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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Hardcover – Oct. 14 2014
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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.
From the Publisher
|SPARK JOY||THE LIFE-CHANGING MANGA OF TIDYING UP||MARIE KONDO’S KURASHI AT HOME|
|An illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up.||A graphic novel that will teach you the KonMari Method.||A visual guide to transforming your home and lifestyle with the KonMari philosophy.|
#1 New York Times Best Seller
Amazon's Best Book of 2014 in Crafts, Home & Garden
"Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic." -- The New York Times
". . . a literal how-to-heave-ho, and I recommend it for anyone who struggles with the material excess of living in a privileged society. (Thanks to Ms. Kondo, I kiss my old socks goodbye.) ... To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!" -- Jamie Lee Curtis, TIME
"This book is a cult. A totally reasonable, scary cult that works, doesn’t kill people (a bonus), but does drastically change your life. In this case — for the better." -- Buzzfeed
"The most organized woman in the world." -- PureWow
". . . the Japanese expert’s ode to decluttering is simple and easy to follow." -- Vogue.com
". . . her voice . . . is by turns stern and enchanted, like a fairy godmother for socks." -- The Wall Street Journal
"Reading it, you glimpse a glittering mental freedom from the unread/uncrafted/unworn, buyer’s remorse, the nervous eyeing of real estate listings. Life’s overwhelm, conquered." -- The Atlantic
"All hail the new decluttering queen Marie Kondo, whose mess-busting bestseller has prompted a craze for tidying in homes across the world . . . one proper clear out is all you need for the rest of your life." -- Good Housekeeping (UK)
"How could this pocket-sized book, which has already sold over 2 million copies and sits firmly atop the New York Times Best Seller list, make such a big promise? Here's the short answer: Because it's legit. . . . Kondo's method really can change your life — if you let it." -- TODAY.com
"Kondo challenges you to ask yourself whether each object you have is achieving a purpose. Is it propelling you forward or holding you in the past?" -- USA Today
". . . a brief and bracing practical guide to tidying up your home." -- Financial Times
"[It is] enough to salute Kondo for her recognition of something quietly profound: that mess is often about unhappiness, and that the right kind of tidying can be a kind of psychotherapy for the home as well as for the people in it . . . Its strength is its simplicity." -- The London Times
About the Author
- Publisher : Ten Speed Press; First Edition (Oct. 14 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1607747308
- ISBN-13 : 978-1607747307
- Item weight : 261 g
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 2.29 x 18.54 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1 in Chinese Philosophy
- #1 in Zen Philosophy (Books)
- #2 in Zen
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in Canada on October 7, 2022
Reviews with images
Top reviews from Canada
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1) "I can't get over how she anthropomorphizes socks, treating them as if they have feelings and need to rest. This woman is out of her mind!"
Some people seem to be very hung up on the metaphors in this book. When Marie Kondo talks about socks (and other objects) working hard all day and requiring a proper rest when they’re put away, she doesn’t mean this literally. The point of all the anthropomorphizing in the book is to encourage you to think about your belongings differently and treat them with respect. For example, it’s easy to throw clothes on the floor of your bedroom or stuff them in a drawer thoughtlessly, but if you pause to consider what your clothes actually do for you and the value they bring to your everyday life, you’re far more likely to treat them with care and put them neatly back where they belong. Marie Kondo wants you to be grateful to your possessions, not for the sake of your possessions, but for your own!
2) "She doesn't explain how to deal with [specific category of items]. This book is worthless!"
One of the primary tenets of the Konmari method is the belief that only YOU can decide which things to keep and which to throw away. Your own feelings, desires, and values are the litmus test for each item. Which belongings do you want to surround yourself with? Which belongings bring value to your life? Marie Kondo can’t answer these questions for you, and that’s the point! The book encourages you to take responsibility for your possessions, and, through the “celebration” of tidying, take control of them too. If you want/need some additional instruction on the tidying and storing process, I’d recommend her second book, Spark Joy, which breaks the broad categories mentioned in this book into more manageable sub-categories, and has more in-depth tips for storing items once you’ve decided what to keep.
3) "It's far too difficult to pull everything from one category out of storage all at once. I don't have time to do something like that!"
