July 19, 2020

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondō
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book by Marie Kondō, in contrast to Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, is not illustrated; thus, it may not appeal to everyone. However, I think it’s very important that you read this one first. Many people think Konmari’s method is just about folding or it’s about minimalism. Neither of this is true. I am member of a group on Facebook where we share ideas of cleaning and organizing the household, and just the other day, someone asked for help because she had loads of clothes and despite folding them à la Konmari she was unable to store all those clothes. She also asked how you can decide what to keep and what not. The simple answer to these questions is: read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. You may not agree with all of her ideas in the end, but probably it will help you to understand that it doesn’t make sense to organize things that don’t spark joy and just litter your household. First, you must decide what you want to keep. Folding only helps to store those items in a practical and attractive way. (By the way, if you want, you can also hang your clothes, Marie doesn’t say it’s forbidden…) And as to the second question, namely, how to decide what to keep: keep everything that sparks joy. If you read the book you will see that – contrary to the presumptions made by many people who probably haven’t read or did not understand the book – Marie does not want you to become a minimalist per se. If your stamp collection sparks joy, keep it, but store it in a way that you may enjoy it. Is there a T-shirt that sparks joy within you for some reason, keep it, even if you are never ever going to wear it. And so on… Truth to be told, I have always been someone who got rid of clutter and preferred order over chaos and cleanliness over filth. Still, this book was able to change my perspective and provided me with a new approach especially with respect to treating other people’s messiness in your household. In my opinion, this book is indeed a very worthwhile reading. Hence my rating: 4 stars.

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