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review 2017-06-20 19:15
Book 34/100: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

I like to live a basically decluttered life, but as someone who is also thrifty and a little sentimental, my downfalls are always cheap books and gifts. I buy very little for myself besides food and the occasional replacement for something essential that has broken, but my shelves and drawers continue to fill in response to the generosity of others. So stuff encroaches, and the occasional purge is always in order.

As much as I want to do a total declutter before Baby arrives, I know that isn't actually going to happen ... but this book did give me some motivation to get rid of things as I can (which is not what Kondo recommends, btw.) I did read it before I did my annual book reorganizing, though, and I was able to purge more books than I've ever purged in an annual reorganizing before (although still not as many as she would have liked me to, I'm sure!). I have to translate her question of, "Does this bring me joy?" to "Do I want to drop everything and start reading this book RIGHT NOW?" when I organize my books, and because my reading appetite is so voracious and my tastes so varied, the answer to that question is "yes," for practically every book in my house. I use the "spark joy" criteria for the books I've already read, but that is a small portion of my collection since I tend to set books free after I have read them.

The question about whether a possession sparks joy or not is the most useful part of this book, the most publicized, and one that you honestly do not need to read the whole book to start applying. It also pretty much ignores practicality, and the many things that you keep even though they don't spark joy necessarily, like your cutting board, your dishwashing detergent, and your toothpaste. She also prioritizes space and simplicity above all else, and if that is not YOUR personal priority you are likely to butt heads with her philosophy. For example, she discourages "stocking up" on items such as toilet paper to cut down on clutter -- but if your priority is time (not having to shop as often) or cost-savings (it's cheaper to buy in bulk), then you have a right to act according to *that* priority rather than to hers. I for one am not going to stop buying non-expirables in bulk because I don't like to shop OR to know I'm spending more than I need to.

She also assumes a certain amount of privilege in assuring readers that they can "buy another one" if they find they've discarded something that they truly do need six months later. My husband points out that this is sound advice if your space is so small that you'd be paying for a bigger house or extra storage space just to keep something around that you only use once in a while, but if those are not issues and you can't afford to buy a new pet taxi every time you take your cat to the vet even though it's just once a year with the occasional emergency, well, just keep that pet taxi tucked away in the basement somewhere.

As the book goes on, the sensible and helpful advice on downsizing devolves into "my way is the only right way" tips on organizing that border on the neurotic. Socks must be folded a certain way, clothes must be hung in a certain order, etc. While I'm all for folding my clothes in a way that makes them easier to fit in my drawers and access easily (although I still have to learn her folding technique and actually try it), there's no way I'm going to empty my purse and repack it every day -- I have a hard enough time getting out the door on time as it is.

All-in-all, this is a good book to motivate you to start decluttering and downsizing, but take it with a grain of salt and don't let Kondo's insistence that her way is the only way stress you out.

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review 2017-02-26 14:26
Magic Cleaning: Wie Sie sich von Ballast befreien und glücklich werden - Monika Lubitz,Marie Kondō

Habe ich heute in der Mittagspause gelesen. Ganz nützlich, um sich noch einmal Kleinigkeiten und Stolperfallen des Aufräumen ins Gedächtnis rufen will. Aber als Einstieg in die KonMari-Methode ungeeignet. Obwohl man vielleicht beim reinlesen ein Gefühl dafür bekommen kann, ob man mehr über diese Art der Ordnung Erfahren will, oder nicht. Dazu würde ich aber eher in einem ihrer umfangreicheren Bücher schnuppern. 

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text 2017-01-31 16:25
Two more freebies!
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

I know I have mostly audible updates but I have been working on coming back to the website! *queue happy music*

 

I have two more promo codes that you have to redeem today! One is Trevor Noah's "Born a Crime" (use code: ACRIME1) and the other is a self help book called "Magic of Tidying Up" (use code: TIDYUP1). 

 

I want to read Trevor's memoir as I really enjoy his show at Comedy Central. Sidenote: his memoir as expected is narrated by him which is a nice touch. I'm not sure what the other book is about but hey, free audiobook! 

Be quick with both as the offer expires today (1/31/2017)!

Enjoy!!

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review 2017-01-27 20:58
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

Kind of wonderful, kind of wacky. I'm fascinated that she found her own way to fold laundry, and I appreciate that it both takes up less space AND makes it easier to find clothes. On the other hand, she seems to want to put all the clothes in drawers so that she can use closets for other things. She tells the reader repeatedly that she's been tidying since she was 5. As well as her profession, it is also her favorite hobby, which has to frighten anyone a little. Talking to your objects seems charmingly wacky, but honoring your special things in a shrine seems cool.

I'm not a minimalist, and I'm never going to be one. If I got rid of three quarters of the books in my house, I'd start re-filling them immediately. Clothes that don't fit, I can get rid of. The magic for me isn't some version of The Secret where a tidy home brings you all good things in life, it's not feeling guilty as I tackle the daunting prospect of going through everything my mother left. And it is also the very important lesson not to try to pile your stuff onto someone else. I have by this pointed inherited the sundry lifetime collections of five people, and I don't want to burden my children with more stuff that they never wanted, but can't get rid of without feeling guilty. Those two beautiful desks that we could use? No more guilt about hocking the antiques, no more longing for things I couldn't use.

Getting rid of the stuff has got to be easier than letting go of the guilt.

Library copy

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review 2016-07-16 01:50
Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

Initial reaction: 3.5 stars. Some helpful tips but perhaps a bit too general for me in places.

Full review: Marie Kondo's "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" isn't so much just an organizational book as it is a psychological one. It has a methodology, but it doesn't lie with a specific set of steps or system as much as it is an examination of one's own relationships with the things they have. I appreciated hearing about Kondo's path to being an organization expert, her own struggles and pitfalls along the way, and ultimately putting into practice what this book highlights as the Japanese approach and experience to decluttering. Putting to practice an all in one staging of singular categories, physically touching them to assess what value they have to you, and tossing those things that don't bring you joy. It is a simple process but not as simple in implementation as I'm making it out to be.

And I somewhat understand this considering the principles of Feng Shui and how that relates to space. I even understand the concept of thanking one's space and giving an object thanks for what it provided you before you let it go. (Psychologists do something similar with hoarders to coach them though getting rid of things.) I got a keen appreciation of the Japanese approach to organization from this book.

Yet, I still felt this missed something along the way. Part of it might've been Kondo's meandering tone (meaning the text wasn't as streamlined as it could've been) and another might be that I still felt something in the process might be missed. I could understand the principles here at the core - and they were good- but there were conflicting points that needed better address. I still enjoyed and got much out of the read, despite those qualms. so much that I'm looking forward to putting ideas from this to my own personal practice.

Overall score : 3.5 / 5 stars.

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