Initial reaction: I thought this was a thorough follow up to Marie Kondo’s first book, with more expansions and cute illustrations to boot. This book has a slight edge for my enjoyment because of how streamlined and organized it is compared to the first book. Probably rating this about 4 stars.
“Spark Joy” was a book I was anticipating reading following Marie Kondo’s first book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I was at first afraid I wouldn’t be able to read it for a while because of the long double-digit queue it had at my library. (Its hold list is still in the double digits even after my read of this book and the review I’m presently writing.) I’m thankful I grabbed this when I did because it ended up coming up for a special sale on Amazon.
The KonMari method, like named after the author, is a methodology of organizing that relies keeping things that “spark joy”, discarding things that don’t, and placing items back in their proper place. She notes that this is a method that involves doing a large overhaul all at once and following a specific means of going through ones things in the method of organizing: clothes, books, papers komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental items. I remember thinking at the end of Kondo’s first book that aspects of the method still felt like it didn’t have a streamlined expansion, which left me wanting more though I was intrigued and inspired by it. Now I can say that “Spark Joy” not only streamlined the details of the KonMari method, but it clarified and showcased tips in a way that was well presented and had cute illustrations to boot. I appreciated seeing some of the examples of her clientele and the emphasis on creating a space that you love and are surrounded by that bring that feeling to you. I grinned also at the note to “pack drawers like a Japanese bento box” – which if you know anything about bento boxes are very neatly and carefully presented. I already know about the Japanese style of folding clothes (thank you YouTube, because that’s how I fold all my clothes now), so reading it in this book was a refresher for me. I gained a lot of takeaway from this book in terms of the KonMari method and ways to incorporate it into my own system of organizing. I appreciated it (though honest to goodness, the only part of this method I know I won’t be using is getting rid of books – though I’ll apply it to magazines and newspapers that I’m trying to purge). I also liked that suggestions were made with respect to each part of the tidying process and approaches to each measure, including the large category of komono.
In the end, definitely a read I would recommend to those looking for organization methodologies and personal productivity. I plan on seeing how it works for me and keeping this book as a handy reference.
Overall score: 4/5 stars.