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Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) Hardcover – Illustrated, January 5, 2016
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New York Times Best Seller
". . . the organization expert who dazzled the world with her Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is back with more spirit-rousing advice."
"Just in time to make good on your New Year’s vow to get organized."
-- The Washington Post
". . .perhaps the world’s only decluttering celebrity."
-- The New York Times
"If the first book was merely an introduction to Kondo’s radical philosophy, known as the KonMari method, the new one goes deep into the details . . . the result is inescapable: a home, and a vision of life, that truly sparks joy."
"If you wanted more from her first book, this is what you've been waiting for."
"In her new organizational how-to book, Kondo's mission is to help us identify what brings joy while simultaneously cultivating more of it."
-- Los Angeles Times
"I'm an evangelist for Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizational guru whose unique tidying techniques have become a worldwide sensation. I've read both of her books and completed the full decluttering/reorganizing program in six months. In the last year, it has been my favorite thing to bring up to my friends, co-workers, heck, even distant cousins. I am obsessed, because it really has transformed my living space and shattered many of my bad habits related to tidying."
"Kondo’s way of anthropomorphizing belongings and paying them the respect of taking them out of the closet for a proper dismissal makes a big difference. . . . consider me a Konvert."
-- Chloe Malle, Vogue.com
"From the perfect underwear drawer, to how to store socks, Marie Kondo is helping the world to properly (and lovingly) store their most beloved possessions, one fold at a time."
Praise for Marie Kondo and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:
"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 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."
"The most organized woman in the world."
". . . 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
"I can only describe the way I felt afterward as an organizational high. I had a sense of being more in control of my life than I ever had before, which inspired me to maintain the order in the months that followed. Not bad for a Sunday afternoon."
-- In Style
"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)
"Kondo's method really can change your life — if you let it."
"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
"Its strength is its simplicity."
-- The London Times
About the Author
MARIE KONDO is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (also a best seller in Japan, Germany, and the UK) and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2015. She is the founder of the KonMari Method.
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In a nutshell, the konmari method involves getting rid of anything in your life that doesn't spark joy. Starting with clothes, you go through each item and decide what stays or goes based on whether or not it sparks joy when you hold it. Joy is the only criterion: 'If it makes you happy, then the right choice is to keep it confidently, regardless of what anyone else says.'
The illustrations are charming, but there aren't very many of them. The most helpful shows her famous folding method, which is something I didn't understand simply from reading the first book. (Youtube videos helped.) This book has around 10 diagrams for folding dresses, shirts, odd-shaped clothes, camisoles, parkas, etc. Apart from the folding instructions, the other images are simply cute images of rabbits putting things away, a perfectly tidied closet, etc.
One of the criticisms of the first book is that it seems geared mostly towards people cleaning up their own mess, and that hasn't changed. For example, the section on handling stuffed animals is talking about your own plushies, not your children's. I wish there were more discussion of handling items belonging to family members and how to inspire them to tidy up too. Family is covered in one small section, and the main advice is simply to set a good example and accept others – easier said than done!
Overall this is a fun read but not substantially different from the first book. This book has more explanation of the original advice, but if you understood it the first time around, you may not need it. There is a lot of repetition between the two books. However, it's an enjoyable read and may give you that last bit of motivation to tidy up once and for all. In addition to the extra folding help, it has more specific advice about handling certain types of items such as greeting cards, dishes, photos, etc.
Ms. Kondo's new book, Spark Joy, contains further instructions. For example, she provides detailed diagrams explaining how to fold certain clothing items. These are things I wish I would have had when I read the original book. I also enjoyed pictures of organized spaces. There is something attractive about the spartan simplicity of these arrangements, even if they are not for everyone. In the introduction Ms. Kondo highlights that it is good that this book has come later and serves the purpose for aiding those who are in mid-process, whereas those who are just starting may feel overwhelmed. I understand the rationale for not including as many diagrams in the first book, but, I do wish I had it when I was more invested in the process.
In the Kindle version of the book, which I got, the first 900 locations (single page showing) is mostly verbal and revisits many of the aspects from her first book. Following this information, there is a “encyclopedia” section that has a large number of diagrams that are very easy to follow; especially with multiple folding techniques for clothing. There are additional paragraphs about specific items, with some pictures, but then the diagrams become less frequent. The abridged information on each section is useful though, and as Ms. Kondo references in her introduction, one can simply turn to the specific area and see what information Ms. Kondo provides for that specific section.
There is also a very lovely section on working with others with regards to them being tidy. Ms. Kondo does a good job of helping an individual understand what they can do to help themselves, but still love others who may not have the same draw to being tidy. There is also, within this particular section, a conversation about working children into the process of learning how to fold, which will help them be tidy as well.
Must you accept every one of Ms. Kondo's recommendations? I do not think so. For example, Ms. Kondo recommends eliminating extra books. But I am not about to whittle my book collection down to thirty volumes. I find myself going back to certain books again and again, or referring to something I had read years before. But I can still cull out certain books. Nor am I going to rid myself of my file cabinet and all its contents. But I do not need to maintain monthly copies of my cable and water bills, nor do I need to maintain handouts from old seminars. However, a year after reading her original book, I still find myself meditating while I fold clothes and tidy up my drawers, which is truly a bit of life-changing magic.
This particular book is a nice addition, giving further insight, reminders, and guidance on the process of creating joy while organizing.