Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Author: Marie Kondo
Published: 2014
Length: 213 pages
Source: Overdrive e-book

Personal Enjoyment Factor:  3.5/5

"Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle."

"If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image."

But what if my sweatpants speak to my heart??

This little book truly changed my life! I will never again go into my closet without thinking that my blouses have spirits and my socks are having a party in the drawer--at least as long as I've folded them right. Add to that the traumatic realization that these quasi-sentient articles of clothing have all seen me naked!! I am riddled with new-found guilt because I have neglected for years to thank my purse each day for a job well done. I feel like  a failure because I still hang on to that toilet brush that does not "spark joy."  

But seriously, I appreciate the overall message that Kondo is trying to convey: get rid of the clutter in our lives and only hang on to those items that bring us joy so that we can lead our best lives.Cleaning out definitely resets my mood, and most importantly, it keeps me from buying more useless crap. But I will not get rid of any of my books. I will continue to wear dumpy clothes around the house if I want to.  There are mementos that I just don't want to get rid of, even if they have already served their purposes. And I just can't quite get myself to talk to my possessions, whether it be a "thank you" or a "goodbye." (Sometimes I call them "stupid," but don't tell Marie that.)

Overall, I admit I found the book inspirational--I cleaned out some closets and my boxes of memories with gusto after reading it. But I also laughed so hard I cried in certain sections, which I hope doesn't indicate some sort of cultural insensitivity on my part. I've internalized the lessons I learned from it--many of them pop into my brain as I'm currently helping my husband clean out the garage. I don't go so far as to ask him "Does it spark joy?" Just reasoning, sometimes pleading with him to get rid of so many things that we don't need anymore. It will truly take magic to get it done.


  1. Okay, I was totally skeptical of the whole thing of thanking your possessions, but then I had to get rid of a long-time favorite pair of shoes. I'd worn these shoes all over the place for five years, and you could walk miles in them without incident, and they were cute enough to wear with a work dress. I felt so sad throwing them out, but then I thanked them and felt at least 50% better.

    1. I must admit that I've had those articles of clothing that were painful to give up! I recently had to throw away my favorite pajamas :(. They were worn out and holey. Maybe a heartfelt goodbye would have made the healing process go faster.

  2. Well, I must say, I did really enjoy that snakiness! More than, I think, I would enjoy the book. I'm already pretty good about weeding out and not hanging on to things. The whole "spark joy" thing leaves me perplexed. Like you said, there are some things you've got to have around the house, like a toilet brush, but I can't imagine anyone things they spark joy. And I hold onto some clothes not so much because they spark joy but because I can't afford to go buy a whole new wardrobe that does and I don't want to only own five shirts!

    1. Yes, I have a lot of clothes I don't love, but I can't really afford to buy new things to replace them all. I also know that eventually even those new clothes won't "spark joy" so what's the point lol! I got the idea that the author's clientele were of a higher socioeconomic class than I am.