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Six rules of tidying and the Checklist Manifesto - April 2023 Newsletter

Recently I was thinking about how Marie Kondo’s Six Rules of Tidying are a similar concept to the excellent thoughtful book by Atul Gawande, of “Being Mortal” greatness. Atul Gawande is a surgeon and author. His book the Checklist Manifesto is about using the very simple concept of a checklist to increase efficiency and eliminate avoidable mistakes during surgery.

Sometimes having a list is all you need to follow the right order of things.

This is MK’s list to get you started on living a clutter free, Spark Joy kind of life.

Six Rules of Tidying:

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

3. Finish discarding first

4. Tidy by category, not location

5. Follow the right order: Clothing, Books, Papers, Komono, Sentimental

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

If you feel overwhelmed by clutter first Commit yourself to tidying up!

Second, enjoy visualizing your ideal lifestyle. How does it look, how does it make you feel? Maybe make a vision board, with magazines, cutting out images that inspire you!

Third, finish discarding first. Before searching for the ideal bins to store things – finish discarding. Make piles! One to donate, one to throw out, one to recycle. Then, when you’ve finished discarding, you will see how storage organically presents itself. An empty shoe box, more drawer space than before, etc.

Fourth, by tidying by category, and gathering all of that category in one place you will really see the amount of that category you have which will have a pretty profound effect on you if it’s a lot. Think of the large piles of clothes on beds in Marie’s Netflix special.

Fifth, follow the right order. MK puts Clothes first because for many people this is an easier category to let go of, and the last category of Sentimental is the hardest. You want to practice letting go with the category that’s easiest for you before you take on Sentimental.

Last, ask yourself if it sparks joy. Example: you have three cooking pans. You only use two of them because they work for you beautifully, they are keepers. The third you never use because you simply don’t like it. That goes in a donate pile. Voila!

Happy tidying! xo


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