Clean, Organize, and Declutter with Marie Kondo's Magic: Part 1

Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has changed my life. Here's what happened when I used her method, and why I think it worked.

Stever Robbins
5-minute read
Episode #373

Once you've gathered a category one pile, discard everything you don't want to keep. Discarding comes before you decide how to organize your room.

This way, you've touched and handled every item in your category. By the time you are ready to put them away, you have a sense of everything you have and can plan storage smartly. You know how much (or how little!) you actually intend to keep, and since your storage areas are completely empty (you piled everything into the middle of the room, remember?), you have maximum flexibility in how to re-use your space.

Sort by Joy

How do you decide what to discard? I'll bet you think it's some rule you've heard before, like "if you haven't touched it in the last year, toss it." Nope. Marie's criteria, like everything else about her, is unusual. Touch every object. Pick it up. Thank it for being in your life. Be grateful! Then ask, "Does this bring me joy?" If the answer is no, let it go.

"But I might need it someday!" Let it go, unless the thought of having it around just-in-case brings you joy. "What will my evil parent-in-law say when they notice there are suddenly no pictures of them anywhere in the house?" Who cares. They're evil. Throw away their pictures. Heck, burn 'em! (Unless that would count as a mystical sacrifice that just feeds their store of energy for evil.)

Most of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is spent walking you through all the excuses you'll find to keep things that don't bring you joy, and showing you why you should get rid of them anyway. She starts with the easy stuff, like getting rid of old clothes, and works her way up to how to get rid of mementos and nostalgic possessions.

I can't overstate this principle! And neither can Marie. By keeping only items that bring you joy, everywhere you look in your home is filled with things that bring you joy. Joy everywhere! It's really, really awesome!

The first steps in Marie Kondo's method are: sort by category, put everything in one pile, discard first, and keep only things that bring you joy. In the next episode of Exploring Tidying Up, we'll learn more about her awesome method. Soon you'll be living the dream of a gorgeous, clutter-free world.

Follow Get-It-Done Guy on Twitter and Facebook. I help people live extraordinary lives in business, entrepreneurship, or the social arena. If you want to know more, visit http://SteverRobbins.com

Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!

Declutter photo courtesy of Shutterstock.



About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.