The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Book - 2014
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firefly5
Jul 03, 2018

I am not even 1/4 through this book and I am ready to quit. I find this author arrogant and self important. Imagine a child in kindergarten reading women's magazines! Really?

She writes for a young audience. I did continue to read this book and it became more interesting when she got to the part where she has "tidying" in categories. This was not an interesting or helpful book for me.

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TParedes
May 30, 2018

Why did this top my list when I searched on "Witches / adult/ Gresham" LOL

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spanoplos
Apr 30, 2018

Some good tips in here, some of which I have applied (closet!). Not sure it all adds up to a full book, but it is a quick read and worth the time / effort spent.

SPPL_Violet Mar 17, 2018

I held this book in my hands...and it did not bring me joy.

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GLNovak
Mar 04, 2018

Ever since I could read I saw books and articles about keeping a handle on possessions - thoughtfulness about buying, discarding, storing, displaying, commemorating - and as an adult I look around my home and realize I am an artful hoarder, at least I think I am. Mari Kondo has written this book to help us deal with our stuff, first with clothes and then moving on to books, papers (my lost cause), odds and ends, and finally the worst of all, sentimentally charged mementos. Her advice is to discard first using the maxim of keeping only those items that spark joy (all my items spark joy, even all three of my potato peelers). She also says you only need one of something; you should always keep it in it's own place; and you will be happy. I keep duplicates of things like scissors, cutlery, notepaper, pens in the places where they are used, but do follow her belief that everything should have a place, and should be returned to that place when not in use. I expect her experience with smaller Japanese houses led to that one only advice. What she doesn't emphasize is the fact that some of us just buy too much - witness 'retail therapy' as an accepted prescription for the blues sometimes. I did enjoy this book simply because I got to meet an enthusiastic woman who really loves tidying (I notice she never talks about cleaning up). Her upbeat approach would definitely endear her to her clients. I suspect she is sometimes viewed as a therapist, a conclusion I came to when she relayed some thankful comments from clients as followup to her sessions. I would love to meet her, but am afraid that she would not find me a good student. This is an easy conversational read that you might get something out of.

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dnk
Feb 02, 2018

I cannot promise you that you will change your life or find your bliss, but I can say that I had a lot of fun following her tidying advice.

The basic premise of the philosophy, as you may have heard ad infinitum, is to only keep those things which "spark joy". If that's a little too airy for you, try things that you have a visceral, immediate, positive reaction to. As others have noted, there's an essential difference between focusing on what you're getting rid of (as many other cleaning/tidying advice does) and focusing on what you're keeping. In my opinion, Kondo's way of doing not only helps you as you transition your space, but also going forward when you make new purchases.

Speaking of purchases, what made me grin and even giggle was her observation that "storage experts are hoarders". Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. (The Container Store must be gritting their teeth.) Whereas people who advocate storage solutions are trying to maximize the amount of objects one can store in their space, her advice is to review and whittle down your possessions until you feel a "click" that tells you when you've reached the minimum you can own. This should be more like a weight lifted off of your than a panic that you don't have enough; if you feel that, you've gone too far.

A corollary of her advice not to obsess over storage is not to buy special storage solutions. She advises using shoe boxes and other boxes you probably already have around the house. (That sounds very DIY, but it comes off as much less pretentious than most DIY titles.) After sorting through my drawers, bookshelves, bathroom, kitchen (including cabinets and shelves) and closets (bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen), I'm happy to report that I haven't had to buy one special storage item to more logically store my items other than book ends to help vertically store my books.

This book isn't taking off because it's giving a lot of specific advice on tidying, although it does do that. What makes it "magical" is that it promises that you can tidy once (however long that session might be) and then be DONE so you can get on with the rest of your life. Just as importantly, the process of tidying, which requires you to listen to yourself to determine what makes you happy, can help reveal what you would like to do with the rest of your life.

After my tidying jaunts, I did indeed feel refreshed. The little bits I have to do daily to keep the space tidy- which is really putting things in their place and then wiping down surfaces- don't feel onerous but instead like lovely little rituals. All this while being able to carve out a sanctuary in my small condo. I have been much calmer and happier since I embarked on my tidying project. I recommend it for anyone.

k
ktandtdevine
Jan 06, 2018

Wow. Not sure why this was a bestseller. I enjoyed "The Joy of Less" but not this...at all. It didn't contain any new information besides the many long sections on how she believes things have feelings and how she has always connected with her possessions more than other humans, including her family. I would NOT recommend.

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eesparzaam
Dec 27, 2017

We couldnt do it in one day, but rather used our vacation as an opportunity to do one category each day. Our house is not cluttered for visitors, but in our closets we had a lot. Seeing how many things i held on to because of a memory, or just because was amazing. I feel refreshed after doing this.

HCL_staff_reviews Dec 12, 2017

Are you drowning in stuff that you can't seem to get rid of? Is "declutter the house" one of your New Years Resolutions...that you still haven't gotten around to, because you can't bear to part with your beloved things? Are you the sort of person who anthropomorphizes everything from socks to spoons to childhood pictures?

Never fear, Marie Kondo is here. Her methods for choosing what to keep (only the items which "spark joy") and how to store them are no-nonsense but thoughtful. Her insights into being saying farewell to items that are no longer loved or no longer useful helped me to say "thank you" and "goodbye" and let those items go.

