Earlier this year, Kate Hudson shared an Instagram photo of a pastel-coloured book bearing the title The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Now that’s a big promise, but it seems the contents of the book had indeed changed Hudson’s life.
“This takes spring cleaning to a whole new level! Love this book and the process is liberating!” the actress captioned the image.
The book, authored by organising consultant Marie Kondo, introduces readers to the “Japanese art of decluttering and organising”.
It was published last October, shot to the top of best-seller lists, and in less than a year has won a cult following — fans are uploading their Kondo efforts to social media with feverish enthusiasm, while the wait-list for a consultation with Kondo herself is several months long. So how exactly is a decluttering book the source of such excitement?
So what is the "kondo" method?
Kondo's approach, often referred to as the KonMari Method or Kondo-ing, works on the principle that if you simplify, organise and store your worldly belongings once — and you do it properly — you'll never have to do it again. Rather than going room-by-room, it advocates sorting out your junk through a category-by-category system.
“In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever," Kondo, 30, writes in her preface. She claims to have helped clients dispose of more than one million possessions, so she's quite ruthless.
The book is full of wisdom, but there's one guiding KonMari principle that seems to have really resonated, with frequent references in articles on home organisation. It's her "spark joy" criterion: if an item makes you happy and brings you joy, keep it. If it has no meaning, chuck it. (Post continues after gallery.)
"After all, what is the point in tidying? If it’s not so that our space and the things in it can bring us happiness, then I think there is no point at all," Kondo writes. She's been nicknamed 'the Beyonce of organising', so she knows her stuff.
"Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle."
This doesn't only apply to your general household clutter — it's a really good one to remember next time you overhaul your wardrobe. If you take one look at that trench coat from seven years ago and feel nothing at all, consider selling it or dropping by your nearest charity bin.