Robert Owens's Reviews > The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
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bookshelves: nonfiction, organization, how-to, kindle

I am an organizer. Over the last several years, my organization has delved into minimalism. I keep re-examining my routines. This has provided me to far more efficient in my tasks. Things are coming together nicely. About a year ago I made great headway. I knew I had more to do, but was quite pleased with my progress.

Then progressed seemed to stop. And time moved on and while perhaps organizationally I didn't slip, I wasn't moving forward. Recently, I came back to my work. Over the last year Marie Kondo kept coming up in the things I read. From what I read, I thought I had her spiel figured out. I even consumed her Netflix show.

As that as a background, I picked this up the other day when Amazon had it as the deal of the day. It's a light easy read. There is nothing revolutionary here. Kondo's "Does it spark joy?" mantra is presented here. I was less impressed with the "joy" discussion as I was with several confirming statements of what I have found in my journey.

Start by discarding.

organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.

Tidying in the end is just a physical act. The work involved can be broadly divided into two kinds: deciding whether or not to dispose of something and deciding where to put it.

I can honestly declare that storage methods do not solve the problem of how to get rid of clutter.

The root of the problem lies in the fact that people often store the same type of item in more than one place. When we tidy each place separately, we fail to see that we’re repeating the same work in many locations and become locked into a vicious circle of tidying.

One reason so many of us never succeed at tidying is because we have too much stuff.

When it comes to tidying, the majority of people are lazy.

When you tidy your space completely, you transform the scenery. The change is so profound that you feel as if you are living in a totally different world.

I have only two rules: store all items of the same type in the same place and don’t scatter storage space.

Clutter has only two possible causes: too much effort is required to put things away or it is unclear where things belong.

when our space is completely clean, we don’t have to worry about tidying, so we are free to focus on the next issue that is important in our lives.


One noticeable thing I believe Kondo missed was a reason many folks keep clothes: they envision themselves fitting into them once they lose weight. She provided no commentary on that whatsoever. The slim jeans, dress, suit, etc. that we all strive to wear once we get into shape has many clothes in our closets that cannot even be worn presently, but we hop we will "one day."

This book is not revolutionary. Her advice isn't bad and if you want something to provide motivation, this may be it. While folks concentrate on the "sparking joy" component, do not overlook her other advice: reduce your stuff first, purge or find a location for what remains. These tenets, I have found, are the driving forces to addressing one's clutter.
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Reading Progress

April 21, 2019 – Started Reading
April 25, 2019 – Shelved
April 25, 2019 – Shelved as: nonfiction
April 25, 2019 – Shelved as: organization
April 25, 2019 – Shelved as: how-to
April 25, 2019 – Shelved as: kindle
April 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

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