Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

Spark joy

I heard a lot about Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, particularly the phrase “Spark Joy”. One of my favourite blogger’s, David from Raptitude, posted about his experience of implementing the KonMari method and I just had to read it. Well! I don’t know why I waited so long. I enjoyed it so much that I looked forward to bedtime so I could keep reading. Something I haven’t experienced in a while. It’s an accessible and easy read, worthwhile even if you aren’t obsessed with organising.

I found that I had much in common with Marie Kondo. Many of her ideologies and feelings about decluttering resonated with me. Reading about her frustrations with less tidier family members made me laugh. She recounts childhood stories of forcing objects on her family members because she didn’t want to throw them out. In effect decluttering her area but adding stress to theirs. I had a similar but much more sneaky method. I would place objects in others’ rooms while they were out. Until my family had had enough, we’d have countless conversations that went like this:

Family member: ‘What is this [owl figurine/skirt/wire basket]? Did you put that in my room?’

Me: ‘I thought you’d like it/need it!’

Family member: ‘Well, I don’t.’ or ‘Maybe…’

Socks with feelings…

Kondo’s world view struck me as being very much like the premise of Toy Story but applied to all possessions. For example, she laments for balled up socks the world over because they aren’t given the chance to rest. She believes that when socks aren’t in use that they should be folded. Allowing the socks to fully recover from their work, rather than being permanently tense; stretching the elastic to keep the pair together.

Folding plays a big part in the KonMari method. An element of this that I loved, was viewing the chore of putting clean clothes away as an act of love rather than as a necessary evil. This daily chore sometimes annoys me. Recognising that as long as I need to use clothes, putting clothes away will be a part of my life forever. This idea sometimes does my head in but since reading this book, I feel myself changing. I feel I’m more mindful as I put my clothes away. I appreciate their individuality and I pay attention to their condition. It feels like it’s becoming a way of saying “thank you for your hard work”. I hope will become an ingrained habit.

Best Three Quotes

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

When we honestly confront the things we own, they evoke many emotions within us. Those feelings are real. It is these emotions that give us the energy for living.

When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or fear for the future.