A couple of years ago, the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing took the world by storm. Everybody talked about it.
Her author, Marie Kondo, was constantly on TV. Although the book is not so popular now. I believe it helped spread a much-needed wave of minimalism.
This book is basically about decluttering. Getting read of old clothes, expired canned food and letters from past loves. It doesn’t include a strict organizational system. She is not one for trays and complicated storing system. There is no need for them. If you apply her method, you will end up with very little things.
I did find useful her focus on keeping things that produce joy. I still apply some of her principles. Not all. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes she is too mumbo-jumbo. I found it hard to follow when she talked about the spirituality of objects. Thanking objects wasn’t on my agenda.
I don’t use her folding method either. It just isn’t practical for me. For starters my toddler loves picking up clothes of the drawers. Most importantly we have more space than clothes. We use her folding method just for travelling (less luggage).
Funny enough one of the things that stuck with me is how she organizes important documents (and what important documents are). It made my life easier. We now store all these papers on a drawer. We just have three trays: us, house/car and pets. Whenever we need to store a paper, there it goes. Instructions go directly to recycling (they are now available in Internet).
Finally, it set ups a series of habits to avoid cluttering again. They are simple. Just keep or buy what makes you happy. Kondo affirms that if done correctly you won’t revert to the old ways. This is the thing I find harder to believe. Consumerism is emotional. Hoarding is emotional. A setback in your life can push you to a shopping spree. There is additional work to be done on a personal level to avoid clutter.
This is a good book to read after breaking up, losing a loved one, moving or getting fired. It will help you get rid of all that holds you back -physically and emotionally- only if you commit to it fully.
Best of luck!