It is written as a normal to do book. Tools and rules like al the other selfhelp books. But that is just the form. Behind it there is a hidden message: giving things a place will give you a clue. Why is this thing in your house? What does it represent? What has no official place in your life but is illegitamately there? Will you acknowledge it but then toss it away? Or will you give it a category of its own?
The book reminded me of the book of Alan Carr: the book that helped so many people quit smoking by reading a hypnotising and brainwashing book. Marie Kondo works the same way: on the surface you read all the things about tidiyng up you already know. But in a mezmerizing way. And just like Alan Carr did not make you stop smoking: but turned you into a non-smoker. You would never have to give it a thought again it was no longer your problem at all since you were a non smoker.
In that same way Marie Kondo does not just make you tidy up. It turns you into a tidy person once and for all. Your life will have categories and you will have made fundamental choices about the place of things in your life. Kondo sais you will never declutter again, because no mess will enter your house again. Because you are no longer a hoarder: you will only have things you use and need, and they will all have a place… and a time.
If you read the book you will feel like decluttering. So even if you barf just thinking about having to go through your stuff. Just like Carr reading this book will make you feel like organizing, like a breath of fresh air.
Also Marie Kondo has a funny way of writing, beeing honest about her OCD and admitting she once fainted for two hours in front of her closed while for hours frantically organizing and putting things the right way. The perfect way. The way that everything in the universe resonates in one glorious fibration: halleluja you did it: everything is tidy: your house, your mind and the meaning of your life al clear now. (Ok Marie Kondo did not say that).
What was your intention with the item? How does it relate to your place within the universe (ok I got carried away). What do you want in life and how is this thing helping you? God is in the detail. And your place in the universe is in your stuff. Yes that stuff on the floor, behind the heater and especially the stuff in that drawer you didnt open for 3 years. It tells a story of your subconcious mind. It’s funny your junk exposes your blind spots. Your junk holds a big treasure….. if you dare to look.
For me it was the categorizing chapter that resonated something from deep within like a aha erlebnis (I told you I got carried away). Do not tidy per drawer or shelf. No! Thy shall declutter only per category. That is key.
Then the coin dropped. Big time! I understood what I always did wrong. The category …. is the bridge between you /the human/ and the thing. What made you buy the thing and why did you keep it and put it somewhere. Why did you hide it, or cuddle it, or flaunt it, forget it=hoard it. Why did you hoard this thing holding on to mess that you cannot place.
All things have a place. And a time. All tangible things have an expiraton date. If you cannot toss it away and it does not serve you then you are addicted to a demon~ the monster under the bed you dare not face.
All you have to do is categorize and the monster is tamed.
And it blows my mind. Because the category is a contruction in your mind. And so you are taming your own mind….. thanks to things! The mess around you is a treasure. If you look at it, it will tell you what it meant. Your neglected stuff that scared you, it will reveal what it was charged with. Your hopes and dreams when you bought it, the intention it was given with, its style, its role it played for you. The geering wheels your life is made of. What a beautiful puzzle.
The adhd brain does not have categories because we think so far outside the box, there aren’t any boxes and categories.
And so you must make them. Let the left brain part in on this. It is like making a website. A website has categories, so that people can find the information they are looking for.
I have categories… yes I have a folder that says ”Situations” I have a basket that says ”things” and so on. I throw things on the floor because there I can see them. If I put things away in a drawer, I will never find them back again. I had a chest that I dared not open for over five years because I know something terrible is in it. After drinking half a bottle of wine one time in the middle of the night I stood up, face your demons, I opened it and yes: there was a box of a former collegue. I had to leave that job because of a fight with her. And the box contained valuable stuff (five different versions of books I wrote but never published) waiting for me: Finish one of us and we will leave you alone! they whispered.
So far my confessions of someone with a distorted relation with things.
Mind over matter.
Watch Marie Kondo organize Fast Company editor Erin Schulte’s messy desk: