The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is one that I saw mentioned a lot on social media. I was intrigued. When I saw it in OverDrive and saw that it was less than 200 pages I decided to give it a go.

Given the new year, I’m glad I read it as it inspires me to rethink the clutter around me. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is by a woman who declares that she definitely loves to organize and tidy. While I can’t completely relate, there was something delightful about the thought of a five- and six-year-old child who, when asked what they like to do, responded “tidy.”

The author is a Japanese woman and the style of life that she calls the “magic art of tidying up” is definitely one of “less is more”: She argues that we need far fewer things in our homes. I like the concept that by going to your belongings and asking “Does this item bring me joy”” we can eventually surround ourselves only with items that do bring us joy. As a result, our lives are richer and we are happier and more at peace. Click on the image above to see the Amazon page for this book. I am an Amazon affiliate!

In general, I am very blessed. I have lots of things. I buy things when I need them. I buy things when I want them (for the most part). I’m very grateful for that. But because I am able to do that, I accumulate and that is why this book got me thinking. I don’t have the problem of leaving things I purchased sitting in closets. But I do find I have drawers of things (the junk drawer) for other items that I don’t really need and that I don’t want to have to look at. If it does not have a real home, is it really necessary for me to have one?

While I don’t imagine I will find myself going through every item in my home one by one and asking “Does this item give me joy?” for every item, I do think that reading this book has inspired me to rethink the things I’m surrounded by. When I open the drawer and see things that have been there for a long time, I will not hesitate (as much) to throw them out or put them in the box for Goodwill.

I’m delighted that I have been introduced to this book. Although I read it quickly over the holiday, I can definitely see it as one that I will revisit. Probably when I don’t have a newborn and I am a little more ready to tackle the clutter that has accumulated in my home. What an inspiring little book!

Reviewed on January 20, 2016

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • I think my favorite aspect of this book versus other decluttering books is that she has you go through the entire house in one-go. Its incredibly satisfying, bizarre and unnerving to see so much empty space in the house and so many bags of unused and wanted things waiting to go to goodwill. I always have a box on hand for Goodwill, but by the time I drop off the box, whatever space I cleared had been filled with something equally as useless. Her method is really good just before a big move I think.

  • I want to at least try the thing she says where you thank the things you’re getting rid of. I am mostly excellent at clearing my house of clutter and things I don’t need, but there are some things that I feel such a sentimental attachment to — letters, mostly, and cards, and a few pieces of bric-a-brac. It would be a good experiment to see if thanking them would help me to get rid of them at last (sob sob).

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