Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Initial reaction: 3.5 stars. Some helpful tips but perhaps a bit too general for me in places.

Full review: Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” isn’t so much just an organizational book as it is a psychological one. It has a methodology, but it doesn’t lie with a specific set of steps or system as much as it is an examination of one’s own relationships with the things they have.

I appreciated hearing about Kondo’s path to being an organization expert, her own struggles and pitfalls along the way, and ultimately putting into practice what this book highlights as the Japanese approach and experience to decluttering. Putting to practice an all in one staging of singular categories, physically touching them to assess what value they have to you, and tossing those things that don’t bring you joy. It is a simple process but not as simple in implementation as I’m making it out to be.

And I somewhat understand this considering the principles of Feng Shui and how that relates to space. I even understand the concept of thanking one’s space and giving an object thanks for what it provided you before you let it go. (Psychologists do something similar with hoarders to coach them though getting rid of things.) I got a keen appreciation of the Japanese approach to organization from this book.

Yet, I still felt this missed something along the way. Part of it might’ve been Kondo’s meandering tone (meaning the text wasn’t as streamlined as it could’ve been) and another might be that I still felt something in the process might be missed. I could understand the principles here at the core – and they were good- but there were conflicting points that needed better address. I still enjoyed and got much out of the read, despite those qualms. so much that I’m looking forward to putting ideas from this to my own personal practice.

Overall score : 3.5 / 5 stars.

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