Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

lifechangingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Catalog record  |  Goodreads reviews

This New York Times 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.

I’m a compulsive declutterer, which means I keep re-cluttering. Imagine my delight when I picked up this book (“Life-changing, hmm? Just in time for the new year…”) and the author promises that decluttering is a one-time event. I didn’t know I’d been waiting for this!

I have always been intrigued but ultimately disappointed by cleaning and decluttering websites that claim you only have to do 15 minutes a day (every day) and your house will magically be organized and beautiful. I am more the type of person who gets excited about throwing out ALL THE THINGS and then goes forth and does that for three or four hours, getting more energized as the process goes on and moving from the closets to the kitchen to the bookshelf and creating truckloads of goodies for the thrift store. Marie Kondo embraces “marathon” decluttering sessions coupled with daily routine maintenance.

The book is written in a conversational tone, although sometimes stilted due to what I assume is the translation from Japanese to English. Kondo never speaks down to the reader, assuring each of us that she’s probably seen worse in her experience as a professional declutterer. Best of all, I read this book in just a few hours and then used the rest of my day to dig in to my piles of clothes, shoes, hats, and books, producing multiple bags of donations and garbage.

Kondo does present some hokey ideas. One that stood out to me was the process of thanking your items for serving their purpose, which in theory would make it easier to get rid of the items that you kind of sort of want to hold on to. I thought, “Yeah right…” but then when I was presented with a tough decision about an old shirt that I’ve had since high school, I thought back to Kondo’s words, smiled, and mentally voiced my appreciation for this particular item. It honestly made it so much easier to (lovingly) toss it into the garbage bag.

So maybe I’m crazy, or maybe I’m just full of good cheer for 2015, but so far I am loving my much lighter, more well-loved home.


– Review by Marleah


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