Monthly Book Club: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

With the recent emergence of Netflix series, this 2011 book is on top of the reading lists again. I first spoke about it back in 2015 (this video) and frankly, my love for it has only grown since.

The book, as the title suggests talks about tidying, but not how most of us know it. Instead of telling us how to buy more containers and shove stuff out of sight, the focus of KonMari method is on not just keeping your home in order, but also on surrounding yourself with things that bring joy to your life. And if you suffer from the same problem as most people in well developed economies, chances are you have accumulated things that in some way or another get on your nerves. Wacky as it sounds, this book might help.

What’s in the book

In the first chapter we are introduced to Marie through the backstory of how she became who she is and how the KonMari method came to be. Without revealing too much detail, it’s a rather personable story and it definitely resonated with me.

Following the introduction and a lot of insight on why people struggle with keeping their homes tidy based on examples from her own life, we are slowly familiarised with the idea of getting rid of things which we no longer find to bring joy into our lives.

The following chapters handhold the reader through the process of tidying according to the categories and the order of work. Yes – there is actual order of activities which is very prescriptive, and which works. Each category focuses on discarding the unwanted and taking proper care of the wanted, including information on how to fold clothing well. If you are wondering, the categories are:

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Paper/Documents
  • Komono (miscellaneous possessions)
  • Sentimental items

 

The most useful

By far, for me the ‘how to’ approach to each category and prescriptiveness of it were great. I apparently like to follow instructions and this book is pretty much a manual to getting your home and possessions into a state which you can enjoy. The book is written in a concise way without any unnecessary content, giving the reader the perfect amount of information.

The least useful

All of it is useful!

Who is this book for

The book is for everyone. The neat, the tidy, men and women, minimalists and maximalists. If you are able to read, give it a read. The interpretations of the book often focus on just the tidying aspect and therefore miss the key part. This book is about crafting a space which you can enjoy by curating your possessions to bring you joy on life. Furthermore it tells you how to do it once and do it properly, there is no dilly-dallying and uuh-ing and aaah-ing over things in this method, everything is resolved with one simple question: does this spark joy? If the answer is anything but yes, say thank you and goodbye.

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