- Series: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (October 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607747308
- ISBN-13: 978-1607747307
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14,315 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Hardcover – October 14, 2014
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"Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic." -- The New York Times
". . . a literal how-to-heave-ho, and I recommend it for anyone who struggles with the material excess of living in a privileged society. (Thanks to Ms. Kondo, I kiss my old socks goodbye.) ... To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!" -- Jamie Lee Curtis, TIME
"This book lives up to its title: it will change your life." -- B.J. Novak, People
"This book is a cult. A totally reasonable, scary cult that works, doesn’t kill people (a bonus), but does drastically change your life. In this case — for the better." -- Buzzfeed
"The most organized woman in the world." -- PureWow
". . . the Japanese expert’s ode to decluttering is simple and easy to follow." -- Vogue.com
". . . her voice . . . is by turns stern and enchanted, like a fairy godmother for socks." -- The Wall Street Journal
"Reading it, you glimpse a glittering mental freedom from the unread/uncrafted/unworn, buyer’s remorse, the nervous eyeing of real estate listings. Life’s overwhelm, conquered." -- The Atlantic
"All hail the new decluttering queen Marie Kondo, whose mess-busting bestseller has prompted a craze for tidying in homes across the world . . . one proper clear out is all you need for the rest of your life." -- Good Housekeeping (UK)
"How could this pocket-sized book, which has already sold over 2 million copies and sits firmly atop the New York Times Best Seller list, make such a big promise? Here's the short answer: Because it's legit. . . . Kondo's method really can change your life — if you let it." -- TODAY.com
"Kondo challenges you to ask yourself whether each object you have is achieving a purpose. Is it propelling you forward or holding you in the past?" -- USA Today
". . . a brief and bracing practical guide to tidying up your home." -- Financial Times
"[It is] enough to salute Kondo for her recognition of something quietly profound: that mess is often about unhappiness, and that the right kind of tidying can be a kind of psychotherapy for the home as well as for the people in it . . . Its strength is its simplicity." -- The London Times
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I will say the book is somewhat repetitive and it makes the same point over and over (you have too much clutter and you’re keeping it for the wrong reasons); this might be a cold, hard, necessary teaching method to break the habit of keeping clutter, so I won’t dwell on that. On the other hand though, in areas where I wanted more detail, such as the steps she provides to actually do “decluttering”, or “tidying” as the author calls it, I found I wanted more detail. While clothing (for example) is well covered, entire categories of typical American “stuff” are left out, such as cupboards, kitchen tools, towels/linens, sporting goods, major electronic and computer gear, and the garage (and the myriad of categories of stuff found in there). There is absolutely no mention of a garage. The book, to me, is aimed heavily towards a female audience, and I’m not saying that in a sexist way. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s just a missed opportunity to be more inclusive; men have stuff too, and the vast majority (not scientifically measured, just my impression) of the examples in the book are aimed at the types of belongings women *typically* own, again please don’t take this the wrong way. Most of the client examples the author mentions are women, with perhaps only two male clients I can remember. This is only notable to the extent that many pages are spent discussing organizing purses and none spent on organizing screwdrivers. I own zero purses but lots and lots of screwdrivers (along with other tools), and they badly need organizing. But I think I’ll be able to apply the technique to my garage as well as my closet. So for any of you out there who also own screwdrivers and they are in need of organization, perhaps you’ll be in the same boat as me, wondering why your tool collection was never even mentioned.
I would like the author to focus more on suggesting *donating* the items she so desperately wants us to discard. She gives good reasons for not giving your old stuff to your family, but surely there’s a better home for unwanted clothing than the trash. I’ve made it a point to donate mine. Perhaps this type of thinking will make it into the second edition.
Finally, as the author is from Japan, some of the cited mystical benefits of “tidying up” may register as goofy to Americans. Thanking your belongings for a job well done, as she suggests, is a form of consideration which may not resonate. But this is a matter of personal preference and posture; it certainly can’t hurt but I feel all but the most committed American readers may find it a bit campy.
In any case, I did get rid of a lot of stuff on my first round, and indeed it felt good to do so. I’ve got a long way to go, but at least the author has given me a rational framework for examining an item and deciding “should it stay or should it go”. More is going than ever before.
I, unfortunately, learned some great lessons about parting with too much stuff 8 months ago when my hoarder mother passed away. I bought 120 large trash bags and with a determined ruthlessness, I tossed out 3 tons of trash. Boxed up new stuff for donation. Held estate sales for things of value...which Ms. Kondo does not seem to address very well. I thought that I would gain some insight from this book about purging my own messy house. I don't want to do to my kids what mother did to me. However, this book was no help. As someone else suggested, don't waste your time reading the entire book. Just read the sentences in boldface print. Honestly, that's all that should have been printed but there wouldn't be much money in selling a brochure.