Organizing Book Recommendations

Check out these book recommendations to help you start organizing!

Marie Kondo Book Recommendations

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: This is such a great book to inspire you! After reading this I just knew I had to hire Marie to help my parents with their hoarder home. Soon after I signed up for her Organizing Consultant Program to start organizing on my own! This is where my professional organizing journey began. In this book she describes the deep impact of how organizing can enhance our lives. After all, don’t we all want to live our best lives?!

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up: Such an amazing detailed guide on how to organize in each category. Marie includes pictures of how to fold items with TONS of tips and tricks. Take your organizing game to the NEXT LEVEL with this book!

Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life: What I love most about this book is how she explains how to organize your digital life. I swear before I read this I had soooo many old photos, documents spread all over my desktop, and absolutely no order to all my files. She also goes into detail about how to maintain a tidy workspace.

Organizing Book Recommendations

The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals: Clea and Joanna transform spaces to be practical and aesthetically beautiful. They tidy for clients instead of with clients. They love purchasing organizing containers to display everything beautifully and in rainbow color.

The Personal Organizing Workbook: Solutions for a Simpler, Easier Life: This in amazing guide that really helps clients organize and learn how to maintain organized spaces. I really enjoyed this one!

Real Life Organizing: (Clutterbug Book)

Martha Stewart’s Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines

Need more suggestions?

Less is More! A Unique Approach to Moving

Less is More! Especially when it comes to prepare for moving!

Moving is the perfect opportunity to Joy Check each and every item we own. After-all, the less we have, the less we have to move! This not only allows us to have less items but also frees space for new items – perhaps more tasteful furniture, updated appliances, in style clothing, and more.

My partner and I have always dreamed of living abroad. We’ve made so many memories traveling to various countries meeting locals, eating street food, exploring cities and adventuring outdoors. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we put off traveling and moving all together to stay safe.

Over the past few years we slowly began to prepare for a big move abroad. When we envisioned moving, we identified with the concept of getting rid of most of our things. Instead of going through the headache of packing and shipping items to another country, we decided to take a different approach. Most of our possessions – furniture, appliances, etc. were given to us by family and friends over time. This was VERY ideal for us, as we valued:

  1. Functional things with no emotional attachments
  2. Utilizing furniture passed down while also not purchasing new/expensive items
  3. No hassle to move anything or pay for a moving service and truck
  4. Sparking joy in others lives by donating/selling/discarding possessions.
  5. Having the freedom to move with less responsibilities

This situation may sound a bit extreme to most. You may be asking yourself – but why do you have to get rid of most of the things you own? Honestly, I don’t HAVE to. I WANT to!

Sparking Joy to me personally is less about the things and possessions I own and more about the experiences and memories I create. By letting go of almost all the material items in my life, there is a sense of freedom. Freedom to have only what I love. Freedom to not have many objects to be responsible for. Freedom to Spark Joy in the ways that mean the most to me. Plus having less is ultimately less to organize and maintain! Win, Win!

What is the process to discard possessions?

  1. Photograph & post items for sale online: this can be done through craigslist, facebook marketplace, or other apps/websites. Luckily for me, I love to sell things online! I love giving away things that people could use and that hopefully Spark Joy. I typically begin this process 2-3 months prior to the set move out date. This allows me to take my time and not compromise sales prices. It also gives me time to emotionally prepare myself to let go slowly, rather than feeling rushed.
  2. Joy Check every item that is considered to keep for the move. Yes, even as a professional organizer I go through my own tidying festival by category! I want to be 100% confident with every item I will take with me.
  3. Donate left over items to Salvation Army, local thrift stores, or Good Will. Another option could be to schedule a pick-up day with the local municipal.
  4. Begin the packing process. I intend to have just a few boxes and/or luggages to take with me. It’s always smart to organize boxes by categories and to label, label, label everything! This makes it easier to access things and to have everything organized when I arrive to my new home.
  5. Load the car and thank my home for all its given me – warmth, shelter, and memories. HELLO WORLD!

Less is More Final Thoughts

In our consumer society and high tech world we literally don’t have to leave our home to survive! With amazon, food delivery, grocery delivery, and the many other services and applications we can not only survive but buy anything at the click of a button! As amazing as technology is, it also encourages us to spend. Anywhere you go on the internet markets specifically tailored ads to you – companies learn your interests, habits, desires, and take full advantage to get us to buy buy buy! Some buy for comfort, necessity, or for status symbols of wealth or luxury. Think about your spending habits – What items are worth fixing, moving, and saving? What items are meaningful to you? Why?

