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Marie “KonMari” Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is a best-seller in Japan, Germany, and the U.K. Kondo favors a radical approach to decluttering that advocates downsizing your stuff in one fell swoop; insists that storage containers promote hoarding, not organization; and takes an emotional approach to helping people discard excess possessions. Here, Kondo shares an excerpt from the book.


  “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy。” If you have tried this method even a little, you have realized by now that it is not that difficult to identify something that brings you joy. The moment you touch it, you know the answer.


  During the selection process, if you come across something that does not spark joy but that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away, stop a moment and ask yourself, “Am I having trouble getting rid of this because of an attachment to the past or because of a fear for the future?”


  The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t. Quests to faraway places or shopping sprees are no longer necessary. All you have to do is eliminate what you don’t need by confronting each of your possessions properly. The process of facing and selecting our possessions can be quite painful. It forces us to confront our imperfections and inadequacies and the foolish choices we made in the past.


  There are three approaches we can take toward our possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die. The choice is ours. If we can have confidence in our decisions and launch enthusiastically into action without any doubts holding us back, we will be able to achieve much more. In other words, the sooner we confront our possessions, the better. If you are going to put your house in order, do it now.