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The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy
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The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,665 ratings  ·  240 reviews
The book that inspired Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Nagisa Tatsumi's international bestseller offers a practical plan to figure out what to keep and what to discard so you can get--and stay--tidy, once and for all.

Practical and inspiring, The Art of Discarding (the book that originally inspired a young Marie Kondo to start cleaning up her closets)
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Hachette Books (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  1,665 ratings  ·  240 reviews

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Ranay G
Aug 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2017
She lost me when she placed no value in books or photos.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hogar
Advertised as "The book that inspired Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". Which says a lot.

Kondo's book was fine. I did not love it and I don't think it's sooooo special, but it was fine.
But this one is a bit boring to read, and although it tries to be practical it was not actually helpful for me.
The author keeps repeating "discard it, discard it ALL, discard no matter what!" and at certain point it gets annoying. I specially disliked her insistence on discarding things such a
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The book manages to be both dated and very relevant. If you're tired of all the sorting gurus, this may be the right book for you. It tells you exactly where you and everyone else goes wrong in the practice of tidying up and throwing away. So yes, please read the book, take out whatever you need, and then throw it out. The 2000s had their floppy disks and that's the one thing I don't have any trouble with. ...more
Lisa Shultz
I have read a lot of books on getting rid of clutter and becoming more of a minimalist. I love the topic. (See my "clutter" book category in Goodreads.) So when I saw that this book is what inspired Marie Kondo's books, I decided to read it. It is not my favorite but I still liked it. There was some unnecessary repetition and a few typos.
Here is a great line: "If you have it use it. If you don't use it, don't have it." Reading the book created another wave of me getting rid of stuff I don't use
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok

I purchased this book because of a reference made by Marie Kondo in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She stated her inspiration started with The Art of Discarding.

Well, this book did not work well for me. There is quite a bit of repetition of the same subject matter and the organization of the book fell flat in my opinion. There are some good points made, but I am enjoying Marie Kondo’s book much more.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Art of Discarding is the book that Marie Kondo claims inspired her book, Tidying Up. Some key differences: Kondo says you should do all of your discarding and organizing in one go, while Tatsumi says this would be overwhelming and impossible. The best advice I got from this book was that when you think you MIGHT use something later, you probably won’t. When you stash something in a “temporary” location, that will probably become its permanent home. This was a quick read and I found it to be ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot has changed since I read Fumio Sasaki's Goodbye, Things and decided minimalism wasn't for me. Most notably, I moved house and, as I was piling stuff in boxes and going out to buy more boxes that I could pile more stuff in, it dawned on me that hoarding might not be the best approach to live after all.

I've been a reformed minimalism for a couple months now, and my pile of possessions has been dwindling ever since. I'm even doing a 30-day discard challenge at the moment, and this is where Na
Anthony J
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, japanese
***Full disclosure: I received this book for free in a giveaway.***

This book was so effective I threw it away!

Ok, not really. Long story short, this is a quick read full of "tough love" advice such as acknowledging that you're never going to use those things that "might be useful someday." Although the book was written only 12 years ago, it feels very dated at times. I'm not sure if the culture difference has anything to do with it, but as an American living in 2017 I feel like it still would ha
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults
This is a great book to get your mind set for a big or even small organizing project. I really enjoyed the way the author broke down the ideas about how to get rid of the things we no longer need. It helped me organize my mind as well as my items. I am now inspired to clean it out even more than I had already. She has offered many great examples and tips on the whole process that would be helpful to everyone. It is a resource I will definitely keep, share its ideas with friends and refer to ofte ...more
Jessica M
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it

The Art of Discarding was first published in the year 2000 and has now been reprinted as a gorgeous nifty hardback. It was the book that inspired Marie Kondo to write The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and in it, Nagisa argues that we need to learn to let go, and she tackles the psychological issues that people have with getting rid of things. In particular, a reluctance to discard things ‘just in case’, the desire to hoard things, and guilt about getting rid of things th
Katie Crichton
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
For those who have read Marie Kondo's The Magical Art of Tidying Up, there are still some nuggets to glean from The Art of Discarding. I enjoyed the structure of the book, as Tatsumi encourages people to "Think Like This" and offers suggestions on specific items of which to be wary. My favorite passage: "To stop seeing things are sacred, you have to tell yourself one thing: 'When I am dead, it will all be trash.' " Point taken.

I also like Tatsumi's strategies about how one can learn to tidy, and
Apr 06, 2018 added it
I didn't agree with all of the authors thoughts - particularly when she would indicate that everything is available online. However, the book was generally informative and gave some ideas of how to get started when addressing the clutter that surrounds.

