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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Hardcover – 14 October 2014
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"Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic."--The New York Times"A literal how-to-heave-ho, and I recommend it for anyone who struggles with the material excess of living in a privileged society. (Thanks to Ms. Kondo, I kiss my old socks goodbye.) . . . To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!"--Jamie Lee Curtis, Time
"This book lives up to its title: it will change your life."--B.J. Novak, People
"This book is a cult. A totally reasonable, scary cult that works, doesn't kill people (a bonus), but does drastically change your life. In this case -- for the better."--BuzzFeed"The most organized woman in the world."--PureWow "The Japanese expert's ode to decluttering is simple and easy to follow."--Vogue
"Her voice . . . is by turns stern and enchanted, like a fairy godmother for socks."--The Wall Street Journal"Reading it, you glimpse a glittering mental freedom from the unread/uncrafted/unworn, buyer's remorse, the nervous eyeing of real estate listings. Life's overwhelm, conquered."--The Atlantic
"All hail the new decluttering queen Marie Kondo, whose mess-busting bestseller has prompted a craze for tidying in homes across the world . . . one proper clear out is all you need for the rest of your life."--Good Housekeeping (UK)"How could this pocket-sized book, which has already sold over 2 million copies and sits firmly atop the New York Times Best Seller list, make such a big promise? Here's the short answer: Because it's legit. . . . Kondo's method really can change your life -- if you let it."--Today "Kondo challenges you to ask yourself whether each object you have is achieving a purpose. Is it propelling you forward or holding you in the past?"--USA Today "A brief and bracing practical guide to tidying up your home."--Financial Times "[It is] enough to salute Kondo for her recognition of something quietly profound: that mess is often about unhappiness, and that the right kind of tidying can be a kind of psychotherapy for the home as well as for the people in it . . . Its strength is its simplicity."--The London Times
- Publisher : Marie Kond; 1st edition (14 October 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1607747308
- ISBN-13 : 978-1607747307
- Dimensions : 13.21 x 2.29 x 18.54 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 57,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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However, I did find myself slightly arching my eyebrows...yes, ever so slightly, at the author's deep obsession with tidying. While the author extolled the virtues of discerning the difference between sentiment and necessity, I feel that the two go together on occasion. For example, my grandmother's ring does not "spark joy" when I hold it but it is an item that does make me feel closer to her so I could never dispense with this. And there's nothing wrong with that. The author says the gift giver would not want us to feel burdened by their gift and to throw it away but I say a giver wants to be remembered too. So while I appreciate the practicality of setting sentiment aside, I think we should remain mindful of it nonetheless.
I like the way the author affords energy to inanimate objects. We are taught that such things have nothing in them but this is not so. Objects do have energy and I do like the way the author relays this.
I also found myself chuckling through various parts of the book...in a good way. The author is waiting for an ambulance and what's she stressing over? Not the fact that she can't move but tidying... The first thing that she assesses when entering a room is not the ambience but whether the items in that room are necessary! Lol. Can you imagine this woman's house? Her cutlery drawer? Lol.
A worthy read...but keep your balance.
I have always been a clutter bug and disorganised so I am always looking for that book that will tell me how to change my life, I have heard so many things from this book and their are so many you tube video's dedicated to this book that it is amazing. I found the book to be informative, easy to read and yes sometimes amusing, probably not for the reasons it should be.
I highly recommend anyone who struggles to find balance in their life to check this book out, So far I have lost so much junk from my house and I am starting to feel free. Check out some of the you tube videos available too.
Top reviews from other countries
I bought this book on several recommendations. But I should have asked myself if the thought of reading it sparks joy before buying it. This is the biggest take-away from this book. Now I find myself asking this question whenever I go shopping. If the thought of eating it, wearing it, doing it, doesn't spark joy, it's time for reflection.
And that's it. The rest of the book is minutiae of how to discard and store things according to the Kon-Marie method which the writer invented which reads like a self-praising professor who gives boring lectures on how his past students did extremely well due to his teaching methods and how other teachers aren't that good or effective.
The irony is that this book is for hoarders but hoarders would never pick up this book. Or even if they pick it up, they would just pick it up to hoard it and not to read it. Or to read it and never follow through it. And if you are thinking of gifting it to someone you think has a hoarding problem, forget it. Hoarding is a psychological issue and unless the person navigates and cleans rubbish off their mental recesses, reading this book is just another dump in the ocean of mental junk.
The gist of the book:
- Take up cleaning the whole house (or universe) at one go! This probably won't work if you live in a joint family with your kids and parents and parents-in-law because you'll have to spare a week or two for it- on your own without interruption.
