Life Changing Magic? (The KonMari Method of Tidying)


Since writing my first blog post about my New Year resolution to read one non-fiction book a month I have noticed two things;

  1. Part of the reason I find non-fiction more challenging to read is that it often requires a response or provokes taking action and quite frankly it’s hard to find the time. It’s not the simple escapism of a good novel, when it’s finished all you need to do is pick your next book. January’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ gave me a lot of tidying homework to do! I kept delaying writing this blog so I could finish tidying and report back!
  2. There are so many more people out there interested in tidying than I would ever have imagined!! Reading a newspaper on the weekend Marie Kondo’s book was in their top ten books this week. I have also come across her book on other blogs and quite a few of my friends and family said that they had read her book or were about to. So it is not just me that’s geeking out on this one!


I absolutely loved the premise of the book which is that if you do one good, humongous tidy up you should never have to tidy again. Do it once properly and you won’t have to do it again.

Now I know what you are thinking, this lady is living on cloud cuckoo land, and yes she does talk to her belongings, but her theory makes sense if you give her a chance! Untidy people fall into two categories or often both:

-they have too much stuff

-they don’t put things back after they use them

Discard by category

SO you start with one almighty clear out and you do it all at once, not by room or location but by category in a specific order. The last categories are harder to be ruthless, so you leave them until you have perfected the art!





-things with sentimental value (photos, letters etc)

Say clothes for example, you gather all your clothes together, from all around the house and you pick up each item in turn and ask yourself ‘does this give me joy’ or ‘is it useful’? If the answer is no you discard or donate. You then do the same for the rest of the categories.

Everything has its place

Once you have only the possessions left that give you joy or are useful you find a place for everything. Simple storage is the best. Now the idea is if you use something and then put it back in its place, you won’t spend your life tidying.


I has taken me a few weeks to go through the house and discard by category. It gave me a bit of a buzz and discarding became a bit addictive. I tried to disperse my donations among various charity shops so I didn’t seem like a crazy lady! I also had to reign myself in with my husbands and daughter’s possessions as they wouldn’t have thanked me for it! For a while if I picked something up my eldest would look at me with a panicky look and beg ‘don’t give it away mummy’!

The feeling of having less stuff is liberating and it is definitely easier to keep the house tidy with less stuff in it. The hardest part was sorting out things that weren’t my own. For example my daughter’s mountain of stuffed toys definitely does not give me joy but they do give the girls joy. Also I was discarding a load of photos and my husband caught me sorting them. He got all soppy looking through them and has stashed a pile in his bedside drawer!

Putting things back after you use them is simple if it’s just me but try telling the girls that! For example yesterday afternoon they were playing libraries and this mainly consisted of emptying a whole bookshelf and stacking them under the table! Bless them it took them so long to put them all back! I think like with anything you have to find a balance. Your home has to feel liveable for you. Perfection is not the aim, but instead having more time to focus on the things that are important.

I found it a really interesting book and surprisingly easy to read. Some of it I think you can take with a pinch of salt, for example believing your possessions have feelings! But she has some real gems in there too. Here are a couple of links to other blog posts about the book if you want to read more. And if you give it a go, let me know how you got on?

the simplist

thoughts by Natalie



The first chapter….




I have always been a book worm. When I was younger I would devour in one sitting my weekly haul from our local library, more recently I started a book group. So I have always toyed with the idea of writing, enjoying the process of emptying my head onto the page. A few years ago a lot of my friends were starting blogs. At the time I was temping for a finance company, nine to five data inputting. Whilst I was waiting for the new data I spent my time reading my friends blogs and writing lists of all the things I wanted to do before I died! I decided to try this blogging malarkey, and set up my first blog. As I recall I wrote half a blog entry on being excited to finish work that same day and go and catch a train, moving stuff I can assure you! I deleted it straight away and felt dejected that I hadn’t just started my first masterpiece!

Looking back I can see my expectations were too high, I wanted to write what I knew but my writing was reflecting how bored I was with my job and frustrated that I wasn’t doing something that suited me better. I didn’t have a clear idea about why I was blogging or who it was for. I was worried people would read the blog and make judgements about me, not that I could blame them it was pretty boring!!

So ‘Sunshine and Stories’ is a new beginning, a space to hopefully inspire myself to be more creative this year, to make myself stick to my resolutions and record the journey.

One of my resolutions for this year is to read more of a variety of books. I love my fiction and won’t be giving that up any time soon. However I would love to challenge myself and read more non-fiction, particularly life affirming and inspirational books. I have sometimes struggled with non-fiction, finding books hard to finish on topics I felt I should be interested in but in truth found quite boring. I have been reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin (more on that to follow) and one of her rules of happiness is to be yourself. Let Nicole be Nicole! So I am trying to make a list not based on what I feel I should read but books that suit my very own quirky geekiness! For example there is a book on tidying that I have been wanting to read for ages, not everyone’s go to for feel good inspiration but I have a feeling I am going to love it! So here is my list so far, a book for every month of the year, plus a couple extra! What would your list look like? Have you read and enjoyed any of these books? What was your best read of 2015?



1) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo

2) How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish

3) Big Magic: Creative Living beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

4) Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

5) A life without limits by Chrissie Wellington

6) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

7) Running like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

8) The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz

9) The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

10) The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris

11) The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction by Adam S. McHugh

12) No greater Love by Mother Teresa

13) Run, Ride, Sink or Swim: A year in the exhilarating and addictive world of women’s triathlon by Lucy Fry

14) An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling