Tidying Up

Hi Friends!

Are you feeling organized?  Hard as I try, I just never really feel organized! So many interests, ideas, plans, and dreams… All of these interests require supplies, books, and of course, places to hold them until the moment inspiration strikes!

I’ve always heard that creative people are rarely tidy.  Yet that can’t possibly be true!  Some of the most talented, creative artists and paper crafters that inspire me are truly organized. Over the past year, I have admired their thoughtful, creative spaces, and  have discovered so many helpful organization tips as I set up a paper crafting Studio of my own.

I listened closely whenever these talented, creative people, with names like Jennifer, Wilna, and Stacy, talked about their favorite things, home projects, and big transformations throughout their homes. These three, highly creative people all mentioned the very same book…

The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying Up

(The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)

by Marie Kondo


A tiny book with a powerful message!

I knew that it was a ‘must read’ for me! Just the thought of being organized makes me so happy. I always enjoy reading books that promise to help with organization. Yet those books just sit on my bookshelf. Although interesting to read, they didn’t speak to my heart or inspire action.

This time it was different! I couldn’t wait to open the cover to discover the magic for myself! During late spring, as I eagerly read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it clearly spoke to my heart! I could now understand why all of those other books on organization hadn’t helped me to feel organized. The powerful message that this tiny book carries has inspired me to action!

Have you read it?  Have you tried it at your house?

Author, Marie Kondo, an organization expert based in Tokyo, takes readers step-by-step through her highly successful ‘KonMari’ Method’ of decluttering. Her organizing method becomes a celebration, a one-time life event. Ms. Kondo assures us that if we follow her method completely, we won’t ever have to do it again!

With detailed guidance, Ms. Kondo helps us to determine which items in our homes ‘spark joy.’ Working slowly, category-by-category, the ‘KonMari Method’ gives us permission to let go of things that no longer spark joy in our lives. Handling items one-by-one (each piece of clothing, each book, each gift received over the years,…), KonMari teaches us how to show respect to each item and then release it. (Take a peek at the steps KonMari leads us through here in the Table of Contents and excerpts from the book.)

The ‘KonMari’ Tidying Up process can take three to six months to complete. I’m definitely ready to downsize my things in our home, eliminating those that no longer ‘spark joy’ in my life.  I’m really looking forward to the whole process!

As I read the book and contemplated the powerful, step-by-step KonMari method, there was only one part that troubled me. As a scrapbooker, I don’t think I will follow her recommendations for disposing of photos. My photo albums tell the stories of my life and truly ‘spark joy’ and happy memories each time I open them. I am so inspired to create new scrapbooks that highlight the relationships and connections in my life! (I take my inspiration from talented scrapbooking ‘rock stars’ instead.) So, although I will reread KonMari’s chapter as I celebrate Tidying Up, I am certain that I will hold onto the photos that I treasure. For they truly ‘spark joy’ and document the story of my life!

All year long, I have been focused on the word present. It’s my ‘One Little Word’  for this year. The ‘KonMari’ method will definitely keep me in the present as I determine which items in our house ‘spark joy’ for me today

Although I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in late May and was very excited to jump right into the Tidying Up process, I knew that summer time wouldn’t be best for me. It was time to enjoy sunny days in the garden, lovely visits with family, fun gatherings with friends, and relaxing hours reading on the front porch. So, I’ve set my date to begin Tidying Up for early September, right after Labor Day weekend. It seems like the perfect time! New learning, new beginnings, and new spaces opening up in our cozy, little bungalow!

I have shared my enthusiasm over this tiny gem of a book with three nearby friends. They are all looking forward to Tidying Up at their homes, too! It will be so nice to share our successes as we follow the ‘KonMari’ method together! If you have been dreaming of the relaxed, happy freedom of an organized, decluttered home, …

Join us for the Tidying Up celebration!!

