How tidying up changed my way of thinking

I recently read an article saying that ” Intelligent people tend to be messy, stay awake longer, and swear more” and quickly got excited by using this excuse in my everyday life. It might be true if you consider the idea that messy desks or rooms point to a person’s tendency to think of something else than tidying.

Keeping that in mind, I realized that I will never be able to keep the house in perfect order and I probably will never want to.  Luckily, a friend of mine lent me a book called “The Life- changing magic of tidying up”, by Marie Kondo. At first, I was quite suspicious, but the writing style and the mix of metaphore and practical thinking convinced me to try it. This is what I learned:

1: Tidying should be a one time thing, but you need to know your goal!

Thank God, because as I mentioned, I will not be bothered to do this every month, let alone do it every day.  If you read carefully, the author introduces you to the right mind frame which might help you complete the task. So after setting up my goal, which was to have more space in the apartment, I started taking the small steps to “perfection”.

2. Tidying can be magical if you follow your heart!

The next step was putting all things (per category) in one pile, in the center of the house. I started browsing through each item and determined the amount of joy a certain object brought me. Let your heart decide if it’s something you love, don’t get sabotaged by your mind telling you “this might come in handy later”. If you haven’t used / seen an object for more than 3 months, it’s time for it to go. Thank it for the presence in your life up to that moment and move on.

3. Tidying is not a group effort, so don’t let your family intervene in the process

Your family might have a different opinion about the stuff you should discard, even worse, they might want some of your stuff, this way you’ll never get things done. However, I think each member of the family should decide on the personal items they want to get rid of, and make it their own decision.

4. Tidy by category

Kondo advises to start with the clothes, books, papers (or magazines), miscellaneous items, and lastly, sentimental items. She says the last category is the most difficult to sort. This “sharpens our intuitive sense of what items spark joy inside us.”

5. Learn how to fold and store clothes

After you’ve decided what you want to get rid of (I created the give away pile and the sell pile), you need to put the remaining stuff back in the closet. The book tells us that each item you keep and supposedly love should be energized and rightfully purposed, and to do so we need to learn how to fold properly. There are a few effective techniques described, so check them out.

6. You don’t need more storage space

The author suggests that storage spaces were created by hoarders, therefore you don’t need a lot of storage space, but rather the right amount of items you need can perfectly fit into the storage space you have. So try to refrain from going to Ikea and buying a new wardrobe anytime soon.

There are a lot more things this book teaches the reader, however, the most important thing I learned is that when you decide to take this step, you are actually starting a complex chapter in your life, that does not just target things, but offers a different perspective on life, what matters the most, the people you want to be around of, in short, it teaches how to transform your life.

I hope you’ll find the time to read it, if you haven’t already.

Don’t forget to Give. Take. Recreate

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