Book Review: Let’s Talk Life-Changing

The only thing more stressful than final exams are the final exams you take right before you graduate amirite? I have been up to my elbows in schoolwork the past two weeks (actually try the past four and-a-half years…) but it’s thrilling to finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only one more week until my graduation! I’m excited to finally have time to create more meaningful posts as well, like this one today.

-Hannah

Marie kondo

That Life Changing Magic

When I requested a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing at my local library, twenty-seven people had already beaten me to it and I was placed at the bottom of the waiting list. I was surprised and confused. It’s a self-help book about cleaning up your house, there have got to be tons of those lining the shelves at Barnes & Noble (or the figurative shelves of Amazon), so there must be something different about this one. What gives?

I was skeptical from the first time I saw her featured in the New York Times last fall and learned that she was already a mega celebrity in Japan. When I finally got my hands on the 206-page book with no pictures I couldn’t wait to see what the all the hoopla was about.

Marie Kondo teaches tidying. She swears that if you follow her methods it will change your life forever. So much so, that she claims she’s never had a repeat customer because she’s that good.

Of the dozens of short chapters here are a few of the titles to give you an idea of what she’s about: Why you should aim for perfection, Don’t let your family see, Decorate your closet with your secret delights, If you’re mad at your family, your room may be the cause.Uh…

 Kondo goes by the messy room, messy mind theory and says that “many people get the urge to clean up when under pressure, such as just before an exam” but that will only result in temporary relief because you’ve yet to “clean up your psychological space as well”.

One of Kondo’s major rules: Tidying is a special event. Don’t do it every day.

This goes strictly against my own patterns of cleaning up my living space each night before bed. However, under her guidance, if you tidy once and make it count then you shouldn’t even have to re-clean every night because “you only have to decide where to put things once” and that’s it.

Kondo also talks of visualizing your clutter-free home before you start and then discarding everything you don’t need (think: papers, all the stuff in the crap draw, etc.) with the goal being that your house becomes filled with only the things that spark joy. If I got rid of everything in my living space that didn’t spark joy I’m pretty sure all that would be left is my dog…

Ultimately Kondo’s book is about changing your life through organizing your living space. Once you have “a sacred place, a power spot filled with pure energy” you can do anything.

“As for you, pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will help you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”

-Marie Kondo

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*Images are, as always, via Pinterest or Google. *Quotes are from: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

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