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Help You Dwell is a home and workspace organizing service based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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A quick guide to 'the life-changing magic of tidying up'

Caroline Smith

www.tidyingup.com

www.tidyingup.com

If you receive our weekly emails, you may remember us mentioning that we recently read "the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing" by marie kondo. We highly recommend the book if you need to psych yourself up to get organized. Marie offers so many great tips that we couldn't possibly cover them all in one blog post but we wanted to give you the "Help You Dwell Quick Guide" to the book if you don't have time to read it yourself.

1. Many organizing books and experts suggest tidying or decluttering a little bit a day over the span of one's life. The fact of the matter is, a little at a time is usually not a dramatic enough change to motivate you to purge the way most of us need to.  "A dramatic reorganization of the [entire] home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective."

2. Always begin with thoroughly eliminating clutter. "If you can see the dramatic results, you will be empowered to keep your space in order ever after."

3. "Storage methods do not solve the problem of clutter." Hence the reason that tip #2 is so very important. You can have a house busting at the seams of very organized things but organization alone doesn't make your home a peaceful, welcoming place.

4. Think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space. Next, identify why you want to live life that. Why do you want to tidy? Finally, examine what you own.

5. When going through your items ask yourself, "does this item give me joy?" If it doesn't.... away it goes! Think of the process as deciding what to keep rather than deciding what to give/throw away. Imagine your home with only things that you love.

6. When you start the decluttering process, start with things that do not tend to hold sentimental value like clothing, books/media, papers etc.

7. If you are having a hard time making a decision about an item try to cut out the rational circular thinking ex: "I might need this later, or it's a waste to get rid of this". Try instead, to ask yourself why you have the item- when did you get it and what meaning did it have for you when you got it. "To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose."

8. "Letting go is even more important than adding." "When we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future." "The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don't."

9. There are three approaches we can take toward our possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.

10. "Tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in."