- Discard anything that doesn't spark joy. (Alas, I have bought things when I was younger and stupider and I have no spare monies to buy them again.) But this book maybe the one to go.
- Sort things by category, not by location. Example, if you are sorting the clothes, then sort ALL the clothes in your house at once, not just in one cupboard. (This is great, but I have all my stuff in their exact location already)
- Then the rest of the book is about how to store items in a cupboard (for which if you follow the book, you might need new cupboards with more drawers and clothes that don't wrinkle), how to clean the bathroom, how to arrange things in the kitchen, how to sort papers and documents and books, how to let go of gifts you do not use, etc. etc. etc. etc. till you get bored of reading the book about cleaning and decide to get rid of boredom by watching a movie and the idea of cleaning goes out of your brain and into the same vacuum of universe you were trying to clean.
(P.S. I read the whole book)
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR:
- People who already follow a routine cleanup of their stuff. For example, I have decided I'm only going to keep a certain number of clothes in my cupboard. I buy clothes ONLY when they get worn out or stop fitting. I do not buy clothes every Diwali or even for any close family member's wedding. Anything unused for 5 years has to go.
- People who are quite organized or like organizing tactics like DIY storage solutions. This book is against storage solutions and instead focuses on discarding.
- People suffering from some form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders- we guys are already doing great at cleaning. No need to bend ourselves double and ruin our lives over it by reading one more book on it.
- People looking for an idea on minimalist living. This book is not about minimalism. I thought it was so - going by the white cover with the word 'Japan' on it. But that is why we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and people by their home-organizing techniques.
- People who like window shopping.
- People who go shopping whenever there is a 'sale'.
- People who 'have to have' something when they see something on a store window.
- People who have a hard time discarding things out of guilt or any sentimental value.
- People who have other people (usually mothers or wives or domestic help) to clean and organize things for them.
- People who have overflowing wardrobes and bookshelves.
- People whose lives are out of order (in existential crisis of some sort).
So I held this book in my hand after reading it and asked myself - Does this book spark joy?
It is a very easy read, but like a boring chemistry textbook unless you are really interested in the subject.
[I bought a paperback copy of the book. The font and binding are good.]
1) "I can't get over how she anthropomorphizes socks, treating them as if they have feelings and need to rest. This woman is out of her mind!"
Some people seem to be very hung up on the metaphors in this book. When Marie Kondo talks about socks (and other objects) working hard all day and requiring a proper rest when they’re put away, she doesn’t mean this literally. The point of all the anthropomorphizing in the book is to encourage you to think about your belongings differently and treat them with respect. For example, it’s easy to throw clothes on the floor of your bedroom or stuff them in a drawer thoughtlessly, but if you pause to consider what your clothes actually do for you and the value they bring to your everyday life, you’re far more likely to treat them with care and put them neatly back where they belong. Marie Kondo wants you to be grateful to your possessions, not for the sake of your possessions, but for your own!
2) "She doesn't explain how to deal with [specific category of items]. This book is worthless!"
One of the primary tenets of the Konmari method is the belief that only YOU can decide which things to keep and which to throw away. Your own feelings, desires, and values are the litmus test for each item. Which belongings do you want to surround yourself with? Which belongings bring value to your life? Marie Kondo can’t answer these questions for you, and that’s the point! The book encourages you to take responsibility for your possessions, and, through the “celebration” of tidying, take control of them too. If you want/need some additional instruction on the tidying and storing process, I’d recommend her second book, Spark Joy, which breaks the broad categories mentioned in this book into more manageable sub-categories, and has more in-depth tips for storing items once you’ve decided what to keep.
3) "It's far too difficult to pull everything from one category out of storage all at once. I don't have time to do something like that!"
If you’re looking for a “quick fix” to your clutter problem, one where you can go at it Saturday morning and finish by Sunday evening, this is not the book for you. From her descriptions of past clients, it could take up to a year for someone to completely tidy their home, depending on the number of items they own and the difficulty they have in recognizing which items “spark joy”. As a single woman living in a one-bedroom condo with not many belongings to begin with, it may only take me a few weeks, but if you’ve got a two-story house and family of four, you’d better prepare to be in this for the long haul. Of course, the reward for this massive investment of time and effort is the Konmari guarantee that you will have finished tidying once and for all, and your house will never return to its original cluttered state!
I don’t know if this book has changed my life yet (I’m still in the process of tidying up!) but it has absolutely changed my mindset and my relationship to my belongings. It’s had enough of an effect on me that I’ll gladly proselytize about it to anyone who will listen! Check it out!