Good Advice at Any Time

Marie Kondo has become the “go-to” guru of cleaning house in the last decade. Her teachings about “tidying up” are more along the lines of self-help than home improvement, as she claims that cleaning house can free you to start a new life. But, we need to look no further than the Queen of Self-Help herself to get equally good advice.

To clean out our excess stuff, our “excess baggage,” according to Susan, we need to stop worrying about not having enough. She considered having too much stuff not only a bad habit, but even an addiction. Her rule for keeping or discarding things was, “Use and enjoy that which enriches your life; let go of that which is just excess baggage.”

Marie Kondo’s, now famous, advice is remarkably similar, “Take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

Her mantra of “does it spark joy?” almost seems like an affirmation, and affirmations can definitely help get you in the mind-set of cleaning. Susan recommended repeating this affirmation to yourself as you go about tidying up, “I have enough. I am letting go.”

She wrote in End the Struggle and Dance With Life, “As you keep repeating these two important thoughts, you will feel the grasp of your addiction to hanging on to the excesses in your life begin to loosen and a feeling of lightness overtaking you.”

And similarly, Marie Kondo wrote, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”