Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I bet you’ve heard of Marie Kondo. She’s the author of the bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” as well as the star of the new Netflix show, “Tidying Up.”
I first heard about her book just after it was released in 2014. A friend’s mom read it cover to cover three times, telling me over dinner about the life altering approach. My friend silently mouthed, “Watch out, you’ll have nothing left in your house when she’s done with you.” I laughed, well versed in how intoxicating and freeing minimalism can be at first.
I made a mental note to check out the book, yet months and months went by. I continued to hear about the book from friends and clients, most of whom sang its praises. I added it to my list and swore I’d get around to reading it at some point.
Well, I didn’t get around to it. Then, January 1st, I saw a promo for Marie’s Netflix series, and I couldn’t hit play fast enough. I was feeling inspired for a post-holiday purge, and I thought it might give me an extra dose of motivation.
But what in gave me was more than motivation. It gave me pure joy. Joy at seeing someone so passionate about their craft. Joy at seeing someone talk less about stuff and more about the way stuff impacts your life. And joy at hearing someone turn organizing into an emotion-focused experience.
As I watched, I kept noticing how much she incorporated mindfulness into her process. Really seeing, feeling, and touching each item. Being present. Noticing and slowing down in a way that seems almost counterintuitive to organizing. She didn’t encourage a mad dash from room to room. She called for a slow, deliberate, and joy-filled process.
I was taken aback by the warmth of her presence, even as she was surrounded by piles of paper and overflowing closets. I noticed how much she focused on gratitude, one of my favorite concepts to teach. She didn’t throw things into a pile with disdain or annoyance. She didn’t encourage self-criticism for poor purchases. She thanked each item, one at a time, before moving on. It was a practice that made my husband roll his eyes, but it made my gratitude loving heart burst. Expressing gratitude does wonders for our mood. It fills our souls, particularly in moments that could quickly become overrun with shame or discouragement.
Just one episode in, I thought, “Marie Kondo gets it.” She gets mindfulness, she gets gratitude, and she gets the way stuff impacts our daily lives. Like a lot of people, I’ve gone down a bit of a rabbit hole since seeing the first episode. I’m finally starting her book, I’ve pinned a million Marie Kondo quotes, and I’ve done a deep Internet dive to learn more about her.
I’m still a newbie to the art of tidying up, though my experience as a beginner minimalist gave me a good start. (You can read more about my own journey into minimalism here.) So, if you’re wanting to take a more mindful, warm, and joy-filled approach to your stuff, your home, and your life, here are a few Marie Kondo quotes to inspire you!
- “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
- “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
- “The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”
- “People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”
- “But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”
- “When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure. To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
- “The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now. Not for the person we were in the past.”
Which one of these Marie Kondo quotes speaks most to you? Have you fallen in love with the magic of tidying up yet, or are you still on the fence?
PS: Ready get serious and tidy up for your life? Here’s a simple phrase to help you stop buying things you don’t need.