Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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

   The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
   Marie Kondo

My parents were both born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu during the depression and in an era where the longshoremen often went on strike.  The strikes resulted in a scarcity of many imported products and, I believe, taught my parents to “stock up” on goods and to save everything.  Needless to say, their house is pretty full.

Perhaps because I was raised in an “item-filled” home, I like the exact opposite-I like my home to be tidy and uncluttered where everything has its own place.  As a result, I’ve read quite a few books and articles on decluttering and organizing.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is the best and most unique book I’ve read on this subject.

Author Marie Kondo advocates removing all unnecessary items from one’s home that don’t bring joy to the owner.  While this philosophy sounds a little odd, it really is a great approach to evaluating whether or not to keep something. 

Employing her method, I looked through all of my gift wrap accessories.  There were gifts bags, rolls of wrapping paper and ribbons that were years old.  Previously, I couldn’t bring myself to give them to charity or to throw them away because there was nothing wrong with them.  I now realize these goods were old because I didn’t think they were good enough to be part of a gift.  With my new mindset, it was easy to remove items that aren’t up to my standards.

The book also addresses tricky issues like giving away gifts, expensive items and things that