I thought this was such an interesting book with a totally unique approach to organizing and "tidying up". A lot of the ideas in this book incorporateI thought this was such an interesting book with a totally unique approach to organizing and "tidying up". A lot of the ideas in this book incorporate eastern philosophies that are very different from the western philosophies I have been raised with. My initial reaction to most of the author's ideas was "that's so weird and just plain silly", but the more I thought about them and truly considered them, the less silly they seemed.
Although I do love so many of her ideas, I think some of them are extreme and I don't think her method is something I could adopt in my home and with my family. If I was a single person living in an apartment; I would absolutely do it. As a spouse and mother of a couple children in a single family home, I see no practical way to gather every. single. item in my home and touch it to decide if I will keep it or not. Since the author herself discourages dragging out the process, doing a little everyday, or even tackling one room at a time, I can not see how I could possibly implement her process.
Despite the impossibility of implementing the author's process in my western home and life, I believe I will consider and think of the items in my home differently and my thought process while de-cluttering will be different after reading this book. I love the idea that items in my home should not be held onto because of guilt, obligation, or worry about the future or past. I love the idea of letting go of an item when its purpose has been served and it does not bring/sparks joy in your life. I particularly love the idea that a gift/letter/card was given to express love, thoughtfulness, and appreciation and that the item did exactly that when it was given, so if the item is not bringing joy (you are keeping it out of obligation), then you are free to thank it for doing it's job and you are free to discard it.
I also love the idea of showing physical respect to items in your home. If the item brings joy into your life, you should acknowledge that item and treat it respectfully and with appreciation every time you use it and put it away in a specifically reserved spot. I love the idea of not jamming drawers or closets with things. If you truly appreciate the items, the author believes you should allow the items time and space to relax and recuperate from serving you and bringing joy. Socks should not be waded up or stretched when put into a drawer; they should be gently rolled and lined up in the drawers like pieces of sushi. She discourages people from hanging most items (only items that "want to be hung up"). She says that even if you normally hate folding, the time and effort spent folding and caring for items that bring you joy will make you appreciate and enjoy the item more because you are spending more time with it. I also like her idea of not wearing "grungy" clothes for sleeping or cleaning. Tidying should be a happy event where you are thanking items and experiencing joy while touching them. Grungy clothes don't show the proper respect to you or to the special event. I also kind of liked her idea of taking everything out of your purse at night and allowing your purse to relax. If you empty your purse every night, unloved items will not accumulate in the bottom of the purse and the purse will not be worn out as quickly by being crammed full of unwanted items.
Overall, I did enjoy this book and it has given me a lot of new ideas to consider. I think a lot people raised with western philosophies will want to dismiss a lot of this book as silly and weird, but I think if you accept that this is a book written by an author from another part of the world with a very different way of thinking than Americans and that this book is translated, thus looses some of the author's ideas (think how weird some translated/dubbed Kung Fu movies are), this book has some interesting and unique ideas. Essentially this book boils down to surrounding yourself only with items that bring you joy. I don't know how applicable everything in this book is to me, but I certainly have walked away from this book with interesting ideas and some new techniques I will try incorporating in my home and life....more