Monday, January 11, 2016

The Life-Changing and Life-Procrastinating Magic of Everything But Writing

I started 2016 off with reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a bestselling lifestyle book by Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo. The book focuses more on our relationship with stuff than finding cool new ways to organize it. 

Photo: Stephanie Scott 

This is a book best read and thought on for a few days--I actually read it in the remaining days of 2015, but it wasn't until after the first of the year I really started to sort through things. I'd just helped my husband shed half the clothes in his closet (seriously, half--it'd been years) and I'd combed through my clothes earlier in the season. I took an entire trunk of things to the donation center. I figured I was good.

Still, I've got a lot of stuff. Drawers jammed with junk, little baskets of things.

One of the concepts in the book is to change your mindset from what should you get rid of, a what can I purge?mentality, to what do you own that sparks joy? She prompts you to consider why you hang onto items you don't use. There's nothing wrong with it or I paid good money for this, are likely responses. Only those items become buried in a drawer or the back of a closet. Why do you keep it?

So this whole "life-changing magic." I think it's real. There's something about this book that squeezes through the folds in your brain so it's ever-present. Does this candle spark joy? It's not quite the scent I like, and I never burn it more than ten minutes because it smells like roses doused in White Diamonds perfume, but it's a perfectly functioning candle! This sweater is ten years old and still fits so it would be wasteful to get rid of it.

Marie Kondo is all about taking care of what you have by finding a place for it. If an item has no place, it sits around and becomes clutter. 

Basically, all of this assessing of one's stuff leads to this:

Photo: Stephanie Scott

I folded my socks. I took out every pair of socks and knee-high nylon stockings, chucked a bunch, donated a few, and folded them the way God--I mean Marie Kondo--intended. Marie says socks need to rest. They're stomped on all day doing hard work for your feet, so balling them up and stretching them out only causes further torment. If you don't believe your socks having feelings, sure go ahead. Either way, the folding makes it easier to see what I have. It also helped that half of my regular rotation socks were fresh from the laundry and needed to be put away anyway.

But still. I sorted my sock drawer.

Which means my holiday is over and it's back to writing.  Once a writer willingly sorts her sock drawer, she is officially avoiding writing.

Here, I'll go ahead and put that in a quote so we all remember:

At least I'll have a tidy drawer. 

Read my full review of this book here on Goodreads

Have you read this magic tidying book? Have you ever folded socks or are you still a sane human being? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. I like books that haunt me and finally change something lost in a corner of my mind. Not into self-help books so much any more, although, lots of my inner growth comes from reading. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. I don't read a ton of self help either. Haunting is a good word for it, but less creepy hahaa :)

  2. That's an interesting focus. I organize things on a regular basis--seeing as how we live in a high tourist area and have people staying with us frequently. Does that mean I do a good job? Meh. Good enough. Until the kids are gone, life is chaos and what little can be managed, I'm happy with.


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