Surround Yourself with Joy!

I was recently introduced to this very interesting book:

Best Selling Book About Tidying

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Based on the catchy title, I was very eager to read it because it taps a topic that was never been discussed seriously: tidying.

I must admit, this is one of my favorite books of all time, not only because it did a huge impact by influencing me to put order on my surroundings, but also because it delivers powerful messages and realization that can only be recognized by going through the process of tidying.

Introducing Marie Kondo

The book is written by Marie Kondo, a self-confessed ‘tidying geek’, who, on a young age, was fascinated by the world of organizing, sorting and cleaning. For her, tidying comes naturally, but maybe because she is a Japanese too. 🙂  What made her book remarkable is the fact that her book contains not only effective  tidying tips  but also some interesting stories and discoveries which made her book a gem. The stories are so real that readers can associate themselves easily. Indeed, though the book shared some unconventional yet effective tips on tidying, the authenticity of her book is what sets it apart from the non-fiction books I’ve read.

Great Lessons Beyond Tidying

In the book, Marie talks about why tidying is very susceptible to relapse. One reason is the fact that we do not know how to ‘tidy’ properly. We were not taught that there are certain ‘standards’ to follow on tidying which, if followed, prevents us from going back to the old ways. That is why she strongly believes that tidying should not be a routine but a big festive event. Then after that, everything must be a way of a ‘tidied’ life.

She specifically put a trademark on how she tidies, and that method she called ‘KONMARI’ (from her very name, of course!) In this method, she said it is a must that tidying should start from discarding things (yes, you heard it right, throwing away stuff!).  She talks about how most people take a hard time letting go of the things they own, even if they don’t need it… and from that, she crafted this very novel yet very profound guideline in choosing what to keep:

Keep only what sparks joy

For me, it is a mind blowing realization! I never thought that my home could only contain the things and possession that give me joy! By doing so, she said that our homes will better serve its purpose to be a sanctuary, for us to be joyful and recharged as we needed to be.

Discarding is a big part of KonMari method. From the book, it shows that this process could be overwhelming, especially to those people who got so attached to what they own. She mentioned that this difficulty arises from the fact that we are either attached to the past or anxious of the future. And so, she realized this thoughtful insight:

Letting go is even more important that adding

It is human nature to acquire things and belongings, maybe because it affirms the value that we have as a person and a human being. But the habit of acquiring could sometimes do harm on us, especially if it let us obtain more than what we need. One of the magic of tidying is making a person have contentment. It is only Marie who made me realized that “space” can be a treasure too. It is by tidying that we can create “space”, “space” which can be filled with what gives us joy.

Another lesson worth noting from her is this:

Only with a tidy environment that we can focus on what’s important

She made mention that one of the reason that hinders us from doing what we really need to do (in life) is the excuse of taking care of the clutter in our home. For instance, she narrated a story about her unconscious habit of tidying her room during exam review time. For most of us, it could be true too: we dedicate time cleaning and organizing our home which could instead be dedicated to pursuing our passion, connecting with our loved ones or living a healthier life. Indeed, more time can be dedicated to these important things if we already have a tidy home to begin with!

From the tidying experience she shared, the book makes us realize that tidying the surroundings can bring positive effect not only to the environment but also to the persons involved. Tidying as a process has a healing and restorative effect in which it provides reflection time for the person doing the task.

One of her client for instance, discovered what she really wants to do in life just by looking at the books she kept from tidying. Obviously, these books have been giving her joy, but later, it provided the direction of her life too. Realizing that most of the books she kept were about social welfare, she realized that this field is where her calling is, so she quitted her job then set up an organization related to social welfare, and she has never been happier in life (of course, with a tidy home too!)

At this point, maybe you notice that I never shared any technique about tidying from the book. That is because I believe Marie could better do that by you, reading personally her book. What I like to emphasize in this article is the ‘magic’ that tidying can do to your life and how it can contribute to you becoming a dream girl. Reading her book, doing her methods and having a tidied home can make you  focus on your passion and dreams…  and make you become joyful as always which make you a true and authentic dream girl!

For more info about Marie Kondo and her KonMari method, you can check out these sites:

To a tidied and joyful life,


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