Thursday Book Talk: Tidying Up

At this insistence of my mother, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, or I should say half-read. When picking out a selection for my next book, the subject of “tidying” really isn’t high on the list. So, it was definitely a struggle trying to finish the book. Personally, I think this 200-some odd page book could be summed up in just a few pages. Needless to say, the chapters became quite repetitive. This isn’t to say that Kondo didn’t have some good cleaning advice, and it is obvious that she knows her stuff. She has been tidying since she was a young girl and is now the inventor of the “KonMari Method,” in which you tidy your home by category. Plus, the book has made the New York Times best seller list. She says to have a tidy home is to begin by discarding or purging all of your stuff. You do this quickly and all at one time as to not lose momentum. To do this you need to take everything out by category (ex: find all clothing) and lay it on the floor. Then, you have to physically touch everything to determine if it brings you joy or not. If it does not bring joy to your life, you discard. You must do this with each category, and she lays out a specific order with what you start with first. She starts with the clothing and ends with sentimental objects because those are the hardest to get rid of. Once you have discarded everything you then find a place for all objects. Then, it will be easy to put those items back into place once you have removed them. She says through her method you will never have to tidy again. I am kind of skeptical about only having a huge purge one time and then you are golden for a tidy home, but she does have many satisfied clients so it may not be as suspicious as it sounds.

The main thing about the book that threw me, and why it became so hard to read, was that she treated the items in the home as if they had feelings. For example, if you find a piece of clothing that does not bring you joy anymore once you’ve touched it, you literally thank it for serving its purpose and discard it. She also goes further into describing her routine once she arrives home. Upon walking into her home she yells, “I’m home!” Then, she tells her shoes she wore the day before, “Thank you for your hard work.” She goes on to describe how she tells her different pieces a variation of her appreciation (Kondo 130). Now, to each her own, and I know these actions stem from a cultural and/or religious difference, but for me, I would have a hard time “thanking” my clothing and other items for their “job well done.” Instead, I am going to thank God for what I have and for allowing me to serve my purpose on Earth. To me, it comes off a little materialistic to thank pieces of clothing or other items. I do not believe my loafers are going to be disappointed if I don’t thank them for not giving me a blister on any given day. I do not say this last comment to be offensive; I’m just telling the truth.

Even though I have some disagreements with the book, Kondo does have some good pointers for tidying up your space. This book would be beneficial for really anyone who would like to learn how to tidy or a new way to clean the home.

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Have you read this book? What did you think?!

~Jess

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