Kondo, Marie. Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Trans. Cathy Hirano. Berkley: Ten Speed, 2011. Print.
Summary: A cheery little book that walks the reader through culling one’s belongings
Now that I’ve had a chance to “do the book” aka the KonMari Method, I can review it. It’s quirky, written like a conversation sprinkled with anecdotes. I enjoyed it, particularly Kondo’s folding method, which helped me organize La Casa de Tontería’s linen closet
of doom. (However, she did a poor job of explaining it. See related link below.)
I’ve read many books on organization (not to mention having time-management seminars and work-efficiency training – oh, the corporate world!) Yet I still found interesting variations on the theme.
Sort By Category
Forget moving clockwise through a room or tackling one space in a weekend. Kondo calls for dealing with one category at a time, starting with clothes and ending with sentimental items.
Reading this, I felt nostalgic for the days of spring-cleaning my bedroom, where everything but my bicycle “lived” with me. I used to empty my closet and dresser onto the bed, try everything on, and ta-da! only the best were kept.
Kids will love this, and her Rule of Thumb regarding papers: Throw them out!
However, adults have to hunt for like items all over, including storage areas for off-season clothes. Kondo is tough about getting everything from the category.
“You can forget about any clothes you find after this. They’ll automatically go into the discard pile.” I let them (my clients) know I’m quite serious. I have no attention of letting them keep anything found after the sorting is done.
Yikes! Long-time readers will understand how I felt when I decided to use the KonMari Method on books.
body Thing Get On the Floor! (Walking Dinosaurs and Shaking One’s Booty are optional)
Yes, the floor. My klutziness instantly recognized a good way to trip and die! Imagine the challenge it poses for parents of small children. Not to mention cluttered people already have difficulty clearing floorspace.
However, Kondo insists on it. Items in their natural environment (shelf, closet) “remain unseen, just like a praying mantis still in the grass, merging with its surroundings” (p. 87). She notes that if books are already stacked on the floor, moving them to another location will allow the tidier to really see them. Continue reading