All of us here at First Things First Organizing are neat freaks. So, it was nice to get some validation this year as The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up made its way up the bestseller lists!
Easily one of the trendiest books on the market right now, this is a compendium of wisdom, philosophy, and practical advice from a top-tier cleaning woman from Japan. She writes about how we in the West should adopt the old Japanese tradition of keeping house, which involves a minimalist approach to possessions and decorations.
In the book, she talks about the history of “tidying up” in her culture, and encourages us to have a routine of going through our possessions and finding what we don’t absolutely need and love. If something doesn’t give you pure joy, she says, it doesn’t belong in your home.
We’ve been passing the book around the office, and all of us absolutely love it. The ritual aspect of the routine gives the possessions that you keep more meaning and significance, and it helps you better appreciate their place in your life. We’re also learning a lot about how nice rituals are–there’s a meditative aspect to cleaning your house routinely on a regular basis. You end up appreciating everything more, and being able to take a more objective look at your carpets, floors, and fixtures. You know which pieces of the home give you that joy, and which ones don’t.
In short, we think this is a great read, first and foremost, and it’s also simply a phenomenally important skill to learn, decluttering and finding order in both your physical existence and your emotional life!
We think this is also a great ritual to introduce with your family. Less clutter in your house makes for easier events, since you’ll only need to move a few things out of the way. And by trimming down your decor to the essentials, you’ll draw more attention to the standout pieces!
There are so many benefits to “tidying up” in this sense, but most of them center around an increased feeling of calm and relaxation. Taking the time to declutter will make your home feel more spacious, which makes you less anxious. You’ll focus more easily, because you see order all around you instead of chaos!
So, if you’re looking for your next book, give this a read!