Watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo taught me far more than how to get organized. Read these tips and life lessons on how to tidy in your home and your life.
1. Trust the process
In life, there is always going to be something that doesn’t go the way it was supposed to. Have you ever planned something to a T, only to have one thing throw the plan out of proportion? Have you ever imagined how an interview or meeting would be, only to have it turn out completely different from what you expected? That is the process of life. Sometimes life throws a monkey wrench in your plans, but you have to roll with the punches and trust that everything is going to be all right. In Marie Kondo’s process, most of her clients on the show turn to overwhelm. But when they tackle one thing at a time and are open to the process she presents, everything becomes a lot easier.
2. Trust yourself
There is only one you, and with that you have an ideal life that only you can visualize. In Marie’s series, she always reiterates that that in order to spark joy, you must tidy to create the life that brings that joy to your life. In order to do this, getting rid of excess materials and trusting yourself in that process is important. If you get rid of the things that really matter to you, then there is no point. Keeping sentimental items that represent the past and not your future goes against that trust that you put in yourself.
3. Accept all that you have
Many of the clients were unaware of the sheer amount of stuff they had in their homes. In one of the episodes, a client had a room full of shoes that he had bought from the time he was 12 years old. Most of these shoes had never even been worn and there was a pair that even eroded from its age. With following Marie’s protocol, he accepted all what he had and looked firmly in the face of his reality. What also helped was that his wife was expecting a child in six months and there was a need to face the clutter.
4. Practice gratitude
After finishing a small tour of each house that she visits, Marie engages in a special ritual. She greets the house and thanks it for all that it has done. She practices gratitude for all of what is given in the house. When it is time for her clients to let an item go, she has them practice gratitude for the item and the time it has spent in the house. What I learn is that even items that were never worn or didn’t look that flattering serve a purpose. That one shirt that looked great on the mannequin but looked completely different on you taught you that specific type of garment did not flatter you. Rather than thinking about the negative aspects, watching Tidying Up had me thinking of the upside of the random items in my closet and beyond.
5. Little victories are still victories
When it gets too hard to make a huge decision, make a small one instead. Building up to big decisions creates lets distance and also helps with the frustration or overwhelm. This applies to tidying up as well as life. Can’t figure out what type of car to buy? Focus on what brands you like or the colors you have in mind. Either way, getting something out of the way will increase that happiness and make the decision ultimately easier.
6. Change is good
If there is one thing that will stay the same, it’s that there will always be change. It is something that we have to get used to every day of our lives. In Tidying Up, there were people that wanted to stick to what was nostalgic and keep some of those items that no longer served them. I learned that whether it’s nostalgia or pure stubbornness, people can adapt and change in order to help themselves if they really try.
7. Never forget to spark joy
Sparking joy means creating room for the present and future and leaving the past behind. It means not being attached to outcome of every situation. It means being open to receiving what is good for you and inspiring others to do the same. Joy can be found anywhere—in the ordinary and the extraordinary. It all comes down to getting go of what does not serve you and opening up to the rest.
These seven tips are by no means a quick fix and are not perfect. But they are a start to living your ideal life. Utilize them one step at a time, and you will tidy up more than just your home.
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