It would be fun to share our successes and help one another through the hardest parts of the Tidying Up process right here on our blog. Everyone’s invited!!  All you have to do is read the book (and stock up on large trash bags!)  Instagrammers have been showing about 30-40 large bags per person of things that no longer ‘spark joy.’

Although it isn’t necessary, I highly recommend reading the whole book through before beginning your own Tidying Up celebration. It’s very helpful to understand the big picture of the ‘KonMari Method’ before we actually begin the step-by-step process.

My enthusiasm for Tidying Up has remained very strong all summer long. In fact, it is working already! On several recent antiquing outings, I resisted bringing home many things that could have been ‘at home’ here. As I held each item, I stopped to ask myself, “Will this really spark joy in my life?”  Only two small, vintage items met the ‘KonMari’ test! It reassures me that Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up process will most certainly work for me! I can already feel it working…

I’m curious to know if you have already read this #1 New York Times Bestseller? It has been a bestseller in Japan, Germany, and the UK, as well. Time Magazine recently named Marie Kondo as one of the ‘Top 100 Influential People.’

If you have already celebrated the Tidying Up process at your house, we would love to hear your thoughts, successes, and the challenges along the way. Let’s share the celebration! It’s always more fun with friends!  If there is interest here on the blog, we can chat about it as we are Tidying Up. Our little group of three who live nearby with definitely be sharing… and celebrating together!

I’m so grateful that you stopped to visit today!

Wishing you happy August days!

Sunny wishes!

♡ Dawn


42 thoughts on “Tidying Up

    • So happy, Carol! I hope it speaks to you the same way it spoke to me! Tidying Up will be much more fun with friends!! Happy reading! ♡

  1. My sense of humour can’t help but think will she use the money from the sales of this book to buy a bigger house so she will just have the space to look more organised than she is now.
    I cannot work in a tidy, uncluttered space. I just can’t do it. I tried very hard to, but for me my clarity comes from my clutter. It is as if tidy space tidies my mind and my thought processes just don’t flow. They need the corners, the twists and turns of working around the clutter to gather momentum and grow, to reach fruition. De cluttering would mean thinking in straight lines. Thoughts would happen far too quickly.
    I wonder how many will start with good intentions, then regain their clutter in the same way they regain the weight they lose at dieting clubs? It will be interesting to revisit this topic in a year or two.

    • Deb, you must check with me in a year or two! The KonMari Method calls this a once-in-a-lifetime approach because only the items that truly ‘spark joy’ will be left. Every item will have a ‘place’ that is convenient to where it is used. Clutter develops when things don’t have a designated place. KonMari cautions against buying more storage units. Instead, she recommends downsizing the number of things. I am so excited to begin the Tidying Up celebration here! So, I will reread and follow the KonMari Method step-by-step (except for my photos, of course). I’m looking forward to the sense of freedom that it will bring to this new, exciting chapter in my life! So glad you shared your thoughts, Deb. I realize that this method isn’t for everyone! Wishing you happy August days from Across The Pond! ♡

    • That sounds great, Judy! I think that by following the KonMari Method, everything that ‘sparks joy’ will have have a special place here. It will be so much easier to put things back then! You are a great role model, Judy. 🙂 Wishing you happy August days! ♡

  2. I love the organizing process. A tidy space makes me very happy. However, the idea of downsizing scares the heebee geebees out of me. I’ve got way to many kitchen toys. I sure as heck wouldn’t get rid of your scrapbooks. I don’t care how many on-line sights allow you to save pictures. If they aren’t in front of you, you aren’t looking at them.

