The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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-li...

Title:The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1607747308
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:213 pages

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Reviews

  • Janet
    Oct 14, 2014

    Though this book can be a little woo-woo and a little repetitive, I have to give it five stars for the impact it has already had on my life. I love collecting stuff and have a very hard time letting go. The author's techniques allowed me to graciously and gratefully bid adieu to things I no longer love, and I felt *amazing* when I did both my clothing and book purges. (My sister asked if I was high!) I still have much more to do, but I'm trying to do one step a week. HIGHLY recommended.

  • Ken
    Oct 30, 2014

    How do I get into messes like this? Reading books that have words like "tidying" in their title, I mean. Well, there's a story behind it.

    The Good Wife and I are trying to purge, to clean up after decades of marriage, kids, three moves, etc. "We've got to do something about all this

    we keep bumping into or dusting," I keep saying, "something more than the penny ante efforts we're doing so far."

    Enter a

    feature on THIS book, calling it the greatest thing since sliced sushi:

    How do I get into messes like this? Reading books that have words like "tidying" in their title, I mean. Well, there's a story behind it.

    The Good Wife and I are trying to purge, to clean up after decades of marriage, kids, three moves, etc. "We've got to do something about all this

    we keep bumping into or dusting," I keep saying, "something more than the penny ante efforts we're doing so far."

    Enter a

    feature on THIS book, calling it the greatest thing since sliced sushi:

    "That does it," I told my wife. "We're both reading this on the Kindle."

    "You first," she said.

    I should've known right there. It was kind of like the puppy we picked out 10 year ago. "He's a little mouthy," the guy at the shelter said.

    You'd think an English major would know foreshadowing when he heard it.

    Anyway, I'm reading this book and reading this book and saying to myself, "The

    article IS the book. Free, too! Why am I reading all this filler, this clutter, these words in need of TIDYING up?"

    That said, I should give the book a star back just for the punch line,

    It's what you say when holding some up-for-tossing item in your hand. "Does it spark joy?" If not, heave and ho, my friends.

    Just now, I looked around the kitchen with my wife at my side. "Nothing in here sparks joy...," I said.

    "

    in the kitchen," she replied firmly.

    "No, no. Stuff, I mean."

    Anyway, that's the gist of the book. There are a few other tids and bits. Marie Kondo goes into houses (she does this for a living) and starts her ritual by singing its praises like a North American Indian who invokes the gods before cleaning his wildlife kill.

    Yep. She talks to inanimate objects. Her own, too. For instance, she brings her purse home from work, empties it, puts stuff in its place (fear not, it has a place), then thanks her purse for another job well done. In the morning it all goes back in. Says it extends the life of her purse. You tell me -- "tidying" or OCD?

    Marie also says to congregate everything by category in one spot. Start with clothes. Never room by room where clothes may be found, but ALL clothes from the WHOLE house in ONE spot on the floor (if you have a room big enough, and you don't). Now hold each piece of clothing, one by one. "Does this spark joy?" Bzzt.

    (And that's just the clothes... you still have books, papers, mementos, and personal stuff ahead and in that order.)

    The only other thing I recall is hanging stuff in the closet. Light clothes (color, material) left, darker and heavier right. That's after you've tossed 87.9% of it.

    Anyway, my wife is getting cute now. "Done," I said. "Now you."

    "Why don't you tell me the highlights instead," she said, already spooked by the "spark-any-joy?" talk.

    "Wha-?"

    Yep. Just like the former puppy that by now has consumed half the house because he's "a little mouthy." Should've seen it coming from the get-go -- the minute I got the "you first" line.

    Bottom line: You can't "tidy" a house in ruthless Marie Kondo fashion when you're 40% of a pair (the other 60% having a Security Council Veto, among other super powers). But that's marriage... a very untidy thing.

    NOTA BENE: If you like this review AND reading poetry (I know, I know--what are the odds?), check out my debut book of poems,

    .

  • George
    Dec 12, 2014

    Do you like talking to furniture? Do you believe shirts have souls? Are you insane? This might be the book for you.

  • Sheri
    Dec 23, 2014

    "Personally, I recommend hanging sponges outside, such as on the veranda."

    Quite possibly the funniest line I have ever read in a book. Because she is dead serious.

    Although there were several helpful sections about how to declutter and organize your home, much of this book is ridiculously funny.

    This woman obviously has no children (and no life) as she speaks to all her inanimate objects daily, empties her purse EVERY SINGLE DAY, and doesn't own a dish rack, preferring instead to put all her dish

    "Personally, I recommend hanging sponges outside, such as on the veranda."

    Quite possibly the funniest line I have ever read in a book. Because she is dead serious.

    Although there were several helpful sections about how to declutter and organize your home, much of this book is ridiculously funny.

    This woman obviously has no children (and no life) as she speaks to all her inanimate objects daily, empties her purse EVERY SINGLE DAY, and doesn't own a dish rack, preferring instead to put all her dishes "on the veranda" to dry. She's also afraid of hurting her socks' feelings.

    I gave it two stars because I do like the idea of getting rid of things that don't bring you joy and I like the idea of stacking things vertically.

    And I'm taking Marie Kondo's advice and getting rid of this book. It most definitely does not spark joy. Well. . . maybe in an ironic way. :)

  • Maggie
    Dec 26, 2014

    The book is short and sweet, and the author is bat-shit crazy. But. Here are two take-aways that will stay with me:

    If it does not spark joy, throw it out.

    And:

    "My basic principle for sorting papers is to throw them all away."

    Believe me - I have been throwing away (and selling, and donating to Goodwill) with a vengeance for the past few days, and tidying. I refuse to fold my socks though. Folding socks is for people with all the time in the world.

