5 magical mind tricks to help you declutter your home

Can figuring out how to fold your underwear help you process your past and trust yourself more? According to Marie Kondo, the author of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," it definitely can.

I bought this book at the airport. I was drawn to the words "life-changing magic." Turns out that was an accurate description and a good decision. This book was magic.

Sparkly star emphasis mine. Image via me.

What really what sets this book apart is the perspective it has on tidying. Tidying isn't really about knowing your drawer space, tidying is about knowing yourself.


And because of that, much to my surprise, this book taught me about joy.

Here are just five of the joy-inducing, perspective-shifting principles of Kondo's amazing book:

1. Don't blame yourself for not knowing how. Tidying is not a gift; it's a skill.

The author dispels a big myth right out of the gate. That myth? That you should just *know* how to tidy.

"The general assumption, in Japan at least, is that tidying doesn't need to be taught but rather is picked up naturally."

That's pretty crippling, huh? Either you have the gift or you don't. Sorry, messier folks, there's no hope for you! Wrong.

The fact is, you can't tidy if you never learned how. That's the title of one of the very first chapters! And learning to tidy doesn't involve magic, and it's not a gift that the Tidy Fairy bestows once in a generation.

You don't need magic to be tidy. Save it for flying, Mary! Image via "Mary Poppins."

Tidying is a simple physical act, like a dance move. It's something anyone can learn.

Here are the two tidying "dance moves:"

  1. Decide whether or not to dispose of something.
  2. Decide where to put what you keep.

And when you do the moves, you're doing it right. But there's one special sauce to add ... FEELINGS!

2. You can trust yourself and your emotions. They're actually very precise in their wisdom.

The secret sauce of the one-two step of tidying above is ... put a little feeling in it! (OK, put a lot of feeling in it! You deserve it.) When you're tidying, feel your clothes. Then feel your feelings. If you feel a jolt of joy, you're keepin' it.


If your tiny phone brings you joy, hold on to it. Image via "Saturday Night Live."

Your emotions are your divining rod, leading you toward goodness.

"You're not deciding what to throw out, you're deciding what to keep. In your house, but also in your mind and in your future."

And they're precise! According to Kondo, if you really listen to that jolt of joy, you'll wind up with the PERFECT amount of possessions. You cannot fail yourself.

3. No comparing.

This is your dance.

Rihanna gets it.

As Kondo says, "You are the standard." I love how straightforward this principle is. You can't possibly compare your tidying process to anyone else's. Those jolts of joy that are telling you to keep one item but not the other? Those are your jolts and yours alone. They're special!

4. Be prepared for completing, not for starting.

"Storage should reduce effort to put things away, not effort to get them out. "

You'll start that project anyway, but will you be ready for the NEXT start? This doesn't mean you should always be looking toward the future. Rather, it means that the hard part is moving on.

Create a world where you can put what you're doing away and move on to the next phase.


Next adventure, please. GIF via Henrik Nielsen/YouTube.

Finally, the most mind blowing thing ... why tidying in this way really matters:

5. It's not actually about your stuff. It's about YOU.

Kondo talks about sorting through clothes, books, and mementos in a very personal way.

"It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure."

This is where it gets very "your possessions have a lot to tell you," a la Beauty and the Beast.

GIF via "Beauty and the Beast."

Because you're not just processing your stuff, you're processing your past.

"By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past."

For example, that book you haven't read isn't a negative representation of your lack of stick-to-it-ness. If you haven't read that book, perhaps its purpose wasn't to be READ by you, but to teach you that you didn't really need to read it.

And by dropping unused things that don't bring you joy in your home, you drop things that don't bring you joy in your life! And along the way, you discover you might just be doing it — aka life — right.

Just imagine all your unused things saying, "You got this," as you toss them into the resale bag. That's right, even your possessions believe in you!

It's as easy as going through your stuff and noting what brings you joy.

And when something brings you joy, in your closet or in your life, KEEP IT. It's as simple as that.

Personally, I needed to learn that. And, not gonna lie, it's kinda working for me! I'm sharing this story in the hopes that you or someone you know gets a little jolt of joy knowing they're not the world's most messy person, but just on a journey of knowledge!

That's some magic.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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