our decision-making skills. People who lack confidence in their judgment lack confidence in themselves. I, too, once lacked confidence. What saved me was tidying.