If you’re looking for a “quick fix” to your clutter problem, one where you can go at it Saturday morning and finish by Sunday evening, this is not the book for you. From her descriptions of past clients, it could take up to a year for someone to completely tidy their home, depending on the number of items they own and the difficulty they have in recognizing which items “spark joy”. As a single woman living in a one-bedroom condo with not many belongings to begin with, it may only take me a few weeks, but if you’ve got a two-story house and family of four, you’d better prepare to be in this for the long haul. Of course, the reward for this massive investment of time and effort is the Konmari guarantee that you will have finished tidying once and for all, and your house will never return to its original cluttered state!
I don’t know if this book has changed my life yet (I’m still in the process of tidying up!) but it has absolutely changed my mindset and my relationship to my belongings. It’s had enough of an effect on me that I’ll gladly proselytize about it to anyone who will listen! Check it out!
As for the quality of the book, I love that it is hardcover, because I refer back to this book again and again. Especially at Christmas and birthdays when our household has a lot of things coming in and hopefully going out as well. It holds up really well. I have spilled almost everything on this book as I bring it around the house tidying and the thick pages are still going and have held up well to hairdryer dryings and wiping to remove food stains.
If you have already heard of Mari Kondo and read tons of stuff on the internet about her method and are completely ready to start your tidying marathon, you might want to skip this book and head straight for her second book Spark Joy as it gives better step by step instructions, especially on the massive komono section. This book is more of an intro to explain how she discovered her method, why it works better than other methods and how to implement her method.
Top reviews from other countries
I bought this book on several recommendations. But I should have asked myself if the thought of reading it sparks joy before buying it. This is the biggest take-away from this book. Now I find myself asking this question whenever I go shopping. If the thought of eating it, wearing it, doing it, doesn't spark joy, it's time for reflection.
And that's it. The rest of the book is minutiae of how to discard and store things according to the Kon-Marie method which the writer invented which reads like a self-praising professor who gives boring lectures on how his past students did extremely well due to his teaching methods and how other teachers aren't that good or effective.
The irony is that this book is for hoarders but hoarders would never pick up this book. Or even if they pick it up, they would just pick it up to hoard it and not to read it. Or to read it and never follow through it. And if you are thinking of gifting it to someone you think has a hoarding problem, forget it. Hoarding is a psychological issue and unless the person navigates and cleans rubbish off their mental recesses, reading this book is just another dump in the ocean of mental junk.
The gist of the book:
- Take up cleaning the whole house (or universe) at one go! This probably won't work if you live in a joint family with your kids and parents and parents-in-law because you'll have to spare a week or two for it- on your own without interruption.
- Discard anything that doesn't spark joy. (Alas, I have bought things when I was younger and stupider and I have no spare monies to buy them again.) But this book maybe the one to go.
- Sort things by category, not by location. Example, if you are sorting the clothes, then sort ALL the clothes in your house at once, not just in one cupboard. (This is great, but I have all my stuff in their exact location already)
- Then the rest of the book is about how to store items in a cupboard (for which if you follow the book, you might need new cupboards with more drawers and clothes that don't wrinkle), how to clean the bathroom, how to arrange things in the kitchen, how to sort papers and documents and books, how to let go of gifts you do not use, etc. etc. etc. etc. till you get bored of reading the book about cleaning and decide to get rid of boredom by watching a movie and the idea of cleaning goes out of your brain and into the same vacuum of universe you were trying to clean.
(P.S. I read the whole book)
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR:
- People who already follow a routine cleanup of their stuff. For example, I have decided I'm only going to keep a certain number of clothes in my cupboard. I buy clothes ONLY when they get worn out or stop fitting. I do not buy clothes every Diwali or even for any close family member's wedding. Anything unused for 5 years has to go.
- People who are quite organized or like organizing tactics like DIY storage solutions. This book is against storage solutions and instead focuses on discarding.
- People suffering from some form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders- we guys are already doing great at cleaning. No need to bend ourselves double and ruin our lives over it by reading one more book on it.
- People looking for an idea on minimalist living. This book is not about minimalism. I thought it was so - going by the white cover with the word 'Japan' on it. But that is why we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and people by their home-organizing techniques.
- People who like window shopping.
- People who go shopping whenever there is a 'sale'.
- People who 'have to have' something when they see something on a store window.
- People who have a hard time discarding things out of guilt or any sentimental value.
- People who have other people (usually mothers or wives or domestic help) to clean and organize things for them.
- People who have overflowing wardrobes and bookshelves.
- People whose lives are out of order (in existential crisis of some sort).
So I held this book in my hand after reading it and asked myself - Does this book spark joy?
It is a very easy read, but like a boring chemistry textbook unless you are really interested in the subject.
[I bought a paperback copy of the book. The font and binding are good.]