Man, if you have trouble keeping control of the clutter in your house, this is the book to read! It is an easy, quick read and it is fabulous! It truly could change your life if you follow the advice of the author, Marie Kondo, a Japanese consultant who specializes in tidying (decluttering). I'll just share a quick synopsis.
Marie's theory is to not choose what you want to get rid of, but to choose what you want to keep in your home. You should only have things in your home that are absolutely necessary or spark absolute joy!
The theory is pretty basic to start with but how and to what extreme she does it, is what gets you thinking. Basically you are going to:
Sort all items in your home. Discard to reduce clutter and then find a home for every item to be returned to.
Kondo suggests that we should start by going through every piece of clothing in our homes first. You need to hold one piece in your hand at a time. Treat it like it has feelings. If you had great memories when you used to wear it, but no longer do, thank it for the memories and wish it luck and send it on its way. If you are holding onto clothes because you might wear it "someday", get rid of it. If the piece of clothing doesn't spark joy, get rid of it. Remember you are choosing what to keep not what to give away. Go through every single piece of clothing in your home, quickly.
Next she says you should go through all the books in the house. You must take every book off the shelf and open the pages. Does this book spark joy? If you are holding on to it because you want to read it someday, get rid of it. If you haven't read it, you probably won't. If you really miss it after getting rid of it, buy it again and maybe you'll read this time.
She continues with papers next. She says to only keep critical things like birth certificates and insurance policies in one box and then to only have active papers you are working on in another. Everything is online or most likely not needed. ( I felt this was pretty extreme, yet made me think about what I really need to keep.)
Sentimental items should be saved for last because they will be the hardest to get rid of. Kondo basically says that if these things have brought you joy in the past they have fulfilled their purpose. If they now only gather dust, it is time for them to move on. ( I HATE clutter, but I personally have a hard time getting rid of sentimental things. I think as long as things are organized and neatly have a home, I wouldn't feel bad about holding on to them. )
Once everything has been discarded, (and her clients discard bags and bags and bags. Sometimes in the 100's) it is time to store whats left and find a home for them. Once everything has a home, you will always know where to put things back after you are done using it. No more cluttered home!
Ultimately a person after decluttering to this extent "comes to know contentment". Because of their tiding, ones life becomes happier and more fulfilling. Kondo says that the mental benefits of tidying are so manifold and obvious that the newly minted tidier will never fall back into their old ways again.
I have very little clutter in my home. I have very few clothes in my closet. BUT after reading this book, I went straight to my closet and got rid of a large black trash bags of clothes, shoes and boots from my closet. And I feel great! It is true that when you simplify your life, you feel lighter and more at piece. There are some parts of this book that seem extreme, but over all it is very motivating. I am going to suggest this book to all my clients.