The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

My birthday was this week, and my mother gave me a copy of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. No, this was not a pointed hint—I have done some work as a professional organizer, and I am a huge, huge nerd, so my mom thought I would legitimately enjoy reading it. Thanks, Mom! I did!

Kondo is the creator of the KonMari Method, a somewhat grandiose title for what boils down to a structured system for sorting through and disposing of belongings. Her book includes countless tips for organization, but her central message is simple: we should keep only things that “spark joy”.

This book has received a lot of press attention recently, so I want to temper a few expectations: look, reading this isn't going to convince your hoarder great-aunt to sort through her stuff. It's only going to be of interest to people who are already open to the idea of getting rid of things. Also, there are several suggestions that more prosaic readers may find off-putting. (Kondo encourages her clients to literally speak to their houses and items. This is totally in keeping with her past as a former Shinto shrine maiden, but I'm not sure how well it will play in, say, North Dakota.) That said, if you, like me, are the kind of person who is genuinely interested in thoughts about the most efficient and appealing way to fold laundry, reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a soothing pleasure.
Posted by: Julianka


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