    • You need your kitchen toys, Julie! lt feels so good to organize! But I’m not always good about putting things back in place. So, downsizing is the perfect thing for me! It feels like the right time of life for Tidying Up here. The photos will definitely stay. They are among my most treasured possessions! (They are also scanned and stored in another physical location!) So happy that you stopped to visit today, Julie! ♡

  3. Dawn,
    I’ve read several posts about this book, and while I haven’t purchased it, I had a similar experience with a blog site called the Minimalists. The word conjures up a very negative image of an stripped existence, which in fact the authors say the same thing as KonMari…if something brings you joy, keep it. It’s getting rid of the things we all amass over time that we thought we really needed and yet never use. Beginning in January of this year I started paring down. Essentially going through every cupboard and closet. The process has worked and even convinced my husband to do the same. I love having a clear understanding of what I own and where it is! 🙂 Good luck come September. Let us know how it goes.

    • Karen, I remembered that you were also paring down things at home! So glad it has worked out so well! It takes time to go through things one-by-one. I’m sure that it will feel so good to let things go! I love the way that KonMari takes us through items category-by-category. Tidying Up will be a nice celebration for me! I’m thrilled to have nearby friends doing it at the same time. That will make it even more of a celebration! Your sweet, encouraging words are so appreciated, Karen! ♡

  4. Dawn,
    I too read the book… probably about the same time as you. I even took notes on the content. ironically, I was already doing some of the stuff that she recommended (rolling … towels, shirts and stacking them on the side –vertical, for ease in finding the item desired).

    I have not only delayed her process of tidying up, but I think I may opt out of her method, even though I understand her theory and philosophy of tidying up. instead, I continue with the more traditional weed-out process a little bit/or a lot each week, depending on my outside commitments.

    My way is not fast; but for a pack rack it is less painful and still a big step. I have also been eliminating furniture pieces and décor. I am systematically trying to pare down. My goal for this summer was to eliminate a piano…any one interested?? it is an upright piano (5′ tall) made from burled walnut; manufactured by Hamilton. around 100 yrs old. tuning needed. new owner needs to transport to new home…

    I look forward to reading of your successes using the KonMari method.

    • Jan, it sounds like you are making good progress. It definitely takes time! You should feel so proud of what you have already accomplished! At this chapter in life, I’m ready to try the KonMari Method. Her philosophy makes so much sense to me and I have time to make Tidying Up a priority. I’ll see how far I can get before the holidays. Then I will take a break and continue afterwards. I’ll keep you posted! Hope to see you at the library often, Jan! Maybe someone nearby will be interested in your piano. Fingers crossed! ♡

  5. Good morning Dawn! I believe in a tidy space, because for me as an artistic person (not a visual artist, but writing enthusiast), I need space to think. I prefer a white space, somewhere where there is no clutter but books and papers are part of my creativity, so as I type here, I look up at my desk and see CLUTTER! HAHAHAHAHHAAHH

    The rest of my house however, is organized and keeps me grounded. Enjoy placing your ideas in just the right spot for future inspirational moments! Anita

    • Anita, you are a true artist in every way ~ your home, garden, photography, and of course, your writing! You will be a em>big inspiration as I work to blend creativity and tidy spaces.:) I think that downsizing my books will be challenging, but I’m ready! I love the way the KonMari Method respects each item as you release it from your home and life. It’s helpful for sentimental types, like me! Thanks for being here, Anita! Your encouraging words are always a gift! Savor these August days while they last! ♡

  6. I have not read this, Dawn, but, have heard Marie Kondo interviewed and read a few articles about the book. I don’t think I will read it and while I don’t think I would subscribe to her method. it sounds like there are a few things that would help with my own very untidy life. 🙂 Right now, the MN contingency of our little clan are down here. SOL is helping his parents get ready to put their house on the market. As long as he has a truck, he offered to clear out many of the boxes and crates of our our daughter/his wife’s childhood. Yea! It is a step forward . . .

    • Penny, I’m truly thinking of Tidying Up as a celebration! The time feels right… and the freedom from so many things will be so gratifying! Each September has always been a time for new beginnings ~ and this will be a perfect new beginning! I’m happy to share my favorite parts of the KonMari Method. It’s very different from other books on organization. So glad this Japanese philosophy came into my life! It’s wonderful that your daughter’s childhood treasures will move on to her home now. It’s a big step forward! Thanks for always being here, Penny. Enjoy this lovely summer day! ♡

  7. I do hope you will share some of your steps and new beginnings, Dawn. Good for you.
    Indeed, yes: it is a big step for her and a good thing for us 🙂
    I hope you enjoy your day as well. Grands are down for their naps – and I think I will take one too.

