Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Review

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (Amazon link)
Rating: 2 Stars
Source: Gift
Description:  This guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari method for simplifying, organizing and storing.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Nonfiction

Why I Picked This Book:  Who doesn't want to be tidier?  Plus I kept seeing the book everywhere so I couldn't resist.

My Impression:  I felt like there was quite a bit lost in translation and definitely a cultural gap with this one.  On a large scale I'm not sure how the KonMari method would work in American homes where the layouts and purpose is so different from Japanese homes.  A lot of the more general home organizing advice I just didn't find applicable.  The chapter on books just hurt.  I'm not getting rid of all the books I haven't read or hiding my bookshelves in a closest.
Not to say this book was a waste of time.  I did get inspired to really clean out my closet and drawers and I'm intrigued by the idea of vertical folding.  I also came to a realization that I should just toss all those accumulating magazines that are taking up space and that I'm honestly never going to read.  But there's a lot of repetition and the language is stilted and a little disjointed (I'm guessing this is from the translation).  While there was some interesting information I think the book could've been consolidated into a magazine article with much the same results.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Probably not.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Eh - it was okay and it's a short read so if you really need inspiration for clearing out this isn't a bad read.  I'd get it from the library or borrow a copy instead of buying it though.


  1. I've read a lot about decluttering recently. This book is a best-seller here, my library owns it. I haven't taken a look at this specific book yet, but I will to see the translation is better in French :) Anyway, the subject itself is interesting, it's great to walk around in your house/appartment and have more space and tidiness ! But no touching the books !!!

  2. I've seen this around and thought about picking it up because well I would love to declutter and organize. Maybe this isn't the book I need though. Great review!

  3. I get in these jags of cleaning, I mean like super cleaning, but the books are usually the same. Get baskets to organize, etc......

    Hey, I sent you an email about a book if you'd like it. Just checking in case it went to your Spam :-)

  4. Most of it was a bit much for me, too, but I'm so happy with my closet purge and reorganization!

  5. I have been curious about this one too. It's so popular right now. I'm sorry this one wasn't as inspiring and useful as you were hoping for.

  6. "The chapter on books just hurt. I'm not getting rid of all the books I haven't read or hiding my bookshelves in a closest. " - I'm with you on this. :D

    It's too bad the book didn't live up to its promise but if it inspired you to start de-cluttering it did something right. I can always use help with de-cluttering as I'm a pack rat. :( I'm curious about vertical folding; I may need to Google it.

  7. My sister-in-law recommended this book today at a family party. I've read several reviews and feel it's probably not for me. However, my SIL summed it up best saying take everything out of a closet and only put back what you will wear. I can follow THAT advice :)

  8. Pffftt, getting rid of books, that's not going to happen!

  9. I've been doing my own version of decluttering over the past few months....and getting rid of too much gives me a pain in my heart! But yes, I could (and have done) eliminate more magazines.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I haven't finished reading this one yet--I seem to read it in bits and spurts. I am finding it not to be too practical either. I do want to continue with it though. If it motivates me to do some decluttering, then I'll count it as a success. :-)

  11. Getting her to listen to me was like a little miracle haha In the video Japanese Magic Method