The Art of Discarding is from a different (Japanese) culture/perspective, and that difference was interesting but required some level of interaction to reimagine the advice applied to a life and culture that I found more familiar.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Quick read and some helpful tips on discarding - which I'm continually working on. A lot about the psychology of why it's hard to get rid of things. I fall in the "organized" category - I have a basket or box for most things - but keep adding and never go through and sort/toss. After reading - I was able to go through my box of manuals and get rid of 80% of them. Had many for items I don't even own anymore. Next step is to throw my box of buttons that come with clothes - that I've never gone int ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
2.5 stars I read this to find out what first inspired a young Marie Kondō to start tidying. Tatsumi had some interesting things to say about the mentality of why we collect stuff and why it's hard too let go.
Kondo is good for big change, reevaluating your lifestyle, and finding joy in your surroundings. Tatsumi is just telling you flat: you've got too much stuff - throw out everything you are not using.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-writers
This was not really any NEW information for me, it's all techniques that most of us probably know. But the way it's described, the presentation of all of actually evokes the feeling that the author intends, so that you feel like you DO own too much and that you could easily pare down what you own and be happier for it. Her solutions are so simple that it seems obvious, but it wasn't until reading parts of this book that I really decided to make some of these strategies my own. I began t ...more
Tatiana Kim
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
good book to start with, but it's too much in details. if that would be my first book. i would read it daily before my house get freedom. but being well taught with Marie Kondo i would say it's a bit too much. ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
When you think about it, there's nothing really revolutionary in what Tatsumi says, and yet... I read the book and realized, yes! I am exactly like this! My worst habit when it comes to discarding things is not that I don't realize they shouldn't be thrown out, but I don't know how to dispose of them properly or that I think there has to be better ways to get rid of things than simply dooming them to a landfill. And so, the items accumulate and things get really messy.

Tatsumi kinda sounds like m
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
No need to read if you've already read Marie Kondo's book. Kondo summarizes this book's most relevant lessons within a couple chapters. ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I was curious about the book she credits as a lot of her inspiration. This being a quick read, I figured I'd see the different thoughts. Instead of trying to tidy "all in one go" as Kondo suggests, Tatsumi is all about doing it in small segments as you go, but always looking as possessions from the perspective of "is it something I can get rid of?" all while going about daily routi ...more
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says that this book inspired her. While this book gave Kondo her basic structure, Kondo's method (gathering all of a category and keeping what sparks joy) is less ruthless than Tatsumi's hard line to discard, discard, discard.

While I've lived in cluttered homes, my own home is not cluttered. I try to employ Tatsumi's method of discarding when I notice that an item is expired, broken, worn out, unused, etc. That said, I do struggle wi
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A practical little handbook for anyone trying to get started with decluttering and living a simpler lifestyle, or just as a refresher in keeping up good habits. It takes a blunt look at people's common attitudes toward their possessions and how those attitudes (even positive ones like reluctance to be wasteful) can hinder them in attempts at decluttering and simplifying; and offers practical suggestions in dealing with those issues. It can be a bit repetitive (i.e. some chapters seem to re-hash ...more
So close yet so far.

I think there's either a cultural difference or just this book is a little outdated but this author really seems convinced that the readers is definitely hoarding documents, newspapers and junk mail and that is definitely their main concern. Like every now and then I got a hint of "maybe you have trouble getting rid of books or clothes or other possessions" and I perked up but it felt like that was fleeting and we were back to "man isn't it hard to get rid of catalogues!" ...
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because it's mentioned in Marie Kondo's book, but I enjoyed Marie's book more. From what I understand, this book was one of the first books on minimalism and getting rid of things, and I respect it for that, but Marie Kondo took a good thing and made it better. (Also, Myquillin Smith's book on Cozy Minimalist is better still.) So this was a good book, I enjoyed it, but there are other, possibly better, books out there, and reading this one after those is a bit redundant. ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy, readable book. It was a calming influence to read on my commute home. I don’t agree with it all - I think differently about recycling (lessen consumerism - really don’t waste) and books (I love them and I will only give away what I don’t love). Still, this had many useful tips for the clearing out stage of minimalism. Worth revisiting at some point in the future.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
"But in my experience, if the difference between reality and your idea of "perfection" is too great, you may lose the will to be tidy and just allow things to accumulate."- p 93 ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting read. I can see how Marie Kondo got inspiration from it. I can also see why it didn't take off like the KonMarie method did. This book is pretty cold when it comes to the emotional value we put on things, whereas the KonMarie method acknowledges the emotions we put in things and makes the discarding process a little easier on the heart.

That being said, I think this book has three big advantages over the KonMarie method.

1) It talks at length about wastefulness and it
Olavia Kite
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, english
Revolutionary. Nagisa Tatsumi proposes a no-nonsense approach to managing one's stuff by romanticizing it less, bravely discarding as much as possible, and then thinking long and hard before buying more. Quite a few hard truths are contained in this book, which punch you right on your consumerist gut.

I find it interesting that this work is said to have inspired Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, because it seems to be in direct contradiction to her method. Tatsumi openly expresses
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: japanese, non-fiction
I loved 'The life changing magic of tidying up' and I decided to deepen the topic with this, which is the book that inspired Marie Kondo.

I liked that Nagisa Tatsumu mentions the guilt of throwing away stuff and tries to give alternative solutions (although dated, but that's just because of the date of publication so no biggie). But I did not like the fact that she does not put much value in things, whereas I liked the approach of Marie Kondo, which was more grateful and conscious of the things
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a charming little book on the benefits of living with less and how to get rid of things you really don’t need or want without feeling bad or guilty.

It was originally published in 2005 in Japan, but an English translation was published in 2017. Marie Kondo gives a nice introduction citing this book as her inspiration for getting rid of unnecessary things.

While I think there are some things worth having even if they are not useful, I understand the author’s main point here which is we h
Mary Bricker
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the message behind this book. I struggled with the dated information/scenarios but the concepts were the same so I am trying not to hold too much against this book. Overall I think it provides some insight into what most people with a lot of stuff feel and gives some sound advice around what to do about it. A lot of reviews had issues with the fact that this book says to get rid of books/magazines/pictures but if you read it in its entirety it is telling you to discard the items you don' ...more
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