• Tamanna Mohapatra

Book review- The life changing magic of tidying up

Updated: Feb 24, 2019

I resisted reading this book for a long time. I didn’t think there could be a one size fits all solution to such big life issues as reside in the same bucket as losing weight, saving money etc. Staying organized -be it in life or in your home I believed to fit in the same bucket. NOT doable by reading.


I would say I was partially right. But, also very pleasantly surprised. There was structure to this book. A very definable place to begin and that’s always a good thing.  She talks about making friends with your home. About not focusing on the past memories (I liked this shirt once upon a time) or the future uncertainty (I am sure someone someday may need this something!).

The reason I feel I was right is that I asked another who had read the book (and the person who inspired me to read it) if she had been able to put in practice Marie K’s philosophy. She said, “not fully.” As I was reading the book, I kept thinking of a close friend of mine who is a self-declared hoarder if these #tidyup lessons would apply to her and be easy to follow. I guess it would if she wanted to and was determined to bring about a change.


I personally was very happy and surprised to know that I do a lot of what she suggests throughout the books (more on #tidytips later), but also could do a lot of what she suggests. The reason why in the end I strongly recommend is this line towards the end of the book, “Your real life begins after putting your house in order. You gain confidence because having successfully tackled such a big undertaking and life-changing project. You go through this constant decision-making process of what to keep and what to throw out.”


I have become a semi-fanatic now. Instead of buying more and more things and clothes and not being able to enjoy any. I am trying to downsize, gift and reduce my closet so that whatever remains, in the end, will be what I can see beyond one wear or one glance and truly enjoy it.


Now for the tidy tips. And if you want to learn more after reading this summary, there are plenty of more online. So google away.

  1. 1st discard ALL, then organize THE REST.

  2. This requires a mind shift change which happens when dramatic large tidying leads to a dramatic change in your physical and mental life.

  3. Always aim to store less, storage, for the most part, is just hiding things away and artificially making the problem disappear.

  4. Sort by category NOT by location.

  5. Don’t tidy every day. that will automatically happen once everything necessary has a designated home. The goal then is to find a permanent home for everything.

  6. Throughout the process, whenever stuck always ask yourself why you want to do something till you come to the reason behind the reason behind the reason..I plan to try this method for career change too!

  7. Main process: Focus on what you want to keep by asking: Do you want it?  Does it spark joy in you?

  8. Best sequence of discarding is this: Clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous and finally mementos

  9. Don’t move things to someone else’s bucket of problem..don’t store in friend’s or larger family’s house.

  10. And lastly, the question of what you want and keep is the answer to how you want to lead your life.

So go change, live better. Tidy up.


#antihoarding, #cleanclutter, #japaneseliving, #komono, #lifechanging, #magicoftidying, #marikondo, #tidyup


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