The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, a review

Paper is slowly taking over my life. It is gradual, and I don’t notice it day-t0-day but now that I have a real job and am somewhere we plan on staying for a while, I feel the need to tame the paper beast. This book received a lot of praise from youtube and goodreads, so I thought I’d give it a go.

lifechangingtidyingupPages: 226 Genre: Nonfiction / Selfhelp / Organization / Lifestyle  
Rating: 3 of 5  swiffer dusters
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79 of 5 stars
Form Read: kindle ebook

Synopsis from Amazon: This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.


This book has some good advice on how to declutter and organize your entire home. Can a writing style be polite? That’s the feeling I got from Marie Kondo’s personal accounts of individual problems with clients, and how she developed this method over the course of her life.


A tidying marathon doesn’t cause rebound. She states that if you see an immediate and drastic difference you’re more likely to keep it up, than if you make small changes over and over and make no seeable difference. Never tidy by space but instead sort by function, as we tend to story many of the same type of items in different locations. When you gather all of one type of item you can see which you really use and which you need to discard.


She states that after years as a professional organizer, she has decided there are there kinds of personalities that prevent most people from living in a tidy home: 1) can’t throw it away, 2) can’t put it back, and 3) first two combined. I’m most definitely the second. I am horrible about never being able to find anything, and I’ll reorganize only to forget the new location… it’s not like we have a huge house, we live in Boston! .. the constant use of “tidy” is already getting to me.


She lives by the idea that if everything has a place, and is returned to that place it can always be found, and that space will never be filled with other items you don’t actually need. You do this with everything in your house. You use it, then you put it back.


At this point in the book I wished she’d use another word for tidying, it was irrationally starting to get on my nerves. Anyway though, Kondo says there are two types of tidying: daily and special event. She says not to tidy daily, so this was bit confusing. Daily tidying is just putting things back where they belong. Special event tidying is actually going through items and putting your house back in order. Kondo says she does this about twice a year for less than an hour each time.


It’s simple. You keep it or you don’t. Giving things to your parents is not considered dealing with the mess, it’s just putting things off to others for them to deal with.

She has a very unique look at things and homes. She thanks her home for giving her shelter each day when she comes home, she also believes that your clothes are resting when they are put away, and that the way you handle them transfers energy, making them last longer…. That’s a little too out there for me, but I do agree with the author that when you know you can find anything you need quickly, that it reduces your stress level. As does having everything put away so you don’t feel like your avoiding the elephant in the room while binge watching netflix.


She has a whole section on book organization. I did this a few years ago and never looked back. I purged all the texts from college that I kept “as a reference” and never opened. I also got rid of all my note binders I also never checked again.

I don’t get all of the booktubers with hundreds and hundreds of books! I move every few years and packing and moving that many books is such a burden. Also, I’ve lived in urban areas in the New England area, which means space is a premium. No more “I’m going to read this one day!!!”


The author states that there is no reason to keep pay stubs, but my current company asked for stubs from specific months at several previous science positions to confirm timing of employment (W2s as well). If you can’t provide the paperwork they request you don’t get the job. I keep all pay-stubs and would recommend anyone wanting to work at a major university or in industry based science do the same.


This was a quick and easy read, with a pleasant writing style… even if the word “tidy” made me cringe near the end of the book. Some of the concepts are a little too close to the crazy train for me… I’m not going to talk to my socks… But it does have some good tips, so I’d recommend it if you want a light read and are interested in reorganizing.

Find this book: Goodreads  / Amazon / B&N



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