‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ offers advice to end the clutter

Donate what does not spark joy

The KonMari method of decluttering

When Marie Kondo wrote "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing," first released in 2014, few could have predicted what a phenomenon it would become.

First released in her native Japan, then Europe, then the United States, the techniques Kondo taught for decluttering your home — which she's dubbed the "KonMari method" — has caught on like wildfire.

The little book — clocking in at 224 pages — has a massive following, and a lot of people really do think it's "life-changing" in its unique approach for tackling clutter.

Cover art from Marie Kondo

Cover art from Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing." Get it here.

Some basics of Marie Kondo's tidying method

Kondo's approach is simple enough, but it's also meant to change the way you think about your possessions. Here are five key points.

1. Take on tidying in one big swoop

"Tidy a little a day and you'll be tidying forever," Kondo says. She recommends a big swoop so you don't get caught in the cycle of clutter. Set aside a weekend or map out a plan for the entire month. 

2. Tidy by category, not room

It's more common to tackle cleaning your house on a room-by-room basis, but Kondo recommends looking at things by category. For example, going through all of your clothes first, then books. This makes it less stressful and helps you see everything that you own in one spot. 

3. Purge possessions that don't bring you joy

The cornerstone of KonMari involves taking a deep dive into your possessions and asking yourself which ones still bring you joy and which have served their purpose. If something doesn't "spark joy," you should feel free to discard it. Try it. It's liberating.

4. Don't feel guilty for getting rid of stuff

Kondo's approach takes away the mental hurdles that keep you from getting rid of something "just in case" you may need it someday (but probably won't). If you find something no longer brings you joy, you can thank it for its service and let go without feeling bad. 
Pro tip: Take a picture of your item on your phone before you donate it so you'll always have a digital memory of the item. 

5. Changing your mind can change your life

Once you've learned how to let go of possessions, you will change the way you think about them in the first place. Your stuff shouldn't stress you out. It should inspire you.

If you have stuff that no longer sparks joy, donate it so it may spark joy for someone else

Once you've set aside everything that no longer brings you joy, you can either drop off your donations at one of our thrift stores or schedule a free home pickup. We can swing by your home and take away your donations, no problem.  Call us at 1-800-873-4505.


Want a big jump on decluttering your life? 

Learning to let go of things you don't need feels good. It feels even better when you know you're doing something good for your community by doing it.

If you have an unused or unwanted vehicle, your car donation can help us in our mission to transform the lives of some of those who need it most throughout Ohio and Indiana. From our work to get homeless veterans off the streets and into permanent housing to programs that give ex-offenders the resources and training to be productive members of society, your car donation keeps these programs in operation.

We can accept cars, trucks, boats, RVs, etc. If it's got a motor, there's a good chance you can donate it.

And not only are you taking a step to de-clutter your life, we make car donation less of a hassle than trying to sell an unused vehicle. We can arrange free towing, often on the same day you contact us. Even if the car is no longer running, you can still donate it. And you potentially can make more money from the tax deduction than you would a sale.

Starting the process of car donation is quick and easy.

  • Online: Just fill out our online form, and we'll contact you to schedule a convenient pickup time.
  • By phone: Call us at 800-862-6030 to start the donation process.
  • In person: If you happen to be passing through the Columbus area, you can just drop off your car with a clean title at 5640 W. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio, 43228.

You'll not only experience the magic of tidying, you'll feel good about how you're helping people in need.