How Cleaning Your Home Can Change Your Life

Advice 2023

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How Cleaning Your Home Can Change Your Life
How Cleaning Your Home Can Change Your Life

Video: How Cleaning Your Home Can Change Your Life

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Video: 7 EXPERT CLEANING TIPS YOU NEED TO BE USING! 2023, February
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Marie Kondo's bestseller, Life-Changing Tidying Magic: The Japanese Art of Getting Rid of Things and Organizing Space, has truly changed the life of Emily Clay, the mistress of the Oregon home. According to her, after reading the book, she got rid of "a ton" of clothes and books, and although she loves to go shopping, Marie Kondo's advice kept her from filling up all the shelves and wardrobes again. “This book completely changed the way I think about things,” she says. “If I don’t like a thing, if I’ve never used it, didn’t read it, didn’t wear it, I get rid of it without thinking.”

We are waiting for changes

However, the definition of "life-changing" is perhaps too bold. Life is changed by events such as marriage, birth, death, relocation. Cleaning, even a major one, does not fit my idea of ​​global changes, but Marie Kondo's ideas about the house are changing without a doubt.

Two key rules

After many years of practice, the Japanese space organizer has developed her own method. The essence is simple, but it can be incredibly difficult to apply it (I speak from my own experience), because people never want to part with their own things.

So, the two key attitudes of the Mari Kondo method boil down to the fact that only those things that fill the heart with joy should be kept at home. And in the process of cleaning, you need to work not with rooms, but with categories of things.

Keep what you love

Kondo often uses the phrase "sparkle with joy" when talking about things that are dear to her heart. Summarizing what has been said, we can draw the following conclusion: if you do not like a thing, get rid of it. The difficulty lies in, as they say, separating the wheat from the chaff and distinguishing between the concepts of "happiness" and "attachment." In his book, Kondo offers a pretty tough way to do this.

Deal with things, not rooms

One of the main ideas that distinguishes the Kondo method from all others is that things should be disassembled into categories. For example, instead of cleaning the dressing room, you need to deal with all the clothes that are in the house.

Usually it is stored in several places: in the dressing room, dressers and wardrobes of bedrooms and children, in the hallway and even in the attic. The experience of Mari Kondo has shown that cleaning each room separately is a never-ending process. Therefore, everything that is in the house must be divided into categories and dealt with each of them. On the first page of his work, the author writes: "First you need to reject everything unnecessary, and then put things in order in the whole house once and for all."

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

Cleaning step by step

Meet Marie Kondo at the beginning of cleaning the dressing room of one of her clients. In her world, the path to cleanliness and order begins with an idea of ​​how you want to live. In her interview, she described this process in stages.

1. Think about what an ideal life is. In other words, how you want to live.

2. Collect items of the same type and put them together. For example, put all your clothes on the floor. Kondo suggests starting with clothes, then books, and finally paperwork.

3. Ask yourself if every thing radiates joy. “Take the thing in your hands, feel it and try to feel if there is joy in it,” writes Kondo.

4. Sort things and put them back. Determine a suitable place for each item in advance.

Seems too simple, doesn't it? But Kondo thinks the method is difficult because many of us fill things with emotion. Sometimes we get attached to things that we don't like, simply because they were given to us. We allow books and papers to pile up on the table in the hope that we will someday read them. We flatly refuse to throw away unsuccessful purchases, because we regret the money spent.“The essence of my method is to take an impartial look at my good and decide which of all that has been accumulated over the years is really important,” writes Kondo.

Now you understand how difficult it is. In response to all doubts, Kondo quotes Princess Elsa from Frozen: Let go and forget.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

BEFORE: This is a photograph of one of Kondo's clients' room before cleaning. For many of us, shelves packed to capacity and endless bags of things are a familiar sight. And Marie Kondo has seen this a hundred times. She encourages people to forget those things that overflow wardrobes (since they are hidden there, that means they are not needed by anyone), not to get attached to items that may be needed “someday” (for Kondo, “someday” means “never”), and be sure to give your things to those who need them so that you don't feel guilty about getting rid of them.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

AFTER: Same room after Kondo cleaning. The publisher worried that photographs of Kondo's Japanese clients' homes might scare Europeans. Indeed, after the table has been moved to another room, and most of the things have been thrown away, this room seems empty.

However, what one person thinks is Spartan, another will call ideal. Here's how Kondo describes her own home: “I feel blissful at home, even the air feels fresher and cleaner. In the evenings, I like to sit in silence and think about the past day over a cup of herbal tea. Looking around, I see a picture that I love very much, and a vase of flowers in the corner of the room. My house is small, and it contains only those things that have a place in my heart. This lifestyle brings me joy every day."

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

BEFORE: A magical transformation awaits this Tokyo cuisine. Just imagine what difficulties her mistress has to face!

