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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This best-selling 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.
Publisher: Berkeley :, Ten Speed Press,, [2014]
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9781607747307
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Hirano, Cathy - Translator


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Nov 27, 2018

A must read for beginners in tidying. Read this if you want to transform the relationship you have with your things and your life. Tidying never lies. Once you start, never give up until you're done! And take as long as you need to.

Nov 03, 2018

Some good ideas to maximize storage and utility. However, there's lots of fluff (e.g the emotional state of your socks) to fill out an entire book.

Sep 27, 2018

One year after reading, I am still dedicated to sorting my socks and folding the rest of the clean laundry. Nice to start the day with one less complication.

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.

May 30, 2018

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

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.

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.

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.

Jan 06, 2018

Wow. Not sure why this was a bestseller. I enjoyed "The Joy of Less" but not 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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Dec 31, 2018

The true purpose of tidying is, I believe, to live in the most natural state possible. Don’t you think it is unnatural for us to possess things that don’t bring us joy or things that we don’t really need? I believe that owning only what we love and what we need is the most natural condition.

Dec 31, 2018

The things we own are real. They exist here and now as a result of choices made in the past by no one other than ourselves. It is dangerous to ignore them or to discard them indiscriminately as if denying the choices we made.

Dec 31, 2018

Tidying means taking each item in your hand, asking yourself whether it sparks joy, and deciding on this basis whether or not to keep it. By repeating this process hundreds and thousands of times, we naturally hone our decision-making skills. People who lack confidence in their judgment lack confidence in themselves.

Dec 31, 2018

Clutter has only two possible causes: too much effort is required to put things away or it is unclear where things belong.

Dec 31, 2018

When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role.


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PimaLib_SheilaB May 05, 2016

This book reviews how to deal with the stuff in your house by examining your motives for having it, plus, provides a defined process for organizing, and then eliminating those items which do not bring you joy.

Sep 03, 2015

very repetitive. Some good tips. I can see how this book can help people get started on the task of decluttering. I had trouble relating to the way the author relates to objects, treating them like they are alive and have feelings. The author also wants you to do the task all at once. I think is more realistic.

PimaLib_SusannahC May 07, 2015

Spring cleaning on steroids. Marie Kondo inspires the reader to take charge of their stuff, no halfhearted measures allowed.


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Jun 25, 2015

emmilee thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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