  • Diane Yannick
    Jan 17, 2015

    There is no rating low enough to compensate for the way this book has ruined my life. Whatever you do, don't read it as it will haunt you. This is a long review but it behooves you to stick with it.

    To begin, you have to touch each and every possession and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn't, it needs to be discarded. Do you know how hard it is to summon joy for beige underwear or Neosporin? Yet summon you must. I like my carrot peeler but is joy too strong a word?

    It gets tougher.

    There is no rating low enough to compensate for the way this book has ruined my life. Whatever you do, don't read it as it will haunt you. This is a long review but it behooves you to stick with it.

    To begin, you have to touch each and every possession and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn't, it needs to be discarded. Do you know how hard it is to summon joy for beige underwear or Neosporin? Yet summon you must. I like my carrot peeler but is joy too strong a word?

    It gets tougher. Not only must you "apply hands" to every piece of clothing while checking for your joy response, you must fold your clothes in very specific ways in order to find each piece's "sweet spot". I never knew that "Every piece of clothing has it's own 'sweet spot' where it feels just right". This will lead to an historical moment when "your mind and the piece of clothing connect." Don't forget to thank your clothes for protecting your body. Thank your accessories for making you beautiful. "Express your appreciation to every item that supported you during the day."

    Never, never "ball up your socks" as they can't get their much deserved rest that way. They need to breathe a sigh of relief. You must visit your off season clothes to "let them know you care and look forward to wearing them when they're next in season. This kind of communication helps your clothes stay vibrant and keeps your relationship with them alive longer."

    Everything must be stored standing up rather than laid flat. "Stacking weakens and exhausts the things that bear the weight of the pile. Just imagine how you would feel if you were forced to carry a heavy load for hours?"

    You must empty your hand bag every day."Being packed all the time, even when not in use, must feel something like going to bed with a full stomach." When you get a new phone, it is kind to text your old one with a message of thanks for its service.

    Every single thing must be in its assigned place before you go to bed." Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have no fixed address?" It is equally important for our possessions to have "that assurance that there is a place for them to return to."

    If we greet our house properly it will " be happy to tell me what the family no longer needs and where to put the things remaining so that the family can be comfortable and happy in this space." Not sure if you do this before or after applying hands and checking your joy response. It did come near the end of the book, if that helps.

    So what do the things that get discarded for not sparking joy feel? "I think they simply want to leave. Lying forgotten in the closet, they know better than anyone else that they are not bringing you joy."

    The people who tidy as this book recommend experience a change in their appearance. "Their figures are more streamlined, their skin is more radiant, and their eyes shine brighter."

    Unfortunately, my eyes are crossed, I've gained 10 pounds, and I feel hives ready to pop. I had no idea when I picked up this pretty little book that it was going to necessitate my search for a live-in psychiatrist. I had NO freaking idea that I was squashing the self-esteem of my possessions. I can NOT find those folding sweet spots and everything in my drawers is in a mosh pit. My hand bag looks sad every time I walk by its nightly fullness. My socks are falling down. I'm not sure why. I hate the word joy now. I'm sleep deprived. My possessions call out to me for help but I don't know if they want me to summon joy or if they want to leave. The other day my husband heard me thanking my underwear for staying up all day. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be married.

  • Suellen
    Feb 05, 2015

    This book did not spark joy. Therefore, I am discarding it.

  • Ariel
    Aug 16, 2015

    "You will never use spare buttons." WORDS WE ALL NEED TO HEAR.

    I really thoroughly loved this book. I've always been interested in minimalism - trying to stop material goods being the things that bring us happiness, and not owning more than we need - and picked this book up after hearing a few people around me enjoy it. I was hoping it would give me a few tips on how to lead a more clutter-free existence, and while it accomplished that, it also did so much more.

    The thing that most stuck me about

    "You will never use spare buttons." WORDS WE ALL NEED TO HEAR.

    I really thoroughly loved this book. I've always been interested in minimalism - trying to stop material goods being the things that bring us happiness, and not owning more than we need - and picked this book up after hearing a few people around me enjoy it. I was hoping it would give me a few tips on how to lead a more clutter-free existence, and while it accomplished that, it also did so much more.

    The thing that most stuck me about this book was the immense respect that the author, (who feels like my friend after reading this, a gentle companion through this process), shows to all possessions. She understands that this is an emotional process, and her ideas are not about guilt. She isn't saying "You're a fool for allowing all of this garbage into your life! Get rid of it all at once!" Instead she's saying "All of these things came into your life for a reason, take your time considering them, and then thank them and let them go onto the next stage of existence." It's all so kind and loving and made me not feel guilty or fear the process.

    I also really liked the structure of this book. It has a solid introduction, a clear process, a section of tips, and then a conclusion. It's very straightforward and doesn't feel complex or gimmicky. It all feels like common sense. It also had key points in bold which helped in figuring out the main thesis of different sections.

    The book focuses on tidying your house, but for me (and most of the people reading this) we don't own a house, we own one room. I don't think this matters for two reasons. Firstly, the ideas and methods in this book can be perfectly applied to your space, no matter how extensive it is. It's all about creating the most positive space imaginable, and that is very achievable with just one room. Secondly, this book was very much a philosophy. It's about learning to reflect on the relationship between you and your possessions and is something I will carry with me moving forward in life. Someday I will move out of my parents house and into my own house/apartment and I am extremely grateful that I have read this book and will be able to start that journey with this knowledge.

    Thank you, Marie, for sharing what you've learned, I'm very excited to start my journey of only surrounding myself with things that I love and bring me joy.


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