Bestseller Teaches How to De-Clutter Your Life and Only Keep What Brings You Joy

Author Marie Kondo shows people how they can declutter their lives.

ByABC News
July 30, 2015, 8:29 AM

— -- Organization expert Marie Kondo has been dubbed Japan’s queen of clean -- and she’s the driving force behind a new movement that’s aimed at helping people declutter their homes and lives for good.

In her New York Times best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” Kondo gives a step-by-step guide to her patented KonMari method that’s gaining momentum worldwide.

In the self-help tome, Kondo encourages readers to examine their belongings and only surround themselves with things that "spark joy."

That philosophy can transform, said Wendy Goodman, New York Magazine’s design editor.

"Think of this as a celebration," Goodman told ABC News. "You say, 'Does this bring me joy?,' if not, it goes out."

"She's very much about having a relationship, in a very direct way, with objects and coming to terms with the things that you actually need," Goodmain said of Kondo.

Kondo’s method is simple. It says that in order to properly de-clutter a house, people should start with the easiest item – clothing, and then move on to books, papers, and finally, miscellaneous items. These items, considered the hardest to tackle, include things such as phone chargers and keys.

"You do not go room by room, you go category by category," Goodman said. "Everything has its own space and its own life."

Depending on the size of the residence, the entire decluttering process can take about six months. Someone following Kondo’s method can discard or donate between 20 and 30 45-liter bags of stuff. For a family of three, that number can approach 70 bags of unnecessary things.

Goodman, who had a consultation with Kondo in her home, is slowly implementing the method.

"This process is about putting yourself in the present to go forward,” she said.

Susie Shoaf had a session with Marie Kondo in January. Now, the California woman said she’s very conscious of whether she really needs something. As a result, she says she’s buying less and feels fundamentally changed as a person.

"It's a huge relief almost," Shoaf said. "The things that are left are the things that I love. I definitely feel lighter."

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