There is quite a waiting list at the Library for this international bestseller, but it is not a long or difficult read. I have no doubt that patrons who have our copies out now will return them on time! — Michele S., Minneapolis Central Library

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BOOKMONKEY109
Nov 24, 2017

The author overlooked the most important factor in decluttering - an editor.

r
randalljay
Oct 13, 2017

I really enjoyed her approach and philosophy. It does help to speed read because there's a bit of fluff to flesh out the book. But her approach is right. For me it was a way to think of a rational way to approach a hard job...with lots of stuff and memories and no immediate need to do the cleansing. But the meat of the book is to have a plan and she presents a good one.

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SirRichardII
Oct 05, 2017

Many life-changing and magical insights such as, "The socks and stockings in your drawer are essentially on holiday. The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest. But if they are folded over, balled up, or tied, they are always in a state of tension....They roll about and bump into each other every time the drawer is opened and closed. Any socks and stockings unfortunate enough to get pushed to the back of the drawer are often forgotten for so long that their elastic stretches beyond recovery. What treatment could be worse than this?"

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Karii00
Sep 26, 2017

I really enjoyed the book. It was like having a conversation with someone who is passionate about what they do. I read this book after initially reading the manga for more information!

I look forward to testing out the methods.

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najn_arte
Sep 24, 2017

I found most of the advice inapplicable, especially doing it all in one day. If you live in one of the now trendy 'tiny houses', you might be able to do it, but if your home has three bedrooms, a family of three plus pets, it's just not realistic.

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Carol_Ruel
Aug 31, 2017

Not a comment meant to be posted in one sitting. This is a 'thought process' one needs to work through, hence, Marie's repetitive reminders of how to proceed through this onerous task are so memorable.

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Uchinaguchi
Aug 01, 2017

This book was easy to read in one sitting if you're willing to put the time into it, and I think that readability plays into Marie Kondo's style of tidying. Anybody can do it, you just have to do it from beginning to end. Kondo includes her recommended way of doing things, but she also emphasizes the importance of each individual person and that each person needs to find their way of tidying in order to do it right and to do it for life. Some concepts in this book really helped me understand how I wasn't using the space in my own home efficiently, and how to let some items go. I don't know if you can use this book as a reference in the future, as there are no diagrams or illustrations to show you how to do anything, but you have to spend the time to read the words and turn them into actions. With that, I want to thank this book for the knowledge and confidence it has passed on to me, as I know it will do for others.

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skylerfair
Jul 26, 2017

I think I checked this book out expecting to read some kind of life changing tip. But no. There was not a single piece of advice in here that I hadn't already heard. I really feel like this book is only useful for people who literally do not know how to tidy or get rid of things. But hey, reading it caused me to organize my whole house so that I never feel the need to read something like this again.

kkerfoot_0 Jul 05, 2017

Marie Konda's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" gave me the push I needed to start discarding things seriously. While I haven't finished tidying my house, I already notice a difference in how I view my house and belongings. In short, I've actually started liking my house better. I'm putting things back where they belong, thinking more clearly, and enjoying going home in the evening. While Kondo has a definite superstitious side- easily explained by Japanese history and culture as a whole- I find working with those superstitions to be the glue that makes her method work. It might be easy for non-superstitious people or those unfamiliar with Japanese culture to make a snap judgement on Kondo's authority, but, really, don't knock it until you try it.

This is a pretty basic inspirational book for encouraging you to declutter and keep your home clean. Marie Kondo gets right to the root of the problem of clutter and untidiness. But one thing I noticed is a bit of Marie's superstitious side. She mentions talking to objects and handling your belongings regularly because this apparently releases energy into them, making them feel loved or something. So because I know there are readers that like to know if books contain these things, I decided to let you know. But aside from that, the idea of cleaning your home in categories and not trying to do it "just a little at a time" is some great advice.

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GoneWithTheThread
Apr 25, 2017

Lots of great information for tidying up ones life! Some of the ideas are a little different but the concepts are interesting. The author has some very good points, and I might try out some of her ideas.

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johnstonmk
Apr 15, 2017

This is a very inspiring book, when I first read it I was able to discard a lot of the clutter that had been taking up space in my home. My problem is her idea that this is a one-time solution and then your home will be perfect. I know myself and I know that this is not the case. What worked for Marie Kondo does not necessarily hold true for everyone, and this is something that she never acknowledges. Perhaps there is an issue with translation, but there are quite a few times where the line "trust me, i know what i'm talking about" is used in lieu of an explanation for why things are done the way they are.

AuntJane Apr 04, 2017

I have owned this book for about a year and have been sporadically going through my belonging according to her method, and it has made a tremendous difference in my life! During the first read, I did find her words repetitive. After a year I picked it up again and reread certain sections looking for specific answers such as "how long is this supposed to take?" and realized that she provides the answers (that I missed during the first reading) sprinkled throughout the text in the little stories and examples.
The Sorting Books section I first ignored (who wants to get rid of books?) but I pulled them out and piled them on the floor and realized, that yes, for the price of real estate square footage that I am dedicating to them (another solid point she makes for those who don't anthropomorphize items), they don't spark joy and take up valuable space - and I could donate them to the book swap or library sale (or recycle bin for old yellowed paperbacks.) What a huge improvement to my personal space - and I am not weighted down by all these books I'll never read, and kept only those I love or use! It is awesome! Try it!

LPL_KimberlyL Mar 22, 2017

This book is a how-to manual to get your life sorted out and a love letter to organization, with a generous dash of whimsy. If you're looking for a little inspiration to start your Spring cleaning, then this is the perfect book for you! Keep an open mind and your closets will be perfectly tidy in no time!

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siri_r
Mar 21, 2017

This book in a sentence - pay attention to what you want to keep than what you want to discard.

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BooksAmy
Mar 20, 2017

I just finished this book. It was a good read and inspired me to clean out 2 closets.


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