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

AFTER: Same kitchen after Marie Kondo's work. A radical transformation, isn't it?

But what about considerations of necessity?

"Many people find it difficult to follow Marie Kondo's rules," said Kaylee Whitworth, space organizer and director of Closeted in San Francisco. "I like some of her ideas, but not all of them work." How, for example, can you put into practice the idea that you should keep only those things that cause joy? “Every home is full of things that have nothing to do with happiness, but are simply necessary,” says Kaylee.

Kondo also talks about the necessary things, but her definition of the necessary goes beyond the usual notions. For example, what to do with textbooks and manuals for the operation of equipment? They can be found on the Internet. Books you haven't read? Give it back, you will never read them anyway. Gifts from loved ones that you don't use? Free yourself from them too.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

Real life example from California

Kayleigh is sure that many people find it difficult to follow Kondo's advice in everything. Not to be unfounded, we turned to Susie Shoaf, a San Francisco resident who won a free consultation with Marie Kondo, for help. In this photo, you see Susie (left) in her 84 sq. m during a meeting with Marie Kondo.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

This is a photograph of Susie's living room after Marie Kondo's visit. “You may laugh, but I really wanted to clean up the mess for a long time,” says Susie, who has heard about Marie Kondo's method but has not read her book. - I inherited many things from my parents, and I myself love collecting finds from flea markets. Things were piling up until it became difficult to move around the house. Something had to be done urgently with this”.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

BEFORE: Although Susie usually borrows books from the library, she has a soft spot for art and design albums and foreign country guides. This is what her bookcase looked like before she started cleaning with Kondo.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

The prospect of getting rid of a lot of her belongings scared Susie a little, but she knew she could keep what she truly loved, and the thought calmed her down.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

“She started by removing all the books from all the shelves on the first and second floor,” says Susie, who was shocked herself at how many books she actually had (Kondo gives many examples of this in her book). “She didn't judge me,” Susie continues. “But when I saw how many books I had accumulated, I realized that I wanted to cope with this avalanche and accepted Mari's method with all my heart.”

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

“Before parsing, Kondo patted each book and said that this is how she wakes them up,” recalls Susie. - Then we sat down on the sofa and began to take one book after another. Through a translator, Marie asked me about each book, whether it radiated joy. If I said yes, we put the book in one pile, if no, in another. We went through 300 books that day and got rid of 150.”

When all the books were taken apart, Kondo offered to bow to the books, which it was decided to say goodbye, and thank them.

In her book, Kondo says that giving thanks for service is an important part of saying goodbye to them. “When you say 'thank you' to things that have served you faithfully, you get rid of the guilt for throwing them away and you feel grateful for the things that were allowed to stay,” she writes.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

AFTER: The very idea of ​​throwing away so many books confuses many. But whatever you think, admit it: this bookcase looks so much better now. “I took seven boxes of books to Library Friends (a San Francisco nonprofit that accepts book donations - ed.). It means a lot to me. And I am sure that, as paradoxical as it may sound, the analysis of each individual book accelerated the process and helped me understand which ones are really important,”says Susie.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

BEFORE: The difference can be seen on all shelving units in the house. In this picture, you can see a bookcase on the second floor. Suzie says it has always been a mess.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

AFTER: When Susie and Marie took out the books and left only their favorites, there was ample space on the shelves for photographs and decorative items. And, importantly, now they are better seen.

“The books you liked when you bought them may become useless over time. The information in books, articles and documents doesn't stay up-to-date for long, says Kondo. - When you put only those books on the shelves that cause joy, it is easier for you to understand that you no longer need the rest. And then everything is simple: the fewer books on the shelf, the easier it is to maintain order."

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

The same principle works with clothing. Take everything out of the closets, pick out your favorite, and get rid of the rest.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

BEFORE: Susie really wanted Marie to show her her method of folding clothes. In this picture, you can see one of the drawers of the dresser before cleaning.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

AFTER: The same box! Kondo advises stacking things not one on top of the other, but vertically, or, as she herself says, "standing." In her opinion, this is the only way to keep order and quickly find what is needed.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

Another tip: fold things into compact rectangles.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

Suzie demonstrates this technique on a blouse: “Wrap the long sides of the blouse or T-shirt inward and tuck the sleeves back in to create a long rectangle.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

Now grab the narrow side of the rectangle and fold it in half. Continue to fold the item in half or three times until it shrinks enough to fit neatly into the drawer next to the rest of the item."

“Now my drawers look beautiful both inside and out,” Suzie laughs.

How cleaning your home can change your life
How cleaning your home can change your life

Does it actually work?

So we're back to the question posed in the title of this article: Can cleaning change our lives?

Of course, Kondo thinks she can. “The whole point of my method is to teach people to understand what is important in their life and what is not,” says Marie. "Following my advice, you will understand what things make you feel happy, which means you will know exactly what you need to be happy."

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