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The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

By no means a stretch in titling; this pint-size book, aptly named life-changing, has largely transformed my life, my workspace and my home. For months, I’ve listened to the acclaim from sources not-so-tidy. After diving in to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, here’s what I can tell you.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I’ve seen my closet space, in two hours, shrink to a fifth of its original size. I’ve witnessed 50 pairs of barely worn heels and shoes, bagged excitedly into 3 enormous trash bags and delivered to a friend’s church. My bookcase, now sparse with only my favorite few heavyweight champs; Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, all well read, dog-eared and stained (jittery coffee hands!). As a result, I’ve recycled the cozy morning coffee shirts I’ve dribbled on, too.

During the tidying up process, I’ve learned of my penchant for hoarding remarkably beautiful teapots, and pitifully, all they do is take up closet space in unusual shapes and accumulate absurd amounts of dust. My tea china will be bequeathed to my adorable niece who throws a ravishing invisible strawberry tea party. I’ll hold on to one particular tea set I love, for my daughter, should I be lucky enough to have one.

My kitchen, condensed, in a word. Veggie spiralizers, yerba mate cups, a startling amount of organic cane sugar bags for a woman that barely bakes, eight million spices—half of them duplicates, a juicer that takes thirty minutes to clean (eye roll). Old tea bags, food samples, a waffled ice-cream cone maker(!). I bid adieu.

Matt and I are moving, just down the street. We’re renovating our home and have designed the new kitchen to be warm, welcoming, minimal; a continued inspiration of our newfound love for the tidy lifestyle.

There is tremendous peace and serenity in a clean, vacant countertop, a closet with a few favorite pieces hanging, air to breathe between each sweater. A spotless home shower, now a spa experience. What doesn’t fit comfortably into our master bedroom closet will find a new home.

I am grateful for the wisdom Maria imparts: In her Japanese inspired tidying up teachings, I have learned about my past self, my current self, and my future self. By getting rid of the old, I let go of my past. I’m releasing the need for attachment to things and relying on my memory (and photos and diaries) to bring me the boundless joy I have been searching for in the mass accumulation of stuff.

As Marie writes, everything you need has its perfect place in your home. In less than 24 hours of burning through these pages, I’m such a believer, I even gave her book away.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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Kind Contributor Emily Nolan

Emily Nolan is a professional model, teacher and founder of nonprofit, TOPLESS yoga, a globally recognized empowerment event used as a tool for practicing radical self-acceptance. Emily hosts The Hum, a women’s fellowship retreat which emphasizes listening to our Hum within. Through her mission-based work, Emily has sparked a global conversation around body image.

Nolan is currently writing her first book, Pretty Brave.

Find Emily Nolan at @iamemilynolan // emilynolan.com.

Join Emily on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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this kinda rocks!
oh darling, indulge a little
this kinda rocks!
oh darling, indulge a little