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

by Ivy B
the life-changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo #bookreview

I received the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review.  I received no further compensation for this review.  I was excited about receiving this book since one of my unspoken resolutions for this year was to get my house more organized.  I know I don’t have all the necessary tools or the skills to tackle it alone, so a helpful book is much appreciated.  I had no idea how drastically different this book would approach tidying compared to conventional ideas on the subject.


Published by: 
Category: Self-Help – Motivation

                 Philosophy – Zen
ISBN 978-1-60774-730-7

Synopsis on RandomHouse.com:

This New York Times 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.

Ivy’s Thoughts

I have stacks of paper everywhere … it’s a paper plague!  I can resolve to sit down once a month to clean it up, but I rarely get rid of enough to make my house look organized.  I’m actually quite embarrassed when people come to the house, because the stacks must surely be noticeable.  Plus, we have random items all through the house in rooms they technically don’t belong in.  Racing parts, cameras, etc in the formal dining room.  Bills and such in the kitchen and living room table.  Toys in the playroom and scattered throughout the house.  Even our spare bedroom looks like a hurricane hit.  Who, in their right mind, wouldn’t judge me as a stay at home parent?  Part of my job is to keep the house clean, right?  I swear it looks like I’ve failed miserably, regardless of the countless hours I spend on chores.  Disappointing.  

The truth is, we have too much stuff and devote too little time to organizing or trashing (or giving away) things we really don’t use.  Sometimes, our disorganization is from lack of proper tools or understanding of how to get it done.

All that said, I was excited to see this book pop up on my feed of options to review!  The general theme of the book discredits the idea that tidying up a little every day will get the job done.  The sentence that hit home most was “If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set.”  The premise is to do a marathon cleaning of the house, which includes discarding things you don’t need, use, or didn’t even remember you had.  The author states that by changing your mind-set and doing the marathon cleaning, suggested in her book, that you won’t have a rebound effect, but you will rebound if you still believe tidying a little every day is effective.  It’s your mind-set that has to change before your house can truly be de-cluttered and organized.

Since the gist is to do a cleaning marathon and strive for perfection from the start, the method isn’t going to work for me at the time.  Since I’m the toddler’s full-time caregiver right now, plus spending hours on end cooking in the kitchen, I’m in the “get through the day” mode of parenting and can’t spend a day, or days on end, concentrating on completing full projects.  Otherwise, I believe the concepts offered in the book are exactly what I need and would be effective to getting the house in order the way I’d like to see.  

I’m going to continue reading and keep the book on hand to revisit when my daughter starts preschool this year, when I’ll be able to devote more time to perfection.

I love the ideas in the book.  She gives you steps and you have to work through them whole-heartedly for the process to work.  She likens the experiences to meditation and if you can’t feel good about doing this, you’re not ready to move on to through the steps.  She then walks you through each step according to the things you wish to sort (not the areas).  You’re supposed to focus on discarding things that don’t bring you joy and things you have multiples of.  By tidying according to location, you may be tidying a certain category of thing again later, which is counterproductive.  She even gives a list of order in which to tackle your objects.

I really believe this book will be of great use when I can devote my time to it.  I love that the ideas seem so drastically different than anything I’ve ever read in magazines or online about tidying.  After reading this, I can see the fault in the general idea of storing our belongings vs actually discarding this we don’t need or that don’t make us happy.  

You can purchase The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in several formats on Amazon.

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Disclosure: To help support this blog and continue to bring you free content, Ivy’s Variety posts may contain affiliate marketing links, receive free products for review, and/or consist of paid or sponsored posts. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Please see my disclaimer page for more info.

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