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February 9, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Nonfiction - Self-Improvement
2015 Tantor Medio (Audio)
Read by Emily Woo Zeller
Finished on August 7, 2015
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)




Publisher's Blurb:

This guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

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 book 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've been an organizer since I was a very young child. Not only was my bedroom neat and tidy, but so were my brothers' rooms. Over the years, however, I've gotten less obsessive about my housework and I'm no longer as organized as I'd like. Hidden gifts and Christmas gift wrap and cards that I purchased at the end of the previous year are apt to be forgotten or overlooked for several years. My paper clutter is out of control. I can't even talk about how far behind I am with my photo albums.

Marie Kondo's slim book appealed to my inner neat-nick and after perusing it at work on more than one occasion, I decided to download the audio and see what tips I could glean from this bestseller. While she is a little out there (who thanks inanimate objects for a job well-done?!), I have to admit the book is very inspiring. I've already gone through all my clothes and recently tackled my books. As you can imagine, this was quite daunting. How in the world do I part with unread books? How do I decide which favorites to keep or toss? Going through them one-by-one (this means removing every single book from each shelf), touching every single book, makes a huge difference. I lost track of how many books I took to HalfPrice Books, but it was in the hundreds. I made a whopping $178 and still had four large grocery bags of ARCs (which can't be sold) to pass on to a friend. Now all I have on my shelves are my absolute favorites and the books I really want to read. Purging one's belongings is quite addictive and I'm actually tempted to give the closets and bookshelves another overhaul!

Final Thoughts:

"Does it spark joy?" has become my new mantra. While it may sound silly to think in these terms, it actually does work, at least with regard to reducing the junk around our house. I may not fold my clothes the way Kondo recommends, but my drawers and closets are no longer crammed full of things I no longer enjoy wearing. My bookshelves have space for photographs and cherished items, as well as all the books I still want to read. Now to tackle the basement before the neighborhood garage sale in early May. I don't own a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but eventually it might be worth a second listen, as I'm sure I'll need a refresher in a few years.

How about you? Have you jumped on the KonMari bandwagon? Have you read her new book, Spark Joy?

14 comments:

  1. I haven't read this book but have read so many reviews, I don't feel like I need to. I am pretty organized, except for my books. Well, it's not so much they're not organized, they've just outgrown their space. I went through them a few years ago and need to do it again.

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    1. Isn't it funny how we gather all these books over the years and then when we start to look at them, individually, we wonder why they no longer appeal to us? I'm ready for another big purge and I'm actually looking forward to reducing my TBR stacks to less than a couple of dozen.

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  2. Like you, I'm pretty organized by nature - mostly. Sometimes things lurk behind closed cabinet doors - stacks of things. I've purged my books many times and then they mount up again. However, I'm really trying to limit the acquiring this year (because I didn't last year). I think I do want to read or keep all the books I currently own. I like the idea of only keeping things that give you joy.

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    1. It's so hard to resist the ARCs from work, but other than that, I haven't bought any books in AGES! I need to go through my closets again and then hit the kitchen cupboards one more time. It's really refreshing to see some space on the shelves and in the cupboards. Good luck with your books. :)

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  3. I bought this one for my friend but I think I may read it first in order to discuss with her. I am neat but I have to say my closet is scary. I need to use this book to chuck clothes. I do love the idea of does it spark joy.

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    1. Marce, it's a quick read so go for it! Yes, closets tend to get rather scary far too quickly. I wonder if we'd have that problem if they didn't have doors. ;) Good luck with your tidying and thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I keep hearing such great reviews of this one and I'm sort of tempted to check it out but I admit I can be a bit of a pack rat when it comes to books and craft supplies. I don't know if I'm ready for this one! haha...

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    1. Iliana, I know what you mean about the books. I think that's the only thing I really "hoard."

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  5. Since reading this book, I'm constantly asking myself whether my belongings "spark joy"! It really is surprising how well this works. My closet is in much better shape thee days and it seems like I'm constantly pruning my bookshelves, too. Somehow missed that she has another book... I'm off to check the library's website.

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    1. I'm curious about her new book, JoAnn. I might have to peruse it on my lunch breaks once I finish reading The Sculptor.

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  6. I haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet but I am oh so tempted, especially after reading that you felt it helped you toward getting back to the organized person you used to be. That was me, once upon a time, and parts of my house still are but there are other things that I'm horrified to think my family would have to deal with if something happened to me!

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    1. Lisa, it is really helping me feel more organized, which helps me feel in control. :) I tackled one closet in the basement today after work. It's in my husband's office, so I'll have to have him go through a lot of the junk this weekend. At least I got a start on it and cleared out my stuff. You know, you mentioned your family having to deal with your stuff if something were to happen to you and I think that's what first inspired me to get my house in order. My husband and I helped my mom go through tons (literally!) of junk after my stepdad passed away. I came home from that visit and immediately started purging my junk. It's quite liberating, to say the least.

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  7. Almost a year after I read this book, I still fold my clothes the way that Kondo recommends and I LOVE it! I thought it would take too long to fold, but it only takes longer when Scott folds for me and I have to redo everything. Bahahaha!!

    And I love the "Spark Joy" mantra. I use it quite a bit, too--and not just for STUFF.

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    1. Ha! I tried to fold my clothes the way she recommends, but went back to my own method. My drawers are still neat tand tidy, so all is not lost. :) Yep, "Spark Joy" has become our mantra around the house. I even managed to get Rod to go through two of the closets in his office in the basement. We got rid of so much junk. Well, actually, we piled it up in another part of the basement for our garage sale in May. Honestly, how many laptop bags (filled with cables for computers, tvs, dvd players, etc.) does a person really need? :)

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