The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

I must first confess that I was a little skeptical when I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upthe popularlife changing organization book by Marie Kondo.  Let me also confess that I am fascinated with everything Japanese, but don’t believe that there is a magical way to clean your belongings, or that it can change your life.

I ended up abandoning the book a few pages in. What was most useful to me in the pages that I did read were how to fold clothes. I know it can be silly to know there are proper ways to fold articles of clothing, but I am now convinced, as I have adopted her methods of how to fold T-shirts and socks in my laundry routine. Kondo’s follow up book Spark Joy has further instructions with illustrations.

Even though I gave up on the book, I was relentless and checked out the audio CD upon realizing that there was such a copy. I am proud to report that I listened to the entire set.

I don’t think this book is just about the art of organizing. Please don’t let the title of a book fool you, because beneath its fancy cover usually hides the true message of the book. So what is the message behind The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you ask? That is up to the reader’s interpretation, and I encourage you to read the book wholeheartedly and find out yourself.

Personally, even with the book’s inspirational methods, I am still trying to declutter a lifetime of belongings in my bedroom and it is painfully hard to let many things go. The book recommends that you purge your belongings as much as you can in one go, in a particular order by the type of items. The task is as much as a mountain to climb for me as it was when I first started. For me, the hardest part of the decluttering process is realizing that I don’t need so many things in my life for the sentimental value they hold.

Read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up if you need an extra nudge to clean. There are actually no magical quick and easy fixes, but the book will give you that extra nudge.

(Stella Oh, Benjamin Branch Library)



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