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The great tidying genius Marie Kondo “Konmari” has another book out.  The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up gives the reader all the main points of her other books in a story format.  The main character is a 29 year old messy houser.  She has never invited a friend over to her apartment because she is embarrassed by how cluttered it is.  Spurred to action by her neighbor (a cute boy who gets a glimpse of her atrocious entryway), she signs up for Marie Kondo’s tidying lessons.  The book tells the story of how her life changes after Konmari walkes in.

The following post is revised from one previously posted in 2016.

Did you know that you wear about 20% of your clothes about 80% of the time?  This is a statistic that has been floating around the internet for years.  It means that you could get rid of four fifths of your clothes and not really notice much of a difference.  If you used the Konmari method, you would probably only notice that all the clothes in your dresser and closet were ones that you loved.  You probably wouldn’t miss most or any of the clothes that you discarded.  That seems pretty crazy.  To me though, it is totally believable.

One of the most widespread reasons that people accumulate stuff is that they do not know how much they have.  A lot of us keep stuff on hand even though we hardly use any of it just because we think it may come in handy.  Think back to the Stone Age for a moment…All you would have had would be the necessities.  One, maybe two sets of clothes- all you needed could be carried on your back.  These days, we’d be lucky if our stuff would fit in two truckloads!

By all that, I don’t mean that everyone has that much stuff, or that people who have lots of things aren’t happy.  Everyone is different.  I get by just fine with four long sleeved shirts and four pairs of shoes, but someone with a different lifestyle or different age might need only two long sleeved shirts and ten or more pairs of shoes.  It all depends on what you need and what brings you joy.

Some people love living in a rather “messy” house, while others want every surface to be bare.  You don’t need to make yourself uncomfortable.  If you are unhappy or embarrassed by how much stuff is in your house or room, then you could consider looking into the Konmari method.  If you like your house like it is and don’t like having a barer living space, then keep it the way it is.

Another great thing about tidying is that it’s easier to clean when you have less stuff.  I once asked my mom what her goals for her bedroom were, and she said “dust free,” then “less brick brack.”  I told her that once you have less brick brack, it’s easier to dust since you don’t have to pick up decorations to get at the surface.  You don’t have to dust all those decorations either.  Once you get rid of things, cleaning is much easier and faster.

Maintenance is, of course, kind of hard, but if you do a bit every day, like a ten minute pick up of your things every evening, then your surfaces stay tidy.  You also have to keep unnecessary things from coming in, like gifts.  Those are hard, but if you truly want your space to stay tidy, then it won’t be so difficult that you give up.