The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Book - 2014
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This 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.

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 bestseller 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.
Publisher: Berkeley, California :, Ten Speed Press,, [2014]
Edition: First American edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781607747307
Branch Call Number: ANF 648 KON
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Hirano, Cathy - Translator
Kondō, Marie


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Feb 02, 2018

I cannot promise you that you will change your life or find your bliss, but I can say that I had a lot of fun following her tidying advice.

The basic premise of the philosophy, as you may have heard ad infinitum, is to only keep those things which "spark joy". If that's a little too airy for you, try things that you have a visceral, immediate, positive reaction to. As others have noted, there's an essential difference between focusing on what you're getting rid of (as many other cleaning/tidying advice does) and focusing on what you're keeping. In my opinion, Kondo's way of doing not only helps you as you transition your space, but also going forward when you make new purchases.

Speaking of purchases, what made me grin and even giggle was her observation that "storage experts are hoarders". Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. (The Container Store must be gritting their teeth.) Whereas people who advocate storage solutions are trying to maximize the amount of objects one can store in their space, her advice is to review and whittle down your possessions until you feel a "click" that tells you when you've reached the minimum you can own. This should be more like a weight lifted off of your than a panic that you don't have enough; if you feel that, you've gone too far.

A corollary of her advice not to obsess over storage is not to buy special storage solutions. She advises using shoe boxes and other boxes you probably already have around the house. (That sounds very DIY, but it comes off as much less pretentious than most DIY titles.) After sorting through my drawers, bookshelves, bathroom, kitchen (including cabinets and shelves) and closets (bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen), I'm happy to report that I haven't had to buy one special storage item to more logically store my items other than book ends to help vertically store my books.

This book isn't taking off because it's giving a lot of specific advice on tidying, although it does do that. What makes it "magical" is that it promises that you can tidy once (however long that session might be) and then be DONE so you can get on with the rest of your life. Just as importantly, the process of tidying, which requires you to listen to yourself to determine what makes you happy, can help reveal what you would like to do with the rest of your life.

After my tidying jaunts, I did indeed feel refreshed. The little bits I have to do daily to keep the space tidy- which is really putting things in their place and then wiping down surfaces- don't feel onerous but instead like lovely little rituals. All this while being able to carve out a sanctuary in my small condo. I have been much calmer and happier since I embarked on my tidying project. I recommend it for anyone.

Jan 28, 2018

Some of her methods are a bit extreme, but this book definitely helped me with organizing my house as we prepare for a major downsize... especially in parting with sentimental items. Definitely worth a read, even if you only take away a few ideas on how to declutter.

Jan 06, 2018

Wow. Not sure why this was a bestseller. I enjoyed "The Joy of Less" but not all. It didn't contain any new information besides the many long sections on how she believes things have feelings and how she has always connected with her possessions more than other humans, including her family. I would NOT recommend.

Dec 27, 2017

We couldnt do it in one day, but rather used our vacation as an opportunity to do one category each day. Our house is not cluttered for visitors, but in our closets we had a lot. Seeing how many things i held on to because of a memory, or just because was amazing. I feel refreshed after doing this.

HCL_staff_reviews Dec 12, 2017

Are you drowning in stuff that you can't seem to get rid of? Is "declutter the house" one of your New Years Resolutions...that you still haven't gotten around to, because you can't bear to part with your beloved things? Are you the sort of person who anthropomorphizes everything from socks to spoons to childhood pictures?

Never fear, Marie Kondo is here. Her methods for choosing what to keep (only the items which "spark joy") and how to store them are no-nonsense but thoughtful. Her insights into being saying farewell to items that are no longer loved or no longer useful helped me to say "thank you" and "goodbye" and let those items go.

There is quite a waiting list at the Library for this international bestseller, but it is not a long or difficult read. I have no doubt that patrons who have our copies out now will return them on time! — Michele S., Minneapolis Central Library

Nov 24, 2017

The author overlooked the most important factor in decluttering - an editor.

Oct 13, 2017

I really enjoyed her approach and philosophy. It does help to speed read because there's a bit of fluff to flesh out the book. But her approach is right. For me it was a way to think of a rational way to approach a hard job...with lots of stuff and memories and no immediate need to do the cleansing. But the meat of the book is to have a plan and she presents a good one.

Oct 05, 2017

Many life-changing and magical insights such as, "The socks and stockings in your drawer are essentially on holiday. The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest. But if they are folded over, balled up, or tied, they are always in a state of tension....They roll about and bump into each other every time the drawer is opened and closed. Any socks and stockings unfortunate enough to get pushed to the back of the drawer are often forgotten for so long that their elastic stretches beyond recovery. What treatment could be worse than this?"

Sep 26, 2017

I really enjoyed the book. It was like having a conversation with someone who is passionate about what they do. I read this book after initially reading the manga for more information!

I look forward to testing out the methods.

Sep 24, 2017

I found most of the advice inapplicable, especially doing it all in one day. If you live in one of the now trendy 'tiny houses', you might be able to do it, but if your home has three bedrooms, a family of three plus pets, it's just not realistic.

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PimaLib_SheilaB May 05, 2016

This book reviews how to deal with the stuff in your house by examining your motives for having it, plus, provides a defined process for organizing, and then eliminating those items which do not bring you joy.

Sep 03, 2015

very repetitive. Some good tips. I can see how this book can help people get started on the task of decluttering. I had trouble relating to the way the author relates to objects, treating them like they are alive and have feelings. The author also wants you to do the task all at once. I think is more realistic.

PimaLib_SusannahC May 07, 2015

Spring cleaning on steroids. Marie Kondo inspires the reader to take charge of their stuff, no halfhearted measures allowed.

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Jun 25, 2015

emmilee thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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