  8. Hi Dawn! I read Tidying Up this past January. It certainly was inspiring and I took much of it to heart. But like you I could never pitch photos. And while rolling laundry certainly made more space in my drawers…..it takes too long and will not be a habit I will keep. But to me if you don’t take anything else away from her book, it was picking up each object, holding it in my hands and asking, does this bring me joy? That helped me get rid of so much stuff!
    Laughing at Deb’s musings about the author using the money to buy a larger house! LOL
    Looking forward to Fall!
    Hanging in there with the heat in West Texas

    • So glad you stopped to visit, Chris! I’m so happy to hear your thoughts and experiences with Tidying Up! I’m really looking forward to this experience. I’m sure that holding each object and asking “Does this spark joy and inspire me?” will be so powerful! I really look forward to donating lots of clothing. That will probably be the ‘easiest’ part for me. So, it’s a good place to begin! I love the way KonMari respects each item before releasing it. Huge congratulations, Chris, for your success with Tidying Up! How much time did you spend on the process? She says to work quickly… but it seems like it might take a long time. Thanks for your encouraging words! I know it has been a very hot summer in West Texas. Soon we will all have a wonderful new book from Susan! Cooler Autumn days will follow. Thanks for being here! ♡

  9. Dawn, I’m a professional organizer by trade so I read Marie Kondo’s book with great interest early this year. I took it with me on a trip so I could finish it on the plane, then pass it on to a friend and fellow blogger who struggles with more possessions that she wants but has trouble letting go (as many do). She’s really struck a cord with many people and I’m following a handful on Facebook that are following her method. It’s pretty exciting.

    I’ve been organized my whole life, and enjoyed starting my own business about eight years ago helping others get organized. For some, they’ve never been taught the skills, for others, they suffer from ADD or ADHD and really find the process difficult and daunting. It’s excited to read about your enthusiasm for the process and I’ve no doubt you’ll succeed.

    Like any book, idea, method or approach, I say take what works for you and leave the rest and by no means get rid of photos or albums that are meaningful to you. I will share that when I sorted my own photos several years ago, I threw away half of them. Many were blurred, close to identical to another one or just boring. Scenery seems compelling when you’re on a trip, but 100 photos of a sunset are far less powerful than 3 to 5 outstanding ones. You might surprise yourself. That said, it they’re already displayed in a book, then you’ve already been through that process.

    I’m looking forward to following your journey!

    • Oh, Alys! I was hoping that you would join the conversation here! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. The KonMari approach is definitely unique! I like the focus on what to keep (things that ‘spark joy’ and inspire), rather than focusing on what you are getting rid of. I always try to look on the positive side of life! Are there any tips from KonMari that you are using with your clients? Have you tried hanging things in closets the way KonMari suggests? I’m so looking forward to organized closets in our tiny 1920s bungalow. They are tiny, so space is at a premium!

      We have already edited our photo collection once. My husband worked so hard to scan our best photos, while I scanned our childhood family slides. It feels great to have a back-up, stored in another location! Over the winter, while the garden rests, I have lots of scrapbooking plans. I have been inspired by Stacy Julian’s ‘Finding Photo Freedom.’ I just love her philosophy of scrapbooking, highlighting relationships and connections, rather than just using chronological order!

