The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: 6 Months Later

6 months ago, I picked up a copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and decided to declutter my home. I spent two full months in full-on KonMari mode: discarding, recycling, donating, folding and organizing. It was hard work, but I was ecstatic with the end result.

I loved looking around to see clean, empty spaces. It was easy to find things when there were less things to find, and easy to put things away when you knew where they belonged. In the end, however, I concluded that while tidying up was absolutely a worthwhile investment of my time, it was neither life changing nor magical.

You can read about my experience in more detail here.

Now that it’s been a little over six months (and since a number of you have asked), I thought I’d provide a little update. Has my life magically changed? Does everything get put away? Is my home still clutter free?

Yes, my life has magically changed. 

I had a baby and he is magical and delicious.

No, my home is not clutter free.  

Things fell off the rails for awhile after the baby came, but for the most part, I have maintained a good (borderline obsessive) system of discarding and donating our things. I’m at the point where there isn’t much else to get rid of. And yet, I still think we have too much stuff. I still want less.

No, not everything gets put away in its designated spot. 

In the book, Marie Kondo says that if you tidy a little every day, you’ll be tidying forever. But if you tidy up in one go, you can dramatically change your mindset. “A change so profound that it touches your emotions and will irresistibly affect your way of thinking,” she says.

Having gone through the process, I can’t help but disagree.

Tidying up did change how I thought about the accumulation of things, but it didn’t completely alter my mindset regarding how I put things away.

In a house with three small children where a lot of things get pulled out and tossed around, I don’t always put things back in their designated spot. I’d be constantly tidying if that were the case. I have a full diaper bag on the couch, plates in the sink, and laundry waiting to be folded. There’s school artwork and worksheets piled up on the kitchen counter, and toys, burp clothes, and throw pillows forgotten on the ground. And I’m okay with that.

So I don’t put things away all the time. I do leave things lying around, and my house can get messy. But, when I do clean up, I always either discard the item or put it back where it belongs. Which means that tidying up doesn’t take as long. Finding things isn’t so painful. I can get my house looking fresh and clean without pulling my hair out. And that’s a really big deal.

Which can only lead me to conclude that tidying up was life changing after all.