As someone who thought I invented the phrase “Clean room, clean mind” at the age of sixteen (I didn’t), I was all too eager to read Marie Kondo’s bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Kondo has been “an avid fan of home and lifestyle magazines since kindergarten,” and is now a cleaning consultant who created one of the most well-known organization strategies: The KonMari Method. In this novel, she reveals her secrets that only clients had access to before.
Kondo begins by defeating each common excuse as to why people believe they are unable to keep their living spaces organized. This is a nice set-up for an entire chapter on her first rule of tidying up: discard most things, and do it first. Page by page, Kondo explains to the wary reader how discarding items that don’t “spark joy” in their heart allows room for you to fully appreciate the belongings you keep. She avoids the gimmicky allure of creative storage strategies and instead leaves ‘storage’ for the next to last chapter altogether. For Kondo, in fact, being tidy is a lifestyle that only works with minimal storage, after you’ve thrown everything else away.
Sandwiched between the discarding and storage chapters is a 66 page segment that breaks down common cleaning pitfalls by category. Kondo provides more specific, detailed advice in this chapter, even offering a small section of tips regarding sock organization. Where her discarding chapter introduces the reader to the magic of the KonMari method, this chapter (“Tidying by Category Works Like Magic”) is where you will find practical tips that can be implemented right now.
As the title suggests, Kondo concludes her novel with a chapter on the transformative impact of tidying up. While this segment, and the entire book, is filled with ‘magical’ statements, Kondo truly identifies the key to her method’s success when she states that “being surrounded by the things that spark joy makes you happy.” With this, she has named a basic principle of happiness that does not just apply to tidying up. When you keep things or people in your life that do not help you feel fulfilled, you will be unhappy. Upon this realization, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up can truly become life-changing.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up can be purchased on Amazon here for $10.19. If you have any experiences of organization impacting your overall happiness, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!