- I like the term "tidying". It rolls of the tongue & encompasses both "cleaning" and "decluttering" none of which feel enjoyable; together, as "tidying" it is a satisfying and somewhat soothing endeavor
- DEFINITELY discard before you organize. I like that she advises strongly against buying specialty "organization" products. If you get rid of most of your crap, you don't need to go buy drawers and boxes and shelves
- Go through things by CATEGORY rather than space. Yes. I cleaned out some bins in our living room, bought more envelopes & tape, and then realized we have duplicate items in the study. Similarly we keep some kitchen items in the pantry---if I really want to know all the baking supplies we have, I need to gather them from all over.
- Storing things so you can see them all. Ever since I heard of her clothes-folding method, I started rolling up my clothes in my drawers (her vertical folding method is too complicated). LIFE-CHANGING for real! I can see everything at once, which makes me more likely to wear certain things (I used to just continuously wear whatever was on top) and no more having to fling clothes all over the place hunting for that one black camisole I need to wear under that one top. Also, I sometimes open the drawer, see something I haven't worn in a while and chuck it into the give-away pile. I now want to roll my tights into cinnamon buns, too. Better than the "tangled noodles" method I have going on!
- The idea of keeping only what "sparks joy" really works in regards to personal items, like clothes/accessories/make-up. I had a tendency to keep things "just in case" or because I felt guilty about buying it and not using it (I've begun to embrace the "sunk cost" mentality) and then I'd force myself to wear a dress that makes me feel frumpy when I have 3 other perfectly confidence-boosting joy-sparking dresses in the closet. Who has space in their life for that? doesn't work so well when it comes to kitchen goods but I guess you consider the joy that is sparked when you use a proper tool for its given purpose.
- The idea of "thanking items for their service" is really out there. Who TALKS TO their clothes? But...the foundation behind this advice---to acknowledge that the item has served its purpose and thus feel comfortable letting it go, makes sense to me. This works especially well with gifts---the purpose of the gift is for the giver to feel the joy of giving and for you to experience the thrill of opening. What happens after should not matter; you aren't under obligation to keep it forever. A clothing or jewelry item that you ended up not liking may teach you to hone your style or to not let your friends talk you into purchases.
- And this is a big one: I completely and totally disagree with her central assertion that you can tidy your whole house ONCE and be done FOREVER. HOW does this make sense? The only way you would never again need to purge clothes or toiletries or medications is if you were continually doing a micro-decluttering every day so that things didn't build up. Of course clothes are going to wear out, stop fitting, become out of style after a few years, even if your tastes don't change. You are going to accumulate things---through buying or receiving---and unless every single gift and purchase is 100% spot-on and you use it until completely worn out, you will have to get rid of stuff again. I'm not even mentioning kids' stuff here because that is of course a given.
- Her views on paperwork are a bit cavalier. Really save NOTHING? No one would EVER need to read a manual for an appliance? (she didn't say find the e-version or scan it in, she specifically said no one ever uses them). You can save a ton of money looking up minor fixes and parts. I keep the manuals for all of our appliances. I also keep paperwork on any repair done on the home (even if not under warranty), any medical tests/procedures on any 2-4 legged inhabitant of our home, I actually had to submit my college transcripts when I applied for credentialing here---I am so glad I had them! We've pared down a LOT, but we do have one drawer of a file cabinet filled with "keep forever" and another drawer of "keep for a year" that we chuck after taxes as well as "tax documents" that we file away with a copy of our return for 7 years in case of audit.
- Some of the out there stuff is just plain weird. Like saying hello to your house every day, or how your things "need to rest" so you need to empty your purse every night. I'll admit that maybe that is a relaxing routine for her, to greet her home, remove everything & gently put it away as a transition period from work to home. But its weird advice to give EVERYONE. The section about women who declutter their home having "bouts of diarrhea" that somehow indicate a kind of physical cleansing---"and then they lost weight!" "found a new job" "met a new boyfriend!" WEIRD (and gross!)
- She is overly averse to bulk buying. She told supposed "horror stories" of women that had 2 years worth of toothpaste or 3 months worth of toilet paper. How only having a few of items ended up spurring her clients to "being more creative with substitutes" when they run out. Sure---makes sense when you are talking food and being creative with recipes. I do not want to know of how one can be "creative" when you run out of toilet paper or toothpaste, however. Those are the exact 2 items I ALWAYS have a stock of, I have a real scarcity mindset here and want back-ups for my back-ups!
- The waste. The lack of a single word about the environmental impact of throwing away tens of 45L plastic trash bags worth of stuff from a single room. Not a single admonition to change your buying practices to avoid such disgusting waste in the future. No mention of recycling, donating, passing on, upcycling or otherwise finding a way that everything doesn't end up in a landfill. And how to assuage the guilt you feel about this if you really do need to shed this stuff from your home.
If you haven't read it, consider borrowing a copy. Its definitely a fast & amusing read. Life-changing and magical---no. I have no plans to do an extensive whole-house tidying jamboree. But I will incorporate her methods when I do sporadically tackle our excess of stuff.