Can Tidying Up Really Change Your Life?

in Ambition for a Lifetime

By now you have probably heard or read about Marie Kondo and her book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. But can it really change your life? Tidying up? I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean, after all, how could the idea of simply cleaning up the space around you magically change your life? Well, it can! After reading her book and watching her new Netflix TV series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I am a believer. It really can change your life.

The entire premise of her book is based on the idea that having too much “clutter” around you is a distraction and will keep you from moving forward. It hinders your focus and keeps you from doing things, or paying attention to things, that really matter to you the most. When you can de-clutter your space, you are better equipped to make decisions and move forward. You are able to spend more time doing the things that are important to you.

In her book, Marie Kondo shares her systematic approach to Tidying Up. It is now widely known as the Kon-Mari method. She emphasizes that in order to de-clutter your space effectively, you must do it all at once, it a specific order and you must adhere to the following three principles:

  • Learn to Let Go – you have to decide what to keep and what it is time to get rid of…things that really have no more usefulness in your life.
  • Forgive Yourself – it is ok to let go of things. She encourages you to “thank” each item that you choose to let go of…it has served you well…and forgive yourself for getting rid of it.
  • Ask yourself “Does this item spark joy for me?” – keep only those things that bring you joy.

Kondo insists that by following these three principles as you de-clutter the space around you, you will not only be surrounded by the things that make you happy but you will be more focused and better equipped to make choices and to move forward.

I found that Tidying Up the Kon-Mari way was difficult at first, but truly liberating once I got the hang of it. It is easier for me to make decisions regarding material things that I choose to keep or even new things that I want to bring into my life, because everything has a place. Everything is in order. I know what is important to me and I have a better understanding of what I value.


Pick a space or category of items in your home to tidy up – decide what to keep and what to get rid of, reminding yourself that it’s okay to let go of things. Share your experience tidying up with a sister.

Dive Deeper

Is it life changing? Decide for yourself. You can purchase her book for less that $10 on Amazon or, watch her show on Netflix.

Lori Goede is an alumna of Gamma Omicron (U of Florida) and a member of the Education Committee.

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