It is not things that give us true joy. When we grow old what will we remember? What will we say? “I have no regrets because I’m happy I did…” What will resonate with us most are the memories we have of experiences throughout life. Be sure to create your own, each and every day.

Have nice things and also keep in mind there is so much more out there in the world than possessions. No one is holding you back from picking up and moving or traveling and seeing the world. The world is your oyster.

What sparks joy for you?

Declutter Guide

What is the key to being able to let go and declutter, for good?

joy checking process

Visualize your Ideal lifestyle

“When you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are actually clarifying why you want to tidy and identifying the kind of life you want to live once you have finished.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
  • Step 1: Visualize in detail the ideal lifestyle you dream of
  • Step 2: Identify why you want to live that lifestyle
  • Step 3: Dive into the specifics of how you want to live day by day.
  • When we skip this step it-
    • delays the whole tidying process
    • puts you at higher risk for rebound

Focus on What Sparks Joy, not what to Discard

What adds value to your life? When you touch something that brings you joy-

  • A feeling of thrill, often a full body experience
  • A pleasing design/look that makes you feel peaceful
  • An item with a high degree of functionality that makes life easier
  • A sense of rightness
  • An items thats useful in daily life

When faced with something that does not spark joy-

  • you feel heavy
  • your hands pause
  • you tilt your head slightly and frown
  • you have to think
  • you feel guilty
  • for essential items that don’t spark joy, think about the purpose

Prepare to Joy Check

Pick an easy category to start with – I recommend clothing.

Pile all items in one spot so you can see everything in that category at once. Example: pile all long, short, and sleeveless shirts that you own.

Creating a physical pile gives us that “wow” moment while also holding us accountable in the present.

Pick out your Favorite item(s)

Find one item in the pile that you love.

You know you love something because the instant you see and hold it, you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sometimes items are less about happiness and more about practicality, usefulness, and function. Example: the blue shirt that goes with everything and is always washed regularly.

“Does it Spark Joy?”â„¢

  • Step 1: Pick up one item at a time
  • Step 2: Hold it.
    • Ask yourself:
      • If this got stained/torn would I fix it?
      • If I lost this, would I buy it again?
      • Does this item enhance my life?
      • Do I feel like my best self with this item?
    • If you’re unsure if it Sparks Joy hug it close to your heart!
    • Gaze at it.
    • If it is clothing, please try it on!

Be Present

Be aware of how your body reacts to each item. You know you love something because that feeling is immediate. If you pause or have to think about an item – ask yourself, why?

  • Was it a gift?
  • Was it free?
  • Have I used this? Why haven’t I ever used this?
  • What was I really trying to buy in that moment?
  • Does this item contribute to my ideal lifestyle?

What if I’m Struggling?

Pick 2-3 similar items and compare them. Really feel the item in your hand and think deeply about what purpose it plays.

Be Mindful.

Have the courage to let go and stop all thoughts of “What if-?” Remember your goals and think of how each item you keep or discard contributes to your ideal lifestyle.

Try not to focus on-

  • reducing
  • efficient storage methods
  • feeling wasteful
  • giving items away

Instead focus on-

  • choosing belongings that inspire joy
  • enjoying life according to your own standards
  • appreciate how the items you discard supported you in your life
  • what role each item has in your life

Reframe Letting Go & Declutter

Every item you keep is a possession that brings you joy and/or makes life better.

Every item you discard is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and who you are today.

  • If you let go of something you’ve used until it’s broken and worn out: appreciate how its helped to enhance your life
  • If you declutter something you never used: it taught you a lesson in how you shop, that it did not have a purpose in your life
  • Think consciously about each item you discard: how will you choose to live moving forward? how you will acquire new things?

Keep items with Confidence

If you keep it then…

  • Use and appreciate it.
  • Create a forever home for every item: find it and know exactly what you have.
  • It’s natural to not put away everything all the time. No one is perfect. Make it a priority to create positive habits. Maybe you won’t put belongings back all the time, every day, but commit to putting things away.

Declutter and downsize with ease

Please note items discussed on this post were from the Marie Kondo books and KonMari networking group. Find more resources here.