The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Book - 2014
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This 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.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house "spark joy" (and which don't), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home--and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Publisher: Berkeley : Ten Speed Press, [2014]
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9781607747307
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Hirano, Cathy
Call Number: 648 KON


From Library Staff

Don't get upset about KonMari's suggestion to limit your book collection to 30; that number is merely her personal preference. If you watch her show on Netflix, you will see she encourages people to let go of clutter and keep only items that "spark joy." If books spark your joy, keep th... Read More »

A Douglas County Libraries top checkout in 2018.

This title was a Douglas County Libraries top checkout in 2017.

Can tidying up really be life-changing? Kondo thinks so, and she shows you how.

From the critics

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Jun 21, 2019

This is a very fast read, but it is probably one of the top five books that has actually changed my life due to changing my behavior because of reading it. Being grateful for items before giving them away has helped me release things I wouldn't have otherwise been able to release. Putting all of your items in a pile to get rid of them is helpful (seriously - I encourage anyone to pull all of their shirts...PJ shirts, dress shirts, undershirts, exercise shirts, hoodies, t-shirts, etc. in a pile and count them and realize the excess that too many of us live with). The book has changed my consumption habits because I now just say no to things up front that I know I don't want to keep. It has made me realize how much our 'things' suck our time and money, making me want to live simpler. I would encourage many people to read it and be open to questioning how they approach 'stuff'.

Jun 20, 2019

Folding illustrations were helpful, but not everything that is useful Sparks Joy. Not going to check in with my socks. Appreciated her gift for tidying, not really applicable for me.

Jun 02, 2019

“Putting your house in order affects all other aspects of your life.”

- Marie Kondo

This is a bold statement but according to the author, Marie Kondo, tidying can be meditative and peaceful as well as satisfying. She is a self-confessed tidier to the extreme since childhood to the extent that she not only tidied her room, her brother’s room and on to the entire household on a regular basis.

She talks about how to analyze the “why” of a purchase and whether it still fulfills that need. How did you come to acquire an item? Was it a gift from a loved one that has ties to that person which is why you can’t let go of something? She instructs her clients to “…choose what you want to keep not what you want to discard.”

People who use her method never revert. Her method involves putting things where they really should belong. Ms.Knodo insists that “…success depends on seeing results immediately.” She has an interesting viewpoint when it comes to belongings (only possess what you love) and is ruthless when it comes to filing papers – circular file for most of it especially in this electronic age.

The reader, Emily Woo Zeller, uses tone and pacing to give a calm, placid delivery to a message that can be a hot button topic among family and friends. Her presentation keeps you involved in the message.

I smiled to myself throughout this book recognizing myself in the people she described as well as my family and friends in her sharing experiences with clients. It’s as if she had looked in my closets and storage areas.

Mar 27, 2019

This book taught me many techniques for tidying, organizing and managing living space.

Mar 04, 2019

I have read several books on organization and de-cluttering over the years and have learned things (and applied these principles in my life). The difference with this book is the approach she proposes to tidying up: keep only the things that bring you joy. She does give a system to proceed with this while emphasizing the importance keeping only those things that bring you joy. This is probably true of clothing, trinkets, photos and other personal objects. When it comes to electronics and kitchen items, practicality seems a better criteria. Her system for folding is interesting and I plan to try it out. You can watch her on YouTube. Unique indeed.

Feb 26, 2019

I’m glad I read this book, but there is absolutely no way I am going to take any of her advice. The book is good at making you think about possessions and our attachment to things, but it just isn’t practical. Maybe some people can follow this method, and really tidy up their house. I am not one of those people.

Feb 16, 2019

I hear Ms. Kondo has a Netflix show now? I'd be interested to see it, if I had TV. As far as the book goes, like most self-helps, there are things that are helpful and things that are less so.