      It’s the perfect time in my life to downsize and organize.I can feel it! It will be a journey… and a celebration!! Big hugs, Alys!! So glad you’re here! ♡

  10. Dawn,
    I actually took a week off from work to stay home and sort and organize. While I think there is great merit working on catagories, like all clothes in the entire house at once, working room to room, was the only way I could accomplish the task. Otherwise the entire house would have been in disarray. Can you imagine pulling ALL your clothing from every room in the house to begin sorting? Emptying all your closets and drawers? It seemed a little much! So I went room to room and I feel that I got the same thing accomplished. Good luck, let us know how you do!
    Yes anxiously awaiting Susan’s book!

    • Great ideas, Chris! I’m so proud of you for accomplishing the celebration of Tidying Up! I like KonMari’s idea of working quickly. So, giving yourself a week of time to accomplish your goals was a really great idea! Maybe I should allow myself a short time frame, as well. Once bags are filled with clothes and donated, I think the momentum will spur me on! Maybe it will make it easier to Tidy Up my book collection. Susan’s books will always be a treasured part of my collection. Sparking joy is what they are all about! Thanks for all of your help, Chris! Sending you cool breezes for a hot West Texas day! ♡

  11. Thank you for sharing this book! I am in such a mood to clean out that I know it will speak to me. Right now I am cleaning stuff out for a garage sale next week…and I hope to eventually get the whole house done…
    Thanks so much for stopping by, Dawn!

    • So happy to share, Linda! This tiny gem of a book really spoke to me! It is a very unique approach… and makes Tidying Up a celebration! After you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m looking forward to beginning in September! Thanks for visiting today, Linda! ♡

    • Yay!! Let us know what you think as you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Linda! Hope it inspires you in the very same way! ♡

  12. Lovely Dawn! HELLO! How great to see your kind comment on my page this morning! Thank you so much for coming by! It has been such a sensational JULY and August is starting out just wonderfully. School does start at the end of the month, and by the week of the 23rd, I have to get back to meetings. Oh but the love of beauty never ends, no matter what the month. Enjoy your week my dear! Anita

    • Good morning, dear Anita! So true! After a cool, rainy start to summer, the flowers are more beautiful (and taller!) than ever. Our weather this week is delightful, so I am frollicking in the garden!
      Your students will thrive in your classroom this year, Anita! French was always my favorite subject in school. So, I know how much inspiration they will soak up in your year together! Our schools begin on 10.August. So early! I still love to celebrate the start of each school year by helping friends set up their classrooms. 🙂 New beginnings make me so happy! So, this September I’ll start my Tidying Up celebration. As always, my intentions for the year ahead are to ~ learn something new every day, be creative, and make a difference. It keeps me very busy… and oh-so happy!
      Delight in today, Anita! ♡

    • Thanks so much, Michele! It’s a very special, little book. I felt so empowered as I read KonMari’s step-by-step approach to Tidying Up! She recommends working quickly (ie. every day for a week, or weekends for a few months). I love her focus on the things that ‘spark joy.’ So, our focus is really on what we will be keeping, instead of looking for things to throw away! It’s helpful to read the entire book first. Then reread each section as you Tidy Up, working in order through: clothes, books, documents, miscellaneous items, and finally mementos (with sentimental value). Your body and mind will be trained to recognize ‘spark joy’ feelings as you go through your clothes. That will help, later on, as you organize mementos. KonMari gives us the language to use as we part with things that have been with us for a long time. I hope you enjoy the book… and will join in our Tidying Up celebration! A small group of four nearby friends are planning to celebrate Tidying Up and encourage one another. I’m excited to begin my celebration in September! It will be such fun to have blog friends, near and far, share their Tidying Up stories here! I’m so glad that you joined our conversation. Be sure to let us know how you like the book, Michele! ♡

      • We’re heading to the Cape for the week today, so I just had my husband pick it up for me on his last minute Target run. I’m looking forward to reading it on the beach. It will be fun to join the conversation! Thanks for the invitation! Love, Michele

      • Yay!! It’s a perfect little beach read. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Enjoy every minute of your vacation, Michele! ♡

