How fully I recommend this book: 10/10
Lesson 1: Tidying up can transform your life.
It’s in the book’s title, but it’s worth repeating.
Only keeping (and then organizing) the things, activities, and people that spark joy will completely transform your life. I have lived through this!
Lesson 2: Anyone can tidy up. And no one has to.
Ask anyone who knew teenage-me: I was a mess. One doesn’t need to be naturally organized to tidy up. If I could do it, anyone can.
Also, tidying up isn’t mandatory. I know cool people who are very disorganized, and some are happier with more stuff. Whatever works for you!
Lesson 3: If you do it right, you only need to tidy up once in your life.
All it takes is one thorough session of tidying, a few tidying habits to maintain, and you’re set for the rest of your (new) life!
Lesson 4: Declutter before organizing.
Before organizing, the first step is to declutter, which basically means going through everything in your life (everything), and removing anything that would not be part of your ideal life.
I’ve removed bags of stuff, lots of old clothes, and gigabytes of old files. It’s the most freeing feeling ever, and now I literally know everything that’s in my life.
Lesson 5: “Does this spark joy?”
When you’re not sure whether you should remove something from your life, ask: “Does this spark joy?”
If it’s a tangible object, make sure to physically hold or touch it when asking this question, since it’s easier to rationalize keeping stuff you don’t love when it’s all in your head.
Lesson 6: You are not in debt to your past self.
I used to keep some stuff out of guilt to my past self, as in: “I bought this ten years ago, and I never use it, and I really dislike it, but I loved it at the time… How could I just throw it away?! Ah, the guilt!”
Present joy is a more trustworthy guide than past guilt, so go with joy!
Lesson 7: Gifts are gifts, not binding agreements.
I also used to keep some stuff out of guilt, because I had received them as gifts, as in: “I got this shirt as a gift ten years ago, and it’s horrible, and it obviously doesn’t fit, but how could I just throw it away?! Ah, the guilt!”
Gifts are meaningful because of what they represent, not necessarily because of what they are, and they’re certainly not binding.
Lesson 8: Your environment determines your life.
Environment has more power over us than we’re sometimes aware of. You can tell a lot about someone’s direction by experiencing their environment.
If you’re surrounded by the things, activities, and people of your ideal life, it’s inevitable that you will be facing toward your ideal life.
Motivation is also driven by environment. As of this writing, the reason I practice the piano each day is not because I’m disciplined: It’s because I put my piano keyboard in my bedroom, by my bed.
Lesson 9: Create your own space.
Part of living our ideal life is feeling that we have power and ownership over a space that is our own.
If you live with your parents, you can still tidy up and create your room.
If you share a room, you can claim a corner and decorate it with things you love.
Just make sure you have a space that is 100% your own.
Lesson 10: Show gratitude for the things in your life.
I know this is weird, but after reading this book, I started thanking my guitar each time before playing, and I swear it sparks joy.
Maybe we can all live more joyfully by showing gratitude for the shoes that protect our feet, the clothes that cover our bodies, and everything else in our lives.