Book Review: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo is a “tidying” expert in Japan. She specialized in consulting with clients on how to tidying up the usually small home space in urban Japan. The book gives good tips especially around getting rid of things.

My key takeaways:
– Discarding comes first before re-organizing. That’s intuitive.
– Put everything on the floor/bed before purging – don’t do partial or incremental purging. Do all at the same time – once for all.
– This books speaks to the “once-a-life-time-event” tidying, not daily tidying. Probably not once a life time but once every few years for most of us.
– Keep only things speak to your heart, spark joy or bring you joy when you see or touch them. Choose what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of – a subtle difference.
– Do this by yourselves – with others present, your views may be distorted, especially those who gave you the “junk.”
– Purge systematically by categories (not places or rooms): start with clothes, books, documents, to the sentimental ones or momentos (most difficult).
– “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlive their purposes.”
– In the clothing categories, she gave a few tips like: start with off-season clothing, on when to hang and when to fold and how to fold for drawers. (“Folding is really a form of dialogue with our wardrobe.”)
– Books seem to be difficult for people but it’s easy for me because I don’t buy them.
– Giving the things you’re about to donate or discard a proper send off by bidding farewell and showing your gratitude for their services all these years and free them from the prison/storage for them to give joy to others. This might be a Japanese Zen things but it helps to alleviate one’s guilty conscience of being wasteful or speed through the grief process.

Here are a few good videos on folding clothes: (Search by “Marie Kondo Folding”)
Folding Shirts:

Folding Socks:

Folding Pants:

Folding Sweaters: