Good Afternoon Lovelies!
I hope your 2016 is starting off well! I’m back up in Boston after a quick trip home for the holidays and reviving up for semester #2 of grad school. This year I’m trying to explore book clubs and venture out from my introvert ways. With that said, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo happens to be January’s book of the month for the online book club hosted by Lisamarie at Paper & Glam which I’ve joined up with this year. I also have planned to join 2-3 more book clubs in the Boston area that I found on meet-up! One is YA focused, another is Romance focused and the third is a general fiction book club. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to keep up with all 4 of these book clubs, plus my classes and any additional recreational reading I do, but I really want to go out and meet new people (since I’m still don’t know anyone up here except my classmates) and discuss books!
Okay, on to the review 🙂 If you’re sort on time, then check out my Need to Know section for a quick summary of my review!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo enlightens the reader about Kondo’s organizational method called the KonMari Method. She breaks down her method in the book by first discussing her method of decluttering/discarding and then moving on to discuss storing. The book is filled with instructional details filtered with Kondo’s experiences from her own life as well as some of her clients’ experiences. The book is a quick read of 206 pages total in a small hardback form. The book was originally published in Japan for a Japanese audience which is something to keep in mind when delving into this one.
As I said above, I was drawn to this book only from it being my book club’s January pick. Before that, I had not really come across the title before. With that said, I’m glad I delved into this one! Kondo does a great job of lighting a fire to organize! I was only a few pages in and I was mentally organizing my room in my head!
What I really loved about KonMari Method was the core premise behind it all: keeping things that spark joy in your life. While I’ve never been much of a seeker for organizational tips (or an organizer within my room for that matter), I really found this principle helpful and eye-opening. I have A LOT of stuff; I’m not going to lie. I don’t know how I’ve accumulated what I have other than the fact that my parents also have a hard time of letting things go and passed that along to me. After reading this book, I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to let some things go and only keep those that make you smile or “spark joy.” After I finished, I was able to put this idea to work and threw out or donated things I never wanted to begin with and things that I was ready to let go of.
I also found some of her discarding/storing categories to be really helpful. Generally when I clean/organize I do it by place to place around my room. Her category method was different and I’m interested to see how more useful it might be in my next cleaning/organizing day. Additionally, I found her advice to “visualize the ideal lifestyle you dream of” (36) in a concrete way to be helpful. I believe that visualization can be powerful sometimes and found this way of looking at your space to be fascinating. Hopefully, I’ll apply this in the near future!
As great as some of Kondo’s advice was, her method also included some advice I won’t be following. Some parts of her method were a little “out there” for me. This is when understanding that the book was originally intended for a Japanese audience comes into play. Understanding this allowed me to realize that not everything she says will pertain to me or be right for me. Our cultures are obviously different and I might not find taking the time to unload my purse every night or to thank my items each day to be something I want to do. The biggest thing about Kondo’s book is to know that it’s okay to only take away the advice that you want to take away. Not everything she says will be right for you and that’s okay. For me, I’m keeping my books displayed in their bookcases for me to see every time I walk into the room because that brings me joy whereas Kondo (and some of her clients) prefer to put the bookcases in a closet or to donate a lot of books.
Although I didn’t always agree with her advice, I gave this book only 3 stars for another reason: the writing. I’m not sure if it was a translation thing or the fact that this was Kondo’s first book, but the writing included a lot of repetition. Her points were over mentioned throughout the book and I thought that the book could potentially be shortened by taking out the repetitions. Additionally, I gave it only 3 stars because I most likely will not be rereading this book. I might reference it from time to time, but don’t see myself picking it up to read cover to cover again. I do think I might pass it on to my parents or friends to read to see if it sparks any organizational inspiration!
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo enlightens the reader about Kondo’s organizational method called the KonMari Method: half discarding, half storing. Originally intended for a Japanese audience.
- What I really loved about KonMari Method was the core premise behind it all: keeping things that spark joy in your life.
- I also found some of her discarding/storing categories and her idea of concrete lifestyle visualization to be really helpful.
- The biggest thing about Kondo’s book is to know that it’s okay to only take away the advice that you want to take away.
- I’m not sure if it was a translation thing or the fact that this was Kondo’s first book, but the writing included a lot of repetition.
- I gave it only 3 stars because I most likely will not be rereading this book. I might reference it from time to time, but don’t see myself picking it up to read cover to cover again. I do think I might pass it on to my parents or friends to read to see if it sparks any organizational inspiration!
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read this book and your thoughts on her tidying method? Did this book change your life? What didn’t you take away from this book?
Also, let me know your thoughts on Book Clubs! Are you joining/participating in any this year?! What’s your January Book Club pick?!
As always, Happy Reading!