Just in the last year or so, I have been striving, slowly, for a more simplistic existence. I've read a few books here and there on the subject of not only downsizing/decluttering your possessions, but simplifying other areas of your life in the quest for minimalism. However, none of these books (so far) have moved me as much as this one - so much so that I finished the book in a day and a half (and remember, I have an almost-8-month old).
I'll be honest, Kondo's method at times seemed a little intense, particularly when you're just starting the book; so much so that if you're a newbie into the art of simplifying, it might scare you away. But she notes that if you come to her book, it is the right time for your to receive the information.
To summarize Kondo's basic idea, you must follow her order of discarding by simply asking yourself with each item, "Does this spark joy? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it." That's it. One thing she says that really resonated with me was "we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of." This made me pause and reflect on how she managed to take a subject that can become stressful for people and puts a positive spin on it. Shouldn't we all want to surround ourselves with only those items that truly bring us joy? Shouldn't we all aspire to a life that is not controlled by our consumeristic desire for items, but where those items are just a small part of our overall life?
She begins by telling us to "think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it woud be like to live in a clutter-free space;" meaning, what does simplifying mean to you? For me, I want to live in the moment with my husband and little boy, and focus on doing things together, in the moment. I want to have park dates, go hiking, take stroller walks, read books together, play together. I often feel that we have too much stuff and rely on technology to entertain us too much, and those are not traits that I want to pass down to Malcolm. Therefore, I was more than willing to continue reading.
Kondo's method is first discard, and then store. She says that people who believe they don't have enough storage space actually have a lot of useless items - again, if you only surround yourself with items that "spark joy," it will be easy to store them. Everything will have a place. She recommends that one starts with clothing, since that's probably the easiest place to discard items. From there, you move onto books, paper, misc., and then mementos.
I felt a sense of anxiety while reading this, only because I wanted to get started right away with discarding items. However, I told myself to finish the whole book before diving in.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. I think it would resonate with everyone, and I mean everyone. Perhaps we all need a little decluttering and tidying, so that we may all be inspired to live in the moment more.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The book that sparked a revolution and inspired the hit Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: the original guide to decluttering your home once and for all.
ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE—CNN
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 will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
About the Author
Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, star of the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.
Enchanted with organizing since her childhood, Marie began her tidying consultant business as a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo. Today, Marie is a renowned tidying expert helping people around the world to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration.
Marie has been featured on more than fifty major Japanese television and radio programs as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TheTimes of London, Vogue, Ellen, the Rachael Ray show, and many more. She has also been listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
“Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic.”—The New York Times
“A literal how-to-heave-ho, and I recommend it for anyone who struggles with the material excess of living in a privileged society. (Thanks to Ms. Kondo, I kiss my old socks goodbye.) . . . To show you how serious my respect for Ms. Kondo is: if I ever get a tattoo, it will say, Spark Joy!”—Jamie Lee Curtis, Time
“This book lives up to its title: it will change your life.”—B.J. Novak,People
“This book is a cult. A totally reasonable, scary cult that works, doesn’t kill people (a bonus), but does drastically change your life. In this case — for the better.”—BuzzFeed
“The most organized woman in the world.”—PureWow
“The Japanese expert’s ode to decluttering is simple and easy to follow.”—Vogue
“Her voice . . . is by turns stern and enchanted, like a fairy godmother for socks.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Reading it, you glimpse a glittering mental freedom from the unread/uncrafted/unworn, buyer’s remorse, the nervous eyeing of real estate listings. Life’s overwhelm, conquered.”—The Atlantic
“All hail the new decluttering queen Marie Kondo, whose mess-busting bestseller has prompted a craze for tidying in homes across the world . . . one proper clear out is all you need for the rest of your life.”—Good Housekeeping (UK)
“How could this pocket-sized book, which has already sold over 2 million copies and sits firmly atop the New York Times Best Seller list, make such a big promise? Here's the short answer: Because it's legit. . . . Kondo's method really can change your life — if you let it.”—Today
“Kondo challenges you to ask yourself whether each object you have is achieving a purpose. Is it propelling you forward or holding you in the past?”—USA Today
“A brief and bracing practical guide to tidying up your home.”—Financial Times
“[It is] enough to salute Kondo for her recognition of something quietly profound: that mess is often about unhappiness, and that the right kind of tidying can be a kind of psychotherapy for the home as well as for the people in it . . . Its strength is its simplicity.”—The London Times
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