The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Published by Ten Speed Press

From the publisher:

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 bestseller 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.

I am not a person who likes holding onto things. I am also not the neatest person and have a tendency to let stuff pile up because I don’t necessarily have a home for everything IN my home. I thought this book would help me figure out better ways of getting rid of stuff I don’t want/need, and organize the stuff I do want/need.

I was mostly right. The basic premise here is that you should handle every single item you own, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and only keep the things that do. There’s a lot of other stuff about speaking to your items, thanking them for the purpose they serve/served in your life, and these things seemed a little strange but whatever. She also goes into detail on exactly how best to organize your stuff so that everything has a place and everything is at peace.

The idea that things have feelings (which is basically what she’s implying) is weird to me but I can ignore that in favor of some of the concepts in this book that helped me. I purged four large garbage bags of clothes and shoes using her method (and I didn’t have a lot of stuff to start with). I also got rid of a ton of makeup/toiletries/miscellaneous bathroom stuff that was just taking up space. Next comes books which is incredibly overwhelming for me, so we’ll see how that goes. I also want to work on my extra kitchen stuff I never use, as well as the large collection of bedding for various sized beds I’ve amassed over the years. One thing at a time.

I liked this book as a kick-start for me to take more seriously getting my shit together. Some of the details were a bit strange, and probably not stuff I’ll ever actually do (I draw the line at talking to the items in my home), but the general idea is really helpful. I can see a lot of people getting a LOT of inspiration from this book. I certainly have.

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15 thoughts on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

  1. I’ve seen a lot about this book and find it interesting but I’m not sure I want it. The scissors here at my desk don’t bring me joy, but I do need them so I won’t get rid of them. I’m not the pack rat in the family, though – that’s my husband. Hm, maybe I should get the book for him.

    1. Haha! I laughed out loud about the scissors. When I told a friend about this book, she said, “so I can get rid of the laundry soap?” LOL!

    1. I think it’s good to just take from it what works for you and leave the rest. For me it was a push I needed to start purging unnecessary stuff from my house, and I’ll be honest with you, my closet makes me a LOT happier now that it’s got fewer things in it, all of which I love.

  2. I loved this book. While I didn’t review it, I did adopt almost all of its teachings, including talking to my stuff. I don’t do it aloud, but I sort of dig the idea to take time to acknowledge the stuff you do have and use every day. It isn’t so much that it has feelings but that you are recognizing those things which bring you joy. I ended up going through my whole house, except for my kids’ rooms/play areas and my husband’s closets and play areas. It still feels good knowing not only exactly where everything is but that I like everything I kept. It also makes me a much more conscientious shopper, as I no longer buy things on impulse but really think about why I am purchasing something and whether it will make me happy in a few weeks/months/years.

    1. YES about the shopping. I haven’t bought an item of clothing since I did my purge, although I have lingered over a few things at stores. But I am making myself really love something before I buy it, so that has been GREAT. I guess I get the concept of acknowledging how the stuff you have helped you throughout the day, but I can’t quite get there personally. I’m glad you loved it so much! I want my hubby to clean out his closet but it likely won’t happen anytime soon.

  3. I still need to review this one, but I really liked it. We ready it for book club which was a strange choice but ended up being so much fun! I cleared out my clothes and have been folding them the way she says which I surprisingly love, but that is as far as I’ve gotten so far. I will not be emptying my purse each night… that was one of the things I laughed about.

    1. I started folding my clothes (and organizing my closet) how she suggests and I love it too! I’m with you about emptying the purse – what if I forget to put my wallet or work keys or something back in the morning?! Disaster.

    1. LOL I still need to do that! I cleaned out and organized all of my clothes except for my sock drawer – it’s such an incredible mess that it scares me. That’s the next thing on my list for sure. 😉

  4. Yep, talking to the stuff is weird. And I’m not sure I could get my hubby on board so there would still be all of his stuff. But I’m still thinking I’d like to try it so really weed stuff out.

  5. How strange! It seems like the general premise of the book is good, but the weirdness is enough that I don’t think I’d enjoy reading. Thanks for the great review!

  6. The woo-woo stuff was definitely weird for me as well and kind of off-putting at first. Thankfully the “joy” was the bit that stuck with me and I’ve been using it for all aspects of my life lately. Maybe to the extreme (will hanging out with this person bring me joy? Nope, ok then), but I think she does make some great points about it.

    Some of her other points about when the purpose of an item is served has helped me get rid of some things that bring me guilt…things that were gifted to me that I don’t like or never use. I love that she said the joy is in the giving and receiving…not necessarily in the keeping. 🙂

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