My tidy life

No more guilt, sorrow or confusion staring me in the face.



The whole world seems to know about this book, but if you don’t, I have the supreme pleasure of turning you on to something that has brought a new joy and clarity into my life. Let’s hear it for joy and clarity!

As you know I am a minimalist, both in home decor and my personal style. What could I possibly have to winnow through?  But there are things.  Deep and dark secrets in my closets and drawers. Filing cabinets filled with papers I haven’t looked at in years but that I can’t toss.  Books that I’ve had for ten years that I’ve been meaning to read, and can’t get rid of, “because I plan to read them.”

Marie Kondo has given me permission to “tidy up.”  That means there are two questions, and two only that you need to ask yourself when going through your things.  “Does this bring me joy?”  and “Where shall I put it?”

It’s amazing how many things we have in our homes and closets that do not bring us joy and instead, inspire guilt, remorse or sadness.  Or, the ennui of having to get rid of it.

By asking “does it bring me joy” you are released from the whole stumbling block of waffling: “but its in such good condition” or “my mother gave it to me.”   Often there are expensive style mistakes that we groan at every time we open the closet accompanied by the shame of spending so much money on something that we’ll never wear.  Marie says, who needs guilt every time you open your closet?  It saps your life force.  You deserve better.   Marie has a ceremony for those types of items, and how to finally get them out of your life.

This is not a clever how to book.  This is an engagingly written book with tremendous soul.  It is conversational, as if your best Japanese friend is talking to only you.  Marie teaches you to thank your objects that have served you before relegating to the garbage/give away pile.   You’ll learn why you should not ball your socks and how to actually get rid of books and papers that have stumped you for years.

Most important, you will learn why tidying up your life is “life changing magic.”

I’m going to stop because I could go on and on.   Can you please just get it and read it?

xo Liza

P.S.  Those of you who have read the book, please share your thoughts below!  And those of you who haven’t, tell us about your storage or clutter, or…tidiness, as the case may be!

P.P.S.  I love Marie’s discussion on the Japanese art of folding.  The Japanese have always been folders — of kimonos, of fabrics, of paper.


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5 thoughts on “My tidy life

  1. There you go reading my mind again Liza. I find myself frozen like a deer in headlights these days – unable to give time to the thing I truly love to do – weighed down by angst and worry over things I cannot control and clutter I cannot seem to make go away. I need to simplify, unclutter and move on for my own well being. Let the tidy begin…

  2. I shall, indeed, read the book, although several years ago, I discovered the joys of letting go of the obvious clutter in my closet, in my purse, in my suitcase and, verily, in my life. All the “stuff” we store and stack up and put out of sight but not out of mind burdens us more than most of the real problems we have. It weighs us down and, as Liza says, saps our energy. One of the hardest things to do, however, is not to get rid of what you’ve accumulated. The hard part in our hyper-commercial world is not to bring it home in the first place. I am definitely not an impulse shopper or even much of a shopper at all, yet, I still manage to come out of big box stores with something that wasn’t even remotely on my shopping list. Often, those items become the new generation of clutter in your home but, since you’ve just bought it, you squirm at putting it on the give-away pile. Worse even, you’ve paid for it with a credit card so are still in debt for it. Advertising has put so much fluff in our brains, even sensible, grounded people have a hard time “just saying ‘no'”.

  3. A number of years ago I packed all my belongings, stored them in a friend’s barn and moved to Scotland for a year. When I returned I started to unpack the boxes. I found objects I hadn’t thought about or remembered having. That is when I began to ask, if i don’t remember it, do I really need it? Thirty five years later I am still asking that question. It is quite freeing to unload stuff. And packing to move to Mexico was an opportunity to say goodby to loved objects knowing others would get the same joy from them. I hate clutter and embrace the art of letting go.

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