By Hailey Briggs
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is the gold standard book of decluttering and organization. The New York Times’ best selling book has changed the way many readers look at their possessions. Marie Kondo makes a living as a professional declutterer.
What does “Tidying Up” entail? Kondo does not focus on organization, but discarding. Kondo credits The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi as inspiration for her unique method of tidying. “The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment,” said Kondo in her book.
DHS Students struggle maintaining their busy schedules with also keeping their rooms clean. Sophomore Jackie Hayden said, “I try to clean my room every weekend but I never actually do. So it ends up being my mom every month.” Junior Alexis D. said, “My room is not tidy at all right now.”
Senior Mikayla Z. took to her room to try Kondo’s method. “I was a little apprehensive to throw some possessions away given I am a little bit of a hoarder, but my room and my life is much clearer after discarding unwanted things,” said Mikayla Z.
Marie Kondo’s Essential Rules
- Clean your space all at once. The idea of cleaning one corner of the room per day is close to impossible. One finds themselves accumulating new belongings everyday, and even if one gets rid of clothes, they’ll still be adding books.
- Know what to fold, how to fold it, and what to hang, and how to hang it. Kondo believes that most of your belongings should be folded, unless the item has a fabric that would suffer from it. In addition, folded clothes should be stored stood up rather than laid flat. Mikayla Z. said, “ The folding rule was pretty difficult honestly and I probably won’t be able to do it again.” The items hung up in the closet should be arranged so that one’s eye rises to the right.
- Make decisions in increasing order of difficulty. It is difficult to get rid of possessions, no matter the circumstance. Kondo suggests an order that will optimize the discarding process. Clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, then mementos.
- Ask the golden question- “Does it spark joy?” There are a lot of charts on Pinterest and various mom blogs that create complicated rules of how to know when to throw out possessions. Kondo breaks that down. When Mikayla looks at a tank top, does it spark joy? Does it have value to me? If weather conditions were optimal for this shirt from Urban Outfitters, would I wear it?
With the help of two friends, Mikayla applied these rules practically- not in the exact way the book dictated because of time constraints. First, we went through all of Mikayla’s t-shirts and pajamas. It was a great place to start because she was not particularly attached to those items. In the time lapse, you’ll notice that we made a pile for clothes to keep and a larger pile for clothes Mikayla would later donate to the NHS Saver’s drive.
One of the hardest parts about being successful with Marie Kondo’s rules is not being able to let go, but following all of her rules. Her biggest concept is that you must clean the entire room all at once. But not everyone has that kind of time. I suppose if one cleans once a year successfully, one does not need it. Mikayla found it difficult to tackle her room all at once, and ended up focusing on her drawers, saving her closet for another day.
Overall, the Marie Kondo method allows people to maximize their living space, and focus more on living in the moment than physical possessions. Mikayla Z. said, “After the purge, my room is certainly neater than it was prior. However, the piles of clothes has already started to build back up.” Mikayla found the time discarding items was great for a group of friends looking for something to do. She said, “If nothing else, cleaning my room proved to be an excellent bonding experience.”