  13. Dawn, how interesting to read your thoughts about the KonMari Method! My daughter has been using her method to organize her home. She is thrilled with the results! It is a method that has really made a difference for her and her husband. She is not a minimalist by any means, but has gotten rid of hundreds of bags of items from her home. She told me this week, while we were at the beach together, that it is amazing to her that she can open her cabinets and drawers and she can retrieve what is needed. Thank you for sharing about KonMari and I look forward to your experience using it. xoxo ♥

    • Oh, Martha Ellen! Thanks so much for sharing your daughter’s success with the KonMari method! I’m delighted to hear such great news! Maybe she will share her thoughts with us here! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to Tidying Up my closets, bookshelves, drawers, and paper files. I’m thinking of the whole process as a challenge and a celebration! Happily, a small group of four close friends have decided to encourage and support one another as we all follow the KonMari method. That should be a huge celebration!

      So happy you had a nice beach getaway, dear one! Wishing you a great week ahead! ♡

  14. Oh, Dawn, I love all things organizing and decluttering too. Some of the thoughts you share from this lovely book are things that I have being doing in my own life… for instance, ‘blessing’ an object and then releasing and letting it go. I have found that gesture freeing, for it doesn’t mean devaluing the object, just recognizing because I no longer need it, I can let it go without guilt or shame.

    You have such a peaceful, lovely blog. It’s a joy to visit.

    • Heartfelt thanks for your kind words, Brenda! I completely agree. I think it will be so helpful when parting with things that were gifts and mementos from special times in our lives. I truly love KonMari’s focus on the things we are keeping, rather than just looking for things to throw away. Imagine the lovely spirit in a home filled with only those things that ‘spark joy.’ Hope we can stay in touch, Brenda, to encourage one another through our Tidying Up celebrations! Thanks so much for visiting today! ♡

  15. Dawn, I love and collect so many things that I have to be somewhat organized. I swap out décor often so I try to put things in their place when being stored so I can find them. That’s not to say that I don’t lose things now and then. The funny thing is that it usually is when I put it somewhere that I think I will remember. lol! I do have to go through every so often and declutter. Well, at least a little. I do have quite a bit in my home. This book sounds interesting. I know that someday I am going to need to downsize and start getting rid or passing on some of my treasures. Hoping I can wait for a good 10-20 years. lol! We’ll see how my health goes. So far, so good!

    • Oh, Jann, I completely understand! My small collections, gathered over time, spark such joy. I am certain that I will keep them! Antiquing is one of my very favorite passions. Our cozy 1920s bungalow has tiny closets that are bursting at the seams. Can’t wait to downsize so many things that no longer spark joy in my life. I know it will be a challenge, but the whole Tidying Up process really will feel like a celebration here! 🙂 I’m actually looking forward to it! Can’t wait to see your next post sharing your vintage treasures! I’m so happy that you stopped to visit today! ♡

  16. For me, the biggest cleaning and organizing urges come not at the New Year or on the first day of Spring, but Back to School time! It must be hardwired in me after all those years of being a student. I want everything organized before my kids start school and fall sports & activities – only by eliminating chaos can I handle the demands on our time!

    • I feel the same way, Ericka! I love new beginnings and fresh starts. September is the perfect time to start anew! As a teacher, it always meant an exciting, new beginning with new students. Since I knew that my time would be so busy the entire school year, I always wanted to be sure that my home was in order before the new school year began. Now my timing has changed by just a few weeks. I’ve enjoyed time with my teacher friends and helped them set up their classrooms. Now that it is quieter again here, I’m feeling the strong urge to begin Tidying Up the closets, bookshelves, drawers,… This big downsizing project, following The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, step-by-step, will be a celebration! I’ve always thought that Autumn was the perfect time to do ‘spring cleaning.’ We will be spending more time inside as the weather changes. It’s the perfect time to make everything sparkle and shine! Wishing your children a great start to the school year! I can tell it’s going to be a good year! So glad you’re here, Ericka! ♡

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