Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing {Marie Kondo}

Have you watched the new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo?  Everyone is talking about it!  It is currently causing millions of people to reorganize and declutter their homes. I read and fell in love with her book and her logic years ago.


Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

My Thoughts

When The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing was released in 2014, I ordered and read it immediately.  It’s fantastic!  I currently keep it in my nightstand to refer back to when I need a refresher.  It’s about keeping the absolute most special and useful physical things in your life and getting rid of everything else.

The older I get, the more into minimalism I become.  I started on this journey a few years ago and I work on it bit by it each day.  It’s important to me and has been so beneficial to our entire family.  I used to be the EXACT opposite.  I used to buy things just to buy them without giving much thought to if I even wanted or needed them first.

My thought process really changed once I had my children.  The baby industry is RIDICULOUS, making new moms think they need every baby product on the market.  By the time I had my 2nd child, I knew that there were very few products that we actually needed and would be using. The true things that all babies actually need cannot be bought!  This really opened my eyes as to what we were bringing into our home and why.

One of my favorite things to do is to hold our annual garage sale.  I spend all year putting stuff into bins to sell and when the time comes to haul those bins into the garage, a feeling of peace comes over me!  I LOVE getting rid of stuff.  In my opinion, a clutter free home leads to a clutter free mind.

I work hard on keeping my house clean and free of clutter.  I truly believe that when my house is clean and clutter free, I feel calmer.  I make our bed every single morning.  I try to do at least 1 load of laundry each day.  I try to never have dirty dishes in my sink.  These things not only keep our home in working order, but keep my mind in working order as well!

My daughter had a play date here a few months ago and when her friend’s mom came to pick her up, she told me that couldn’t believe how organized my house was when there are 2 young children living here.  I loved hearing that!  I truly believe that kids can have toys, but those toys don’t have to take over the entire house.

I’ve been trying to teach my kids to clean up after themselves.  When they finish playing with something to put it away before taking out something new.  This is a work in progress 🙂

Our family and friends know how we feel about this. When it comes to buying gifts for our children, they have been respectful in following our wishes to not allow clutter into our home. Our kids already have way too many toys that they don’t play with.  TOO MANY TOYS. In this house, toys truly just equal clutter because they are abandoned within 5 minutes of receiving them.  As for clothes, I’m very picky with their clothes and like to pick them out myself.  This leaves my absolute favorite gift that people give my children…gift cards for experiences!  Plays, concerts, zoo/museum memberships, movies, fun restaurants, etc. Experiences are ALWAYS welcome, especially ones that will give our family lasting memories.  One can never have too many memories with family…but one can DEFINITELY have too many unplayed with toys.

As for Jon and I…when we got married, we had a massive (gorgeous) comforter with THIRTEEN throw pillows.  THIRTEEN.  Every single morning, I would artfully arrange those pillows and every single night, I would carefully pile them in the corner of our room.  I would fold down the comforter so that all of the designs were in perfect harmony.  It was stunning.  It was gorgeous.  It was a production.  It was insane.

Our bed now is simple, beautiful, and perfect.  It takes me exactly 1 minute to make each morning.  So much better.  Our nightstands are always neat and clutter free.  When we go to bed each night and wake up each morning, we are surrounded by peace and not by chaos.

I work hard to keep our home clutter free and only keeping things that we love and that “spark joy” as Kondo would say.  My husband came home from work one day and discovered that I had gotten rid of everything in our downstairs bathroom because I was “over it”.  That was over the summer and I still haven’t replaced everything in there because I refuse to buy things until I find things that I absolutely love!  In hindsight, I probably should have bought all of the new stuff BEFORE getting rid of the old stuff?  Live and learn…

Bottom Line

If it doesn’t spark joy, you don’t need it.  Period.

Did you read Marie Kondo’s book?

Have you watched her Netflix show?

Do you practice minimalism?



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