The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

By: Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing



Why can’t I keep my house in order?

You can’t tidy if you’ve never learned how

A tidying marathon doesn’t cause rebound

Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever

Why you should aim for perfection

The moment you start you reset your life

Storage experts are hoarders

Sort by category, not by location

Don’t change the method to suit your personality

Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore


Finish discarding first

Start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely

Before you start, visualize your destination

Selection criterion: does it spark joy?

One category at a time

Starting with mementos spells certain failure

Don’t let your family see

If you’re mad at your family, your room may be the cause

What you don’t need, your family doesn’t either

Tidying is a dialogue with one’s self

What to do when you can’t throw something away


Tidying by category works like magic

Tidying order: follow the correct order of categories

Clothing: place every item of clothing in the house on the floor

Loungewear: downgrading to “loungewear” is taboo

Clothing storage: fold it right and solve your storage problems

How to fold: the best way to fold for perfect appearance

Arranging clothes: the secret to energizing your closet

Storing socks: treat your socks and stockings with respect

Seasonal clothes: eliminate the need to store off-season clothes

Storing books: put all your books on the floor

Unread books: “sometime” means “never”

Books to keep: those that belong in the hall of fame

Sorting papers: rule of thumb—discard everything

All about papers: how to organize troublesome papers

Komono (miscellaneous items): keep things because you love them—not “just because”

Common types of komono: disposables

Small change: make “into my wallet” your motto

Sentimental items: your parents’ home is not a haven for mementos

Photos: cherish who you are now

Astounding stockpiles I have seen

Reduce until you reach the point where something clicks

Follow your intuition and all will be well


Storing your things to make your life shine

Designate a place for each thing

Discard first, store later

Storage: pursue ultimate simplicity

Don’t scatter storage spaces

Forget about “flow planning” and “frequency of use”

Never pile things: vertical storage is the key

No need for commercial storage items

The best way to store bags is in another bag

Empty your bag every day

Items that usurp floor space belong in the closet

Keep things out of the bath and the kitchen sink

Make the top shelf of the bookcase your personal shrine

Decorate your closet with your secret delights

Unpack and de-tag new clothes immediately

Don’t underestimate the “noise” of written information

Appreciate your possessions and gain strong allies


The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life

Put your house in order and discover what you really want to do

The magic effect of tidying

Gaining confidence in life through the magic of tidying

An attachment to the past or anxiety about the future

Learning that you can do without

Do you greet your house?

Your possessions want to help you

Your living space affects your body

Is it true that tidying increases good fortune?

How to identify what is truly precious

Being surrounded by things that spark joy makes you happy

Your real life begins after putting your house in order


About the author


In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.

Impossible? A common response and not surprising, considering that almost everyone has experienced a rebound effect at least once, if not multiple times, after tidying.

Have you ever tidied madly, only to find that all too soon your home or workspace is cluttered again? If so, let me share with you the secret of success. Start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go. If you adopt this approach—the KonMari Method—you’ll never revert to clutter again.

Although this approach contradicts conventional wisdom, everyone who completes my private course has successfully kept their house in order—with unexpected results. Putting their house in order positively affects all other aspects of their lives, including work and family. Having devoted more than 80 percent of my life to this subject, I know that tidying can transform your life.

Does it still sound too good to be true? If your idea of tidying is getting rid of one unnecessary item a day or cleaning up your room a little at a time, then you are right. It won’t have much effect on your life. If you change your approach, however, tidying can have an immeasurable impact. In fact, that is what it means to put your house in order.