Title: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying
Author: Marie Kondo
Publication Date: 15th April 2014
Rating: 3/5 stars
Transform your home into a permanently tidy, clutter-free space and be amazed at how your whole life changes.
Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo will help you organise your rooms once and for all with her simple KonMari Method. The key to successful tidying is tackling your home in the correct order, keeping only what you really love, and doing it all at once. This incredibly easy method will not just transform your space, it will change you too. You will feel more confident, become more successful and be motivated to create the life you want.
I am definitely going against the grain here by rating this book only a 3/5. While it definitely had some great tidying and decluttering tips, I did have trouble taking it seriously.
Kondo comes off as an eccentric type, claiming that she was inspired, from the age of 15, ‘to undertake the serious study of decluttering and tidying’. While it could have been a translation issue, throughout the book there were more moments like this, where I had to question whether I was reading something correctly – is this for real?
I had major issues with Kondo’s suggestions for books. She said that these are a major problem when it comes to decluttering, and that everything you didn’t read as soon as you bought it should be discarded. And that you should limit your book collection to less than 50 favourites. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THAT?! This freaked me out way too much, that I had trouble actually getting around to the tidying……
I did have a lot of fun throwing out clothes and shoes – my wardrobe always feels way too cluttered! Kondo also has a unique way of folding – rather than stacking the clothes on top of each other, stand them so that you can see everything at the same time. I have approached this for my shirts drawer and already I am choosing from a wider variety! Her idea on socks is that their time in the drawer is a time of rest, and therefore under no circumstances should they be balled up, but they should be folded. My take on this is that life is way too short to fold socks! And balling them means you don’t have to go searching for the pair when the inevitable occurs and the drawer becomes messy again!
I like the idea of everything happening all at once, but I really struggled to set aside so much time for tidying, not having the same passion for the task as Kondo herself… I struggled too with the advice to keep only what gives you joy – I continually had those ‘but what if I need it again’ moments.
While it is an aspirational task to attain Kondo’s standard of tidiness, the book made me feel a little inferior because it seemed like too much! I don’t want to discard ALL the things I have accumulated over the years! I am that person who tries to tidy and becomes nostalgic over something from years ago. Diaries were another issue – I have been writing diaries since I was thirteen, so I have a fair few now. But what to do with them? I don’t want to throw them all out; my whole life is in them!
The book amused me, and some of the ideas were incredibly useful, but my rating is ultimately low because it just got a little overwhelming. Kondo might be a tidying genius, but I am happy to be a little messy and still have some possessions left!
Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying? Did it change your life? Or did you, like me, find the whole thing a little bit too much?