A major "plus" in my opinion is the "sort by category" method. Why go room by room when you have multiples of the same thing in different rooms? In the bathroom, where cosmetics and medicine cabinet items tend to expire before we use them, this is particularly helpful. Assemble all items in the same area, cull the expired and no longer used (what's the point of lipstick in seven different shades of magenta when you never wear lipstick anyway?), and redistribute the kept items. Clothing is also another area where this method works well: sort everything by type and size, keep only your favorites, and voila! You now know a) everything in your closet is something you actually like and b) what you actually NEED to buy to flesh out your wardrobe (as opposed to doing some expensive hit-or-miss guesswork).

The other thing I like is the "keep only what you love" mentality. Face it, how many times do we cringe or turn a blind eye to something we bought on a whim or were given as a gift, but do not use, cannot stand, or can't bring ourselves to throw it away because it's "perfectly good"? Having belongings around that make you feel guilty JUST BY OWNING THEM is not fun. If we only ever kept items that we loved or were useful (i.e. I don't "love" my screwdriver, but it sure is handy to have one), how nice would that be.

If you donate these "perfectly good" items, then someone else who may truly need them gets a chance to own them. And once all the "excess" has been culled, you can more clearly see what you yourself need to fill the gaps. This can lead to wiser use of your money, again as opposed to buying stuff at random and hoping you need it OR finding you already had one buried somewhere at home.

Other things in the book are not as helpful. Fancy garment folding? Please. It's all I can do to motivate myself to fold stuff the "regular" way. Talking to your belongings? That's a bit "out there" for me. I also see complaints in the comments here as to how Ms. Kondo comes across. I don't recall anything in particular myself, but it's important to remember that she comes from a different culture than our own, and it may simply be a matter of "translation".

In short, read the book, accept that it isn't gospel, pick-and-choose what will actually help YOU, and ignore the rest. (Hint: that's pretty standard across the board for self-help books.)

Feb 14, 2019

Reading all the negative reviews on Good Reads was way more fun than reading the actual book.
- wear a pretty nightie to bed
- rip pages out of books to keep only the passages you like
- throw perfectly usable items in the garbage
- brag about how much garbage you are creating

No, thanks!

VaughanPLKim Feb 12, 2019

Knowing I will be moving in the next few months, it seemed a good time to hop on the Marie Kondo bandwagon and start de-cluttering my home. While the concept of asking yourself whether an item "sparks joy" can take some getting used to, I found it a useful way to consider what I truly wanted to keep vs. what I was keeping out of guilt because I hadn't used it enough or might use it "someday." Fans of Marie Kondo and her KonMari tidying method can also check out her follow-up boo,k "Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying up" as well as her Netflix series, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."

Jan 25, 2019

Stopped on pg 180.

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Dec 31, 2018

The true purpose of tidying is, I believe, to live in the most natural state possible. Don’t you think it is unnatural for us to possess things that don’t bring us joy or things that we don’t really need? I believe that owning only what we love and what we need is the most natural condition.

Dec 31, 2018

The things we own are real. They exist here and now as a result of choices made in the past by no one other than ourselves. It is dangerous to ignore them or to discard them indiscriminately as if denying the choices we made.

Dec 31, 2018

Tidying means taking each item in your hand, asking yourself whether it sparks joy, and deciding on this basis whether or not to keep it. By repeating this process hundreds and thousands of times, we naturally hone our decision-making skills. People who lack confidence in their judgment lack confidence in themselves.

Dec 31, 2018

Clutter has only two possible causes: too much effort is required to put things away or it is unclear where things belong.

Dec 31, 2018

When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role.


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PimaLib_SheilaB May 05, 2016

This book reviews how to deal with the stuff in your house by examining your motives for having it, plus, provides a defined process for organizing, and then eliminating those items which do not bring you joy.

Sep 03, 2015

very repetitive. Some good tips. I can see how this book can help people get started on the task of decluttering. I had trouble relating to the way the author relates to objects, treating them like they are alive and have feelings. The author also wants you to do the task all at once. I think is more realistic.

PimaLib_SusannahC May 07, 2015

Spring cleaning on steroids. Marie Kondo inspires the reader to take charge of their stuff, no halfhearted measures allowed.


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Jun 25, 2015

emmilee thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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