Does It Bring You Joy?

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Sometimes I look around my house and all I see is clutter.  But I think a lot of people feel that way.  There’s that book you looked at one time and now it sits on the shelf.  The shirt you bought that hangs in the closet with its tags still on.  The gift from a family member that doesn’t quite fit your décor.  And don’t forget that exercise DVD you promised to use.  Yep, there it is, sitting next to that book that you only opened once.

After a while all those unused items blend into the background like white noise you sort of hear but can’t be bothered to pinpoint.  And over time all of those items add up until you find yourself amid a lot of clutter.  That’s what happened to me, and then I discovered Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

The title might throw you off.  Life-changing?  Really?  Yes, really.  Kondo cuts through the guilt of all those unused items, the awkward gifts, and all those promises you made but didn’t keep.  She presents her readers with one question: Does it bring you joy?  She suggests you apply that simple question to everything, from your socks to your books to your photos.  She has a 100% success rate, a months-long waiting list, and a waiting list of people to get on the waiting list.  She has clients who have thrown out hundreds of bags of trash after spending one afternoon asking themselves, Does this bring me joy?

Though I didn’t have hundreds of trash bags to get rid of reading this book did make a huge difference.  It’s such a simple yet decisive question to ask yourself.  You really should give it a try.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

A guide to decluttering the home from a cleaning and organization consultant, using the author’s KonMari Method, which focuses on categories of items rather than rooms. First published in Japanese.