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March 3, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpFive apartments in 16 years (with time spent in the last apartment lasting less than two years) can do that to you. I’m talking about the massive decluttering urge that comes each time I move to a new place. Hopefully you know what I’m talking about.  I’m the person who thrills at the prospect of cleaning out closets and throwing away files. My book collection on the subject includes a well-thumbed (and bookmarked) copy of HOME COMFORTS (The Art and Science of Housekeeping) aka “to the house what Joy of Cooking is to food”, LAUNDRY (The Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens) and THE LITTLE BOOK OF QUICK FIXES FOR A SPOTLESS HOME. So imagine my thrill at picking up Marie Kondo’s book translated from the original Japanese edition. THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP is an international bestseller with over two million copies sold. Marie Kondo, cleaning consultant, has a three-month waiting list. And the best part? She has no repeat customers.

The author takes tidying to a whole new level. While most books advocate a room-by-room or a little-at-a-time approach, the Kon-Mari method is the exact opposite. The lady takes no prisoners, and teaches a category-by-category system that leads to lasting results. Who does not want that? The promise of a one-time, big-time purge and to be forever done with it is something that harried people will love. Whether you are an incessant tidy-upper or a garden-variety couch potato wanting a fresh start, this book will have something for you.

And as with past reviews, I will share a few of the most memorable concepts I have learned from this book:

  1. In order to decide which items to keep and discard, touch every piece (be it clothing, books, photographs or items in your figurine collection) and ask yourself “Does it spark joy?” When you touch a piece of clothing, your body reacts. It will react differently to each item.  This is the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.
  2. When decluttering, the best sequence is this: clothes, books, papers, miscellany and mementoes. This order has proven to be the most efficient.
  3. When you come across an item that is hard to discard, consider why you have that item in the first place. Reassess the role it plays in your life. Each item has a purpose and a different role to play. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that remain are the things that you truly treasure.

Does this sound good so far? Words cannot describe how much I appreciate the knowledge I’m getting from this book. Dare I say it? I think Mari Kondo is a domestic goddess.

Full disclosure: After reading the book on Friday, I started tidying up during the weekend. Up until Sunday night I was up shredding papers and packing miscellany up to 3 AM the following day. I cannot believe how much of what I have been keeping didn’t give me that “spark of joy”. And I declutter all the time. I love this book and look forward to re-reading it again and again in the future.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up on-sale date is October 14. It is available upon order from bookstores.

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One Comment on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo”

  • 5 Things That Will Help You Get Organized says August 25, 2015 at 3:00 am

    […] 5. If you’re going to take any of my advice, please let it be to READ THIS BOOK. I started implementing the KonMari method this past weekend and I know this is cheesy to say, given the title and all, but it’s already changing my life. There’s a reason millions of copies have sold! Although I was a little peeved that “stationery” was misspelled three times in the book (c’mon, editors!), this is my must-read suggestion for the remaining weeks of summer if you haven’t already done so. Mom, I mailed you my copy this morning 😉 (image via) […]

 


 

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