The Life Changing Magic of Tidying – Part One

I read  the book pretty much in one go.Of course I had a healthy dose of skepticism before reading but my enthusiasm and determination probably outweighed it. The book isn’t long and I would absolutely recommend reading it in full before getting started.

At first some of the ideas, Marie Kondo, puts across seem bizarre but as I went on through the book they started to make more sense. The basic premise is you do one de-cluttering of your home and you will never have to do it again, you only keep the items that “spark joy” and every item should have a place in your home.  It’s a step by step guide with Kondo’s personal experiences and real life examples of how  the konmari  method worked for people and how it transformed their life. There are examples of people changing career, losing weight, getting the ride ( ok it doesn’t say that but its implied) and basically saying one you use the konmari method to transform your living space, you can also transform your life. A lofty claim? Time will tell.

You need to do it all together and “intensely”. It could take one person a day and another six months, it depends on how much stuff you have, I suppose. Kondo identifies four categories and rather than tidy by room you tidy by these four categories; clothing, books, paper and komono    ( miscellaneous items). She gives examples of such including the box your phone came in and random wires, I am the proud owner of many.

Discard everything that does not spark joy

As I said some of her ideas seem bizarre  ( thanking your shoes for their work that day, letting your socks rest in your drawers, there are many ) and she is possibly away with the fairies but I like her and I liked the book and I was willing to buy into her promise and if I need to thank inanimate items of clothing for their work to transform my home well so be it.

I blogged about this book before I even read in an effort to ensure I would actually read it and use it  and I am going to continue blogging about it as I go along. The constant mess in my house genuinely bothers me a lot of the time but anytime I try to sort it out, I tend to get overwhelmed by the size of the job and just faff around moving things to other places. I regularly berate the lack of storage in this house but Kondo claims storage isn’t the issue, the things we need to store are.



I started with my clothes. Kondo states you should take everything out and lay it on the floor and you then go through each item to see which sparks joy. I regularly declutter my clothes and I even more regularly talk about how I don’t own much. I was wrong. After two hours I had 8 black bags full of clothes to donate/dump. It was easy. There where one or two items, i wondered about so I left them aside but the rest of it was so easy to just bag and throw away, I even thanked the clothes for their service just like the book suggests without feeling uncomfortable. After my clothes , I moved onto my handbags and shoes. This took longer as there was so much shit in the bags. Another six bags of crap gone. Kondo shows how to then store the clothes that you are keeping. Its GENIUS. THE WOMAN IS A CRAZY TIDYING GENIUS. You can watch her in action here, watch her.

YouTube:New York Magazine



Despite the huge amount of black bags filled with my clothes, I still have a fair amount. Kondo describes how you should hang clothes in your wardrobe and arrange with light colours to the front. My clothes now  fit easily in my wardrobe and drawers and I have lots of spare space. Genius.

After my clothes I moved onto the hotpress before thinking about the clothes of the  other five people who live in this house. My hotpress was a shameful place, its one of those where you never know if you are going to be knocked out by a tsunami of falling bed linen when you open its door.

HOTPRESS SHAMING Look at this crap

Look at this crap

I took everything out, the pile of towels and linen came up to my waist. One hour and 8 bags later, I had scaled down to 2-3 sets of bed linen per person and cut the amount of towels we own in half. This was a bit of work creation as I felt the need to wash everything I was keeping before putting them back into the now HUGE and SPACIOUS hotpress. I opened the door last night before I went to bed and just stood staring at the neatness, sparking joy all over the place.

Next stop, the husbands clothes. I really want the husband to read the book, I need him to for this to work properly. However he has listened to me talk incessantly for three days now about it so he gets the basic idea. Today he emptied his clothes out and discarded loads of them. The tshirts he has had for 15+ years- gone. The 27 identical ties,gone.  The we  konmari’d up his wardrobe and drawers. The konmari tidy freaks who tidy together, stay together.

I need practice on the folding method but alreadly I can see exactly what's in each drawer much easier.

I need practice on the folding method but alreadly I can see exactly what’s in each drawer much easier.

Onto to the next person. The children could be the stumbling block. Kondo , I believe, lives alone in an apartment in Japan she doesn’t have four messy children with mounds of clothes and toys. However I am confident now, three days in, that her method can be applied to their stuff too. I am going to involve the older three in the decluttering so I started with the baby’s stuff. Once I got through what she is currently wearing, I had to take down the things I had put away that belonged to my other daughters.

This was the first time I got a bit overwhelmed, there was a lot of clothes and a lot of nostalgia but I ploughed on and now tonight, after three days, half the clothing is done and it feels bloody amazing.


