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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondō

Most write-ups about decluttering advise us to clean up gradually, and eventually, we’ll get to our goal of a mess-free, clean home.

But Japanese author Marie Kondo, who’s dubbed the Queen of Tidying Up and has a consulting business fully devoted to getting rid of clutter from people’s homes, begs to differ.

In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie emphasized the need to get rid of clutter once and for all—to make tidying up every inch of your space a major event for the next six months. As a result, she assures us that we’ll be clutter-free for the rest of our lives.

Here, we took up the major steps Marie outlined in her book to achieve the ultimate goal of being mess-free. The first six habits deal with the right mindset when it comes to tidying, and the other 13 habits deal with the two simple points of the KonMari Method: first is discarding, and second, storing what’s left, the things that spark joy in our lives.

So, prepare to have your mindset changed as you take on every simple action, each step guaranteed to lead you to clutter-free living.


Great ideas from this book

Cleanliness/Order/Tidying Up

1. Accept that the main culprit behind your cluttered space is YOU and resolve to act on it.

2. Escape the never-ending clutter-declutter cycle by learning the proper way of tidying up.

3. Tidy everything up AT ONCE.

4. Learn to do the two simple steps of the KonMari method: “intense discarding” and “giving everything its own place.”

5. Know your goal before you get on with cleaning everything up.

6. Avoid making tidying up your scapegoat so you won’t have to face more pressing matters.


7. Make perfection your operative word when tidying up.

8. Start tidying up by discarding.

9. Tidy your space by category and not by location.

10. In discarding, remember that you are choosing what to keep and not what to get rid of.

11. Start with your personal belongings when you tidy.

12. Sorting and discarding is a process that must be done alone.

13. When discarding gets difficult down the road, remember: it is more important to let go than to add.


14. Storing must be done with utmost simplicity.

15. Don’t scatter storage spaces around the house; designate a storage area.

16. Store things vertically (side by side) and not piled up on top of one another.

17. Learn the art of folding clothes the KonMari way.

18. When you go shopping (may that be for groceries or personal belongings), immediately unpack and remove tags from the items you bought once you get home.

19. Putting your space in order gives you this one great opportunity: discovering what you really want in your life.