The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
By Marie Kondo
This book was amazing. I have now recommended it to virtually everyone in my family and am passing it around so they can all read it and you should read it too. It’s joining The Art of Learning as one of now two nonfiction self-help books that I really enjoyed and was impressed by.
Marie Kondo is kind of crazily obsessed with tidying and organizing. (Her family members are clearly saints for having put up with her trying out different methods.) But it makes the book pretty funny in addition to useful and interesting as she writes about what methods she’s tried and the ways in which they did and did not work.
Kondo’s actual method, the one she’s describing in the book really does work, and I love that she takes the time to show how she came up with the method and how and why it works. Not only is the theory something I find generally interesting, it also makes it possible for me to modify the method for my own use. Because I don’t have the time and energy to implement her massive 6-month reorganization bonanza, but working bit by bit, as I feel inspired does work.
Despite it not being a particularly long book, it took a while to get through because I would get inspired to just start tidying. It’s surprisingly fun to do and the results leave me feeling all pleased and happy with myself.
While there are a lot of specific suggestions about how to really work her system (so go and read the book!), the basic premise is that you should keep the stuff you love and get ride of the stuff you don’t. The first part of her method is to spend time looking through your possessions and identifying all the things that you love. It’s amazing how much stuff I had because I had it and had no reason to get rid of it. I had a lot of clothing due to inertia rather than enjoyment. While reading this book, I wound up with several large bags and boxes of clothing and books to donate and now am left with a room with a much higher concentration of things I love, because there’s less dilution with things that I just sort of have.
I highly recommend this book. You don’t have to follow her advice, but at least read the book and see if you’re interested in trying it out. Because I have been working through my stuff and it has been fun to do and I love the results.