I was one of those people who made fun of this book when it came out. I watched it fly off shelves and take over the cultural dialogue, and I thought it was silly. Why all this hubbub about cleaning up your house? C'mon people, this isn't revolutionary - just clean your damn house. Well, here I am a couple years later, and...I was so wrong. This book, and I genuinely from the bottom of my heart mean this, changed my damn life. I'm only halfway through completing my home, but I've already noticed seismic shifts in my thinking and mood.
KonMari isn't about cleaning. Not really. This is about examining your relationships with objects, and how the way you interact with the things in your life reflects other deeper patterns. I've learned so much about myself through this process. It has been deeply illuminating, and rewarding. And hey, at the end of the process you have a tidy space that makes you more happy. I haven't felt this light in decades.
Not everything in this book resonated with me, but the process speaks for itself. There are some details that work for me and some that don't. (I'm never going to be the type of person that empties their entire purse every day when they get home, or thanks a toothbrush before throwing it away.) Kondo's Shinto influence is strong throughout this book and may turn some people off. But, and I can't stress this enough, there is something to be learned in examining how we interact with our possessions. So yeah, I get why people make fun of this, but I encourage them to try it all the same.
Some of the tips in this book can be quite useful, while a few others are a bit ridiculous. KonMari's method is arguably partly rooted in Japanese culture and spiritualism, but some of the more bizarre techniques seem to stem from her own ritualistic, OCD-like behavior -- which I do get in a sense since I have such tendencies of my own although much less severe, but she takes things to a whole new level by treating objects like living beings with feelings to consider. She does this in the most serious manner but I couldn't help seeing it as comical.
The book advises to keep only the things that spark joy and discard the rest. So I just took the ideas from it that I found useful, had a little amused chuckle and then went on my merry way. I didn't even have to think about discarding the book since I was only reading it after my sister borrowed it from a friend.
Marie Kondo earnestly believes that the objects she possesses want more than anything to please her, and that thanking them for their service, as if they are military veterans returning from combat, keeps them happy. Silly girl. The inanimate objects despise you and are silently plotting against you! (See, I can do it, too, with the kooky anthropomorphizing.)
I realize that I missed the "Konmari" hype when this book first came out. This title popped up as an available audiobook in my library's e-collection, and it sparked my curiosity. Soon I realized, "Oh, THIS is what was being mocked on that one episode of The Simpsons.
Like many other readers, I started out interested in the premise that decluttering would be beneficial, but the further I got into the book, the more I recoiled from Kondo's rigid rules about sorting, discarding, and storing, and her weird relationship to inanimate objects.
Others have already made this connection, but Kondo reminds me of Adrian Monk, in the sense that she appears to have made OCD work for her career. It seems she is making it work for herself, but there were definitely parts of the book where I got the queasy impression that she legitimately shows signs of mental illness, with little to no self-awareness.
Here are my takeaways: Sort your stuff. Figure out what to keep (nope, I won't insist everything needs to "spark joy" in me--sometimes I just need things or find them useful). Find places for your things. Nope, not going to switch to folding all of my clothes and putting them into drawers or boxes. I am a hanger kind of girl. My clothes told me they're "hanger" girls, too, so it's okay! Nope, nope, nope on putting all the books on the floor and getting rid of some large percent of them. The books are fine, not making any noise, so I'll leave them as they are. No, I am not going to take things out of my purse every night, and put them each in their own special drawers and shelves for the night after thanking them. For one thing, I hate purses, and use a messenger bag unless I'm going to a fancy-dress event. For another, that's a stupid time-wasting ritual.
Don't waste your time with this book. But I seriously look forward to delving into the parody: The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place: The Art of Being Messy.