I put the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo on hold at the library, say, 6-8 months ago, to the point that I totally forgot I put it on hold and when I got the email that it was ready to pick up I was actually shocked. Then there was all this pressure to read the book in three weeks before I had to get it back because there was a hold on it. I didn't know how I was going to find the time! I mentioned this to the librarian checking me out and she said it was a quick read. And it was- because it's magic.
The book itself is not that long and there are lots of little stories she tells about herself and her clients in between imparting you with her tidying wisdom. Some of it is silly and some of it will make you wonder how she kept accumulating so much stuff. But as you read you will take away the big lesson: If you don't love love love it, get rid of it.
If you've heard anything about this book, you will know that Kondo says that if you hold something in your hand and it does not bring you joy, it is time to get rid of it- even if you just bought it, it was a gift, it's still in good shape. You needent feel guilty for decluttering your space and your mind from stuff that doesn't make you truly happy. You thank it for its service to you- for keeping you warm, for helping you find what you don't like, for making you happy when you were 10- and then you let it go.
I happened to get this book at a point where I was really feeling like the stuff is taking over our house. Our closets are packed, the kids' rooms are a mess, and we are lacking cabinet space. We just have too much and we are running out of places to put it. Since reading this we have slowly been putting her principles to good use and getting rid of the stuff we do not love. There are three garbage bags full of MY clothes (just mine, how insane?!?!?) sitting in the mudroom right now, ready to be taken to the Salvation Army box up at the dump later today. I honestly opened the closet and pulled out everything that made me feel iffy. I tried a few things on, found a few things that I forgot were there, and emptied 50 hangers. I have space in my closet. It feels so unbelievably good.
While it's going to take awhile, we'll be going through other cabinets and spaces in the same manner, applying the "why do we still have this?" principle and hopefully freeing up space in our house for the things we really and truly love.
If you have any kind of clutter or just feel like the material stuff is taking over your home, I would highly recommend reading this book. It is quick, it is kitchy, it will make you roll your eyes, and you will come away with the best tidying system ever.