Book Review | The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Title: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō, translated by Cathy Hirano
Genres: Nonfiction, Self-Help
Published by: Ten Speed Press (Oct. 14, 2014)
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
What I Thought
I had seen people talk about this book for a while now, and I had always been intrigued, but I never picked it up, because I don’t typically read this type of book. However, since Christmas, I’ve been in a cleaning mood, and, since I’ve been sick this week and haven’t been well enough to actually clean, I decided to check out the ebook from my library. I’m really glad I did, too, because this book surprised me!
While reading, I was instantly intrigued by the KonMari Method. The idea of keeping only the belongings that “spark joy” for you was a really interesting concept, and to me, actually made a lot of sense. Aside from, obviously, necessary things (like medications, important documents, etc.), why would you even want to fill your house with things that you do not like?
Also, while it seems daunting, I actually really liked how she has her clients take out and touch every single item to decide if they spark joy or not. While I don’t know if that is always necessarily practical, I think it is a really nice thought. Plus, I feel like it would really help you decide if you actually like the item you’re holding, or if you’ve just always kept it because it’s always been there, or because it looks nice.
The book itself is easy to read, and organized in several sections, that are clearly labeled. So, you could easily refer back to specific sections of this book if you were to clean by the KonMari Method. It is also filled with anecdotes of Kondo’s clients and her childhood, which I felt really helped make this book and her cleaning method relatable and practical.
While I don’t agree with everything about the KonMari Method, even with those parts I still found a bit of practical application and understanding. For example, I don’t actually believe objects have emotions, but I’m a deeply sentimental person. So, even though I know that, logically, an old shirt doesn’t have any emotions or thought, the idea of thanking it before you get rid of it is kind of nice. I don’t believe that is going to change anything about the object’s composition, though, but it might help me to remember to appreciate what I have and what I’ve been given.
Overall, this was a really interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and some of the methods will definitely be put into practice the next time I clean. I would recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to anyone who is looking to reorganize and clean up their house and their life.
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