The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

tidyBy Marie Kondo
Nonfiction (translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano)
4 of 5 stars

This tiny book is full of great insights regarding 1. Why do I have so much stuff?! and 2. How do I keep from being overwhelmed by all my stuff?!

One of my friends recommended this to me before our move to Colorado since we were giving up half our square footage, plus a garage and a basement for a 1-bedroom apartment. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to read it then (my library was too slow!) but I decided it would still be worth looking at so I reserved it here. Three months later, it was finally in my hands! Needless to say, this book is extremely popular because it’s concise and most Americans feel they probably have too much stuff. And ‘tis the season of New Year Resolutions and “Spring Cleaning” (that’s from January – May, right?).

Although personally I feel I’m good at keeping only the things I love or use, I was impressed by the KonMari method of cleaning and organizing your home. (I actually took notes should I ever need to do this in the future…yep). What is her process? Simple: Discard every single item in your home that is not functional and does not “spark joy” in you.

What’s unique about her approach is that she does not shy away from the psychological reasons why we buy/keep/store many items that cause us stress or make our homes feel cluttered. It’s not as simple as a “shopping problem” or “not enough drawers/storage space” – there are many reasons why we have things that we can typically admit we “wish we could get rid of but just can’t.” Maybe the item was a gift, or you didn’t use it as much as you thought you would, or you don’t want it to go to waste, or getting rid of it will mean giving up on whatever goal it was for….the list goes on. Addressing the reasons why you are keeping something is crucial to knowing what to do with it. Coming from my parents’ home that is stuffed to bursting with items that “we might need someday” or that have “sentimental value” I was eager to read about this. I am obsessed with keeping my footprint as small as possible (aside from my books, let’s be reasonable!), and I found her tips clever and useful.

This little book really is worth reading, so I won’t go into the details of the process (discarding by categories, reviewing why you have each item and how it makes you feel, etc.). It’s a great way to start a new year, especially if you want to feel happier and freer than you did last year. If one of your resolutions was organizing and deep cleaning your home, put your money where your mouth is and try the KonMari method – I think the results will be surprising and pleasing for you!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!


Similar reads:

  • Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova – This is a book about organizing your mind the way you organized your home with Marie Kondo’s help. There are tips on how to remember facts as well as never losing your car keys again. Although few people could rise to the Sherlock level, this analysis will probably help.
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler – This is chock-full of great life advice for keeping yourself happy, healthy and hungry for the best in life. You only get one, why waste it being miserable or unsatisfied? Full of good jokes as well as insights from one of the top comediennes. See my review here.
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life | To Live a Thousand Lives

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