So much has been written on tidying lately, most of it by an organizing supernova named Marie Kondo. She is a Japanese organizer and the author of a hugely popular book called "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". With over 5 million copies sold, I couldn't wait to read it myself to see what all the fuss was about. It would be hard to disagree with anyone who's brought so much attention to organizing, and more importantly for us, the organizing profession. So I won't disagree ... but, I do have some thoughts.
There is more than one way - Marie has some very certain "rules" that she insists on. From what to keep to how to arrange it, there seems only one way to do things in her mind. I'd counter that there are many ways to live an organized life. It's our job as organizers to listen to our clients, ask questions and suggest alternatives. Sure, we have an opinion, and if you need us to let you know what we think is best, we will ... but only after giving you the opportunity to weigh in. If you're trying to do this on your own, know that it's ok to consider all the alternatives before selecting the one that works for you. That "one way" that someone else says you must follow, may not work for you and your family. If you try it and it doesn't work, you think you've failed when the reality is that it may not have been the right method for you.
"Joy" is a very high bar to set for things - Lisa and I often tell clients that are downsizing that they can almost certainly keep the things they "love", but may have to make some decisions about the things they "like". It builds confidence in the process we're about to start and yet is truthful and realistic. Marie suggests that you should only keep the things that spark joy. I have a collection of old books, they bring me joy. I also have an electric razor that does not come even close to sparking joy ... so, should I get rid of it? I get what she's saying but wonder if it's a bit misleading. If it brings you joy, keep it. If it's useful, keep it as well. There are many reasons to keep things, you can decide for yourself what they are.
No need for storage items - Granted, for all the money spent on organizing products, you'd think every house would be tidy by now. Dividers and bins alone don't make you organized. In my mind, though, they do help you get and stay organized. Notice I said "help". Marie likes old shoe boxes ... we like clear shoe boxes so that you can see inside without opening them. Neither of us is right or wrong, it's what you prefer.
Having said all that, please don't get the idea that I didn't enjoy the book. There are some wonderful and effective ideas in it. In fact, I'll be highlight some in future blog posts. Clearly Ms. Kondo is a huge success and is deserving of praise. I wish I had sold 5 million books! So, what is this post about? Choices and alternatives ... find what works for you. And don't let anyone tell you anything different!