Why Can’t I Keep My House in Order?

This section of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is entitled, “Why Can’t I Keep My House in Order?” Kondo discusses why this is such a struggle, what we are doing that makes keeping our house clean difficult, and introduces how to start changing. I hope you all pick up this book not only for it’s usefulness, but also for it’s insight into the life changing qualities of tidying.

“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking” (15).


“If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mindset” (16).


“When people revert to clutter no matter how much they tidy, it is not their room or their belongings but their way of thinking that is at fault” (17).


“If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after” (17).


“The work involved can be broadly divided into two kinds–deciding whether or not to dispose of something and deciding where to put it” (19).


“There is a saying that “a messy room equals a messy mind” (21).


“When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state” (21).


“Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order” (21).


“Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved” (23).


“We need to exercise self-control and resist storing our belongings until we have finished identifying what we really want and need to keep” (23).


“Tidying up by location is a fatal mistake” (25).


“One reason so many of us never succeed at tidying is because we have too much stuff. This excess is caused by our ignorance of how much we actually own. When we disperse storage of a particular item throughout the house and tidy one place at a time, we can never grasp the overall volume and therefore can never finish. To escape this negative spiral, tidy by category, not by place” (25).


“Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Of the two, discarding must come first” (28).


“Tidying is a special event. Don’t do it everyday” (28).


“This drastic change in self perception, the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to, transforms behavior and lifestyle” (30).



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