The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo Review by Savanna Westwood

Some of you may have heard in the news or online of a New York Time’s best selling book on organization and tidying up by Marie Kondo. As a Professional Organizer, I am always on the lookout for new trends and techniques for staying organized. I picked up Marie Kondo’s book, A Professional Organizer in Japan, and read it with enthusiasm. Though for some readers, some of Marie’s suggestions may seem a bit unusual, such as “thanking” items that you use for their hard work for the day and “greeting” your home when you return, it's important to keep in mind she is Japanese and thus her values and approach will differ from ours. However, different can be a good thing, especially when it comes to personal organization, as so many of us have different organizational needs. Overall, the book has a great perspective and provides a number of excellent new tips for staying organized. After finishing the book, I selected the five tips I thought would be most helpful in guiding you on your journey toward getting and staying organized.

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Get Ready for School in an Organized Way

1)“Early is on time and on time is late”

This quote was one of my basketball coaches favorite lines and it has been a very helpful quote, especially with busy schedules. If you have a jammed pack day or even just a few things going on; often times things take longer than expected, putting you behind schedule. If your activities after the school/work day require you to be on time, go ahead and place items for those activities in a bag in the car along with snacks like pretzels, dried fruit, and nuts for the kids or a cooler of snacks. It will save you some time and you may just get there early :)

2) Family Calendar

Have a family calendar on display in the kitchen so everyone is on the same page for what is going on in the household for the week or month. Use a different colored marker for each person in the household to write down events. For that tech savvy family use create a Google Account and Calendars for the family, it can send you reminders as what is coming up and can be color coordinate.

3)Set an Alarm

When I say alarm, I am not meaning an alarm to get up from bed. I am talking about an alarm that is telling you to leave. Often times in the morning we are not watching the clock, but helping the kids get ready or handle a small emergency in the morning. Make sure you set an alarm at least 10 minutes before you have to get out the door. This alarm is specifically there to tell you to wrap up everything and make sure you have a final alarm as your last call.

4)Pack Up and Get Ready the Night Before

Get ready for the morning at before bed to save you time. These tasks before bed should include:

  • Clothes laid out to wear in the morning.
  • Homework and other supplies in back pack ready to go.
  • Lunches in the fridge ready to grab.
  • Breakfast dishes, silverware and cups ready on the table.

5) Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Make sure you start getting the kids into a bedtime routine and starting a morning routine no later than a week before school starts. Gradually start sending them to bed earlier by a few minutes each night and getting them up the time you want to get ready for school. Go ahead and go through your whole morning routine for school. Make sure you time it as well, so you can see how much time you are spending and if you need to make adjustments.

Have a wonderful day, in an organized way!

Savanna"Savvy" Westwood

The Savvy Organizer

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