Reviews

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingTitle: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Type: Self Help
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Date published: October 14th 2014
Format: Audiobook
Time: 5hr

Rating: 5/5

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

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I spent most of this month trying to figure out which college I would go at and ended up going on a few plane flights and road trips. Therefore, I decided to pick up an audiobook to listen to. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo popped up as the first recommendation.

I was first acquainted with Marie Kondo’s works through watching a few episodes of her Netflix series. It was fascinating watching how the houses transformed and how the inhabitants themselves carried on a different aura after tidying up. That sparked my interest in finding out what the art of tidying was all about.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up went beyond my expectations. Honestly, I was expecting a step by step tutorial on what to do when trying to tidy up one’s house. I didn’t really understand why a book about tidying up can be so “transformational”. I entered the book as a non-believer and came out inspired by the KonMari method. While the book is separated into individual steps, Kondo’s delivery of information was so interesting and diversified. The book is split up into categories in how you should tidy up your house (clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items). In each section, Kondo explains with detail how to approach each step, reasoning out not only the motions of the process but the mindset that the owner should adopt.

Not only that, Kondo peppers the book with her own experiences of tidying up, myths that she debunks, as well as examples of how the art of tidying up truly transforms other aspects of one’s life. It was pretty bizarre for me when hearing it the first time. I mean, how does cleaning one’s own home improve one’s health, increase happiness, or change one’s outlook on life? Read the book, and you’ll become quite convinced by Marie Kondo’s line of reasoning and arguments.

I highly recommend you try listening to the audiobook, which is a short 5 hours (even shorter if you go at 1.75x speed). It’s such a relaxing listen and the book is written in a way that someone would speak to you. At the end of the road trip, I finished the audiobook with a clearer mind and motivation to declutter my room.

For a little feel of what this book is all about, here is a short summary:

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Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.

People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.

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