Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I set intention to read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo and the universe delivered. Actually my brother- and sister-in-law did, buying the book for my birthday along with its companion, "Spark Joy." I was elated! I finished the book in two days and promptly started choosing what I wanted to keep, not discard. I liked the way she approaches the process of decision-making. It's a positive, not a  negative.

Other thoughts I found interesting and powerful:

  • Tidy by category and not space. This makes sense given that similar items are not always stored in one place, and you will lose momentum if you don't tidy in one swoop.
  • You don't follow arbitrary rules like, "Throw something away if you haven't used it in one year."
  • I learned a lesson when she reminds readers to confront their own stuff. I had been trying to persuade my husband to get rid of his DVDs, but I realized I can't force anyone to get rid of their things. I did, however, list a bunch of mine (pre-marriage) for sale on eBay and donate others that I just didn't like. If he insists on keeping DVDs I don't like, he won't be keeping them in my office, where they had been. Only things that make me happy will be stored in my office.
  • You don't need to feel guilty about not keeping a gift you've been holding on to, because the gift was the act of receiving it and feeling the joy and love the person wanted you to feel. If something no longer suits you and makes you happy, there's no reason to keep it.
  • Stop giving things away to younger siblings unless they really want it. Passing things off only burdens them with the guilt of feeling like they have to keep it or having things they didn't choose for themselves. Kondo makes good points about this that I had never considered.
  • I also realized that I have wanted to declutter since yoga-teacher training because I have wanted to process and let go of my past. Moving to Chicago and now tidying have been my ways to do that.
As you can probably tell, I enjoyed the book. I didn't necessarily agree with every point or suggestion about tidying, however. For instance, there's no way I will remove shower products and store them elsewhere after every use. I see her reasoning but it just won't work for me. There are other minor suggestions that I am not sure I will do, but overall I found her method to be effective and straightforward. Can tidying change your life? I can definitely see how. By tidying your home, you tidy your mind, and that can lead to big changes. 

Want to read the book? Use my affiliate link to buy it for yourself! Then pass it along to someone who wants to read it.

*I did not receive compensation for this post; I genuinely loved the book. I do receive compensation for any purchases through the link, however.