Before Marie Kondo became a household name following her Netflix series, she wrote a handful of books in which she not only schools readers on how to declutter their life, but how this process comes with its own rewards.
Back in 2017, she wrote “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story,” which is less of a book and more like a graphic novel (“manga” is a Japanese style of comic).
The book is about a hot mess named Chiaki, who lives in a cluttered apartment in Tokyo, and who is struggling with both career and love. She is feeling “stuck” until she meets a fairy godmother in the likeness of Kondo herself. This petite professional organizer helps Chiaki gain control of her apartment and, thus, the other parts of her life that were subsequently in disarray.
“I had an actual client whose relationship with her partner improved significantly after tidying, and another client who was able to separate with her partner after deciding that he was not meant for her. I believe that sharing these positive, life-changing stories will help motivate many people to tidy,” Kondo told MarketWatch, when asked how tidying up and love are intertwined.
She said an unwillingness to let go of an item from a former lover, for example, may indicate that one is still emotionally attached to an aspect of the past. “Through tidying, individuals can confront themselves and sort through their feelings as they make active decisions about what to discard. Over time, their attachment to a past lover can begin to fade away. Then, a change will occur and you will be able to become more proactive about pursuing new relationships.”
She also mentions that if you lounge around your home in clothes that are unbecoming, or make you feel depleted and unattractive, throw them out, because “the way you treat yourself when you spend time at home relates strongly to your self-image.”
“You should wear something with a design you love, which is comfortable, ideally made from natural material, and raises your self-image just by wearing it.”
And when you feel good about yourself, others begin to feel good about you.