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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Hardcover – 14 Oct 2014
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"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 lives up to its title: it will change your life." -- B.J. Novak, People
"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
Marie “KonMari” Kondo runs an acclaimed consulting business in Tokyo helping clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. With a three-month waiting list, her KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing has become an international phenomenon. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a best seller in Japan, Germany, and the UK, with more than two million copies sold worldwide, and has been turned into a television drama for Japanese TV. She has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, featured on more than thirty major Japanese television and radio programs, and profiled in the Sunday Times, Red magazine, You magazine, the New York Times, USA Today, NPR's Here & Now, Slate, Family Circle, and the London Times, who has deemed her “Japan’s preeminent guru of tidiness, a warrior princess in the war on clutter.”See all Product description
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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.]
Too much of the earliest parts of the book are just the author droning on and on about her obsessive-compulsive need to clean from childhood - I appreciate you had a journey that led you to your present place, but I don't need to slog through chapter after chapter of how you tried to clean your house and failed in one way or another.
There is some passably decent advice in parts and a few good ideas but largely there's nothing that struck me as ground-breaking or particularly motivating.
Honestly Im happy for the people her system works for - if it makes your life easier and neater, good for you. For me it didn't do all that much, definitely not like the raving love some people have for it.
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