When there is a clean surface, it is easy to make it become cluttered. “I’ll just put this away later,” you’ll think to yourself, but then later never comes. Clutter is like misery, it enjoys company, and pretty soon that clean surface has suddenly become a huge mess. Clutter is ultimately a sign of disorder. It robs everyone of time, cleanliness, and ultimately happiness.
Marie Kondo has written a book entitled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that offers a profound message. By simplifying, organizing, and storing proactively, you can eliminate clutter very effectively.
Much of the advice to avoid clutter involves one of three basic commitments. Have you been told to de-clutter your life by one of these methods in the past?
- Every time you enter a room, make sure to put one thing away.
- Always remove the clutter from a surface you have cleaned to avoid more clutter.
- Throw things away that do not have any value to them.
The problem is that these methods might help to remove the clutter from one room, but you’ll only have one room clean. The clutter will cycle from room to room, leaving you in an endless cycle of misery. Kondo changes the dynamic with this book by adjusting the perspective. Instead of looking at each room of the home, look at each category of clutter.
Your job isn’t to keep picking away at the piles of clutter that you have in an endless loop of time. Your job is to focus on one type of clutter, organize it, and then keep it organized. If you have paperwork for your business strewn about, take the time to file it and then file each additional bit of paperwork that comes your way. Once you’ve organized one category, you move onto the next category.
What Kondo suggests in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up really does work. Every client she has taken on is improving the clutter in their life. She claims a 0% lapse rate. In this book, she’s also ready to help you.
This book is ultimately about finding joy in the simple things of life. It’s all about the perspective of things. Are you keeping your socks all bundled up and tight, afraid of what lies ahead? Or are you keeping your socks folded and free, ready to happily embrace the changes that may be headed your way? When you care for your things, they’ll last longer and this will have more meaning to you.
The only problem is that we often care for things that have no meaning to us. There are things that we keep that don’t make us happy. These are the things that we must discard in order to choose happiness. Money won’t buy this happiness for us. It is a focus on real joy that can only come from being able to care for those things that hold the most meaning.
Initially intended for a Japanese audience, the zen of being free of clutter can apply to us all. There is a lot of good to take out of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Grab your copy today and choose happiness.