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All you need to know about getting your life in order

You may have heard about the #1 New York Times best seller book - The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. She is the queen of tidying up and has a three month waiting list to prove it.

I am an organized person by nature, but Marie Kondo takes this to another level.

Even if you don't see yourself as an organized person or if you have not succeeded in de-cluttering in the past, don't give up. There's hope for you too - guaranteed!

Marie shares that clutter happens because (1) too much effort is required to put things away or (2) it's unclear where it belongs.

Her method is so much more than just organizing and de-cluttering. It's about changing your life and how you feel!


My own interest in organizing spiked when we put our house up for sale in March. We had to remove a lot of stuff in ONE day so the realtor could take photos. It was a whirlwind de-cluttering process and I was pleasantly surprised (afterwards) at how liberating this was.

I packed away all my knickknacks and miscellaneous items on the counters and put them in a box. That was four months ago and I have no desire to take those things out of the box or to bring them to my new home. They don't "spark joy in me." More on this later.

I continued the de-cluttering process by selling things on-line. I was amazed how easy that was and I just wanted to keep letting go of more stuff. It was addictive!

When I dropped off our donations, the clerk said "thanks for making a difference." That felt good! Maybe those items will spark joy in someone else.

Now the house is sold and we have to move out in a few weeks (GASP!), so I want to stay on this theme of letting go of things that don't spark joy in me.


To begin, it's a must to discard items first and then store what's left in it's designated spot. Marie has an order for de-cluttering. Start with clothes, then books, papers and documents, miscellaneous, and lastly photos and mementos. Save the hardest for last!

I started by folding my clothes into little squares as Marie demonstrates. This folding process seemed odd at first, but now I can't think of going back to my old ways of putting things in my dresser. Before, my drawers always seemed to be messy and it was hard to find what I was looking for.

Now, I can put so much more in a drawer and see everything that's in there without moving a thing. I even applied this simple folding method when I packed for a recent vacation. It was so simple and satisfying! I can only imagine what the airport staff thought when they inspected my luggage!

Releasing things that don't spark joy in you has no negative effects at all. You will not regret what you let go of. I know I didn't - not one thing. I'm looking forward to letting go of a lot more unnecessary things In the coming weeks.

And don't worry - you should know right away what sparks joy and what doesn't. Marie says she can easily tell the difference just by observing someone. If it sparks joy, you'll decide right away you want to keep it, but if you feel unsure, you'll hesitate.

The more you do this, the more confident you'll become in making decisions about what is important to you in your life.

She recommends a mass de-cluttering of each category rather than doing a little each day. Once you have a place for everything you decide to keep, there's really not much to tidy up going forward. Just putting things back in their place after using them.

Other pointers:

  • discarding and tidying reduces stress because you don't have to search for your things anymore

  • store folded clothes (folded the Marie way) in drawers or on shelves in your bedroom closet

  • store books on a bookshelf in a closet

  • keep storage simple - use a shoe box to organize and store things by category

  • store similar things in the same place (all your clothes, books, pictures, papers) instead of having them in several places in your home


Marie was surprised to discover that when someone "detoxes" their house it has a detoxing effect on their body. She witnessed some clients lose weight after the massive discarding process, their figures looked more "streamlined" or they looked more radiant, their eyes were brighter, and their mind was clearer afterwards. Some made changes in their relationships (letting go of unhealthy ones) or became more profitable in their businesses.

So this has emotional pay offs as well.

Marie's goal is transforming the home into a sacred space, a power spot filled with pure energy. She asks and we can all ask ourselves: Would you like to live in a home like that or in one that resembles a storage shed?

I know what I'm striving for - positive energy and peace of mind!

Now, I'm off to resume my massive discarding process and clean out that "storage shed"...

I'd love to hear about your own de-cluttering experience - you can contact me here

NOTE: I will keep you posted on my relocation to Spruce Grove, Alberta. I am still seeing clients during this transition period.

If you like what you're reading, you can sign up for my free monthly Newsletter here


Beth Matthews is a Registered Psychologist who is driven to help people feel better about themselves. She can help you if you are struggling in your life. You can learn easy-to-use strategies to help you cope with anything that comes your way.


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