Goodbye clothes, thanks for your service, seeya, thanks, bye, thanks, bye , bye, bye

I realise I sound like a born-again tidy freak but I can feel my mind lightning with each bag I fill and remove from the house. Its like psychotherapy. Who knows maybe I am in the middle of a breakdown and I will be up in the dump next week looking for my stuff back wearing my wedding dress ( I kept that) but the act of laying out everything you own and dumping a load of it is fantastic. I know my friends and family are sick of me already because in the last three days when I haven’t been tidying , I have been talking about it but they will see the light soon.

The woman is a genius and I am a Konmari konvert. I can’t believe how much space there is already and how easy it is to find my clothes, socks, towels. I will update again next week. Buy the book, you need the book.

magic art


Konmari Part 1

Black bags dumped:31.

Konmari Game: Strong.


30 thoughts on “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying – Part One

  1. Emily says:

    I will quite possibly meet you in the dump in MY wedding dress yet… Tanks to our timely house move, I have dumped at least half of our belongings. It’s great… and scary!! I need to watch her folding videos, I absolutely love folding clothes… (yes, I’m a freak)

  2. Stuff and Nothing says:

    I’ve been going with the “keep moving house every two years” method, and it’s proven to be great motivation to declutter. Some day when I finish assembling flat-pack furniture and repainting walls I might give this a shot 🙂

  3. Jill says:

    This is insanity. Good insanity I reckon. I’ve reconsidered and I don’t think my husband is an actual problem but our idea of what sparks joy does. He gets joy from miles of cables and piles of plectrums. I get joy from tidy rooms and clean surfaces.

    He fastidiously stores every box any electrical item came in like phones or guitar pedals. Because when you find yourself on donedeal selling them off (in a decluttering effort) you get a better price when you are the person with the original boxes.

    And the clothes! Well, I’d need to sell or pass on to friends the nice stuff and donate the standard stuff. So it would lie idly in piles of bags for months.

    I need to read the book don’t I?

    • theclotheslineie says:

      You do, you really do. There is no time for passing on or selling. You just need to release them, set them free. Reclaim your home.

  4. Lisa | Mama.ie says:

    75% of the way through the book. I’m trying to time finishing the book for Sunday morning so that my enthusiasm for tidying will be high on a day when I actually have time to put it to use and do a clear out! Still not convinced I own enough clothes to throw out those that don’t spark joy and still be left with enough to wear. But we will see.

  5. Aedin says:

    I need to read this book. I need to declutter. Why is it so hard to?I have so much crap in our house, that I thought I was going to get rid of before we moved but no it all came with us in boxes and bags!!

    • theclotheslineie says:

      I hear you. Some of the stuff we binned today was 19/20 years old it survived so many house moves. The idea is though you are paying for your home and basically paying for storage for all this stuff you dont need, so you dump it, your life improves. Everyone is a winner. Apart from the stuff thats dumped but you thank it so its not left with nothing 🙂

  6. office mum says:

    I was out with some friends a few months ago and one raved about this book – we all thought she was slightly mad but by the end of it, she’d won us over to thinking there might be something to it. Feeling even more convinced now…

  7. Muuka says:

    My partner is already a decluttering enthusiast but me….I need to buy into this but it fills me with anxiety and I’m not even a hoarder. You did give me a lol moment on the bus about being a born again tidy freak .

  8. socialbridge says:

    You have me convinced, though I think I’m in the six month league. But maybe that’s just another excuse. You sound so energised by it all. Maybe she will take you on for huge bucks as her lead ambassador.
    Now to get the book!

  9. roxettey says:

    i actually feel a bit ill after reading this; the enormity of the crap in my house is also starting to bother me. BUT those pictures of the plastic bags are making it all too real. I know what needs to be done…..

  10. Susie Chopstick says:

    Well done, you sound like you’re really getting somewhere. Unfortunately, I’m probably not the type to take on kon-mari and succeed with any degree of proficiency. I am in the middle of a declutter/room reallocation right now so I need these skills but I don’t have them! The tenet that you discard anything that doesn’t immediately spark joy is the one I have trouble with!
    I’ll give you an example. Old and half finished sketch pads, baby socks, novels I owned when I was 12, half finished sewing projects, previously undisplayed Christening presents, etc, all spark undeniable (but tiny) bits of joy. So I’m goosed! A friend of mine suggested taking a photo of each item and moving on, but my iCloud storage is nearing capacity too! For precisely the same reason!
    That and genetics probably don’t help. I’m descended from a long line of hoarders and pack rats on my father’s side…

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