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Have You Experienced the Magic?

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Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has created quite a buzz since it was published in 2014. People seem to either love it or hate it, and they often ask for my opinion on her KonMari Method.

I absolutely love the basis of Ms. Kondo’s approach, simply asking if our possessions bring us joy. Many of my clients have things in their homes that, when evaluated with true honesty, don’t make them happy: gifts given by well-meaning friends, keepsakes from years ago, an article of clothing that was expensive but never really looked good on them, a decorative item that no longer suits their taste. Guilt and fear are two feelings keeping many homes cluttered.

This book turns the simplifying/minimalizing approach on its head by suggesting a positive approach rather than an idea of deprivation. Our homes should be our haven from this crazy world. We want to make intentional choices about the items we keep there. Marie Kondo believes everything comes into our lives for a reason; when that purpose has been served we can let the item go. She says we cannot truly cherish the belongings that are important to us until we rid our homes of things that have outlived their purpose in our lives. Simply asking my clients, “Does that make you feel happy when you see it?” eases the keep-it-or-let-it-go decisionmaking process.

Parts of the specific KonMari Method–for example, gathering every single book in the house together in one spot to sort all at once–are not practical for some people. Others will find Ms. Kondo’s recommendation to say thank you and goodbye to each item before placing it in a give-away box a bit silly. But overall, I love that this book looks at clutter from a deeper emotional level while also giving practical tips about sorting and storing everything from clothing to photographs.

Marie Kondo says, “Putting your house in order is fun! The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose…is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”

I couldn’t agree more! ■

Written by: Joanie Nicholas
Organizing Coach Joanie Nicholas, owner of All Things Organized, is not an ordinary organizer. She approaches your home from a soulful place. For over 20 years, Joanie has led people across the metro area in creating lasting, positive changes to their space. Joanie brings professional guidance, enthusiasm, empathy and humor to her hands-on work with each client. Connect with Joanie at, or by phone at 913-390-3432. For regular tips and inspiration for your home projects, follow All Things Organized on Facebook and @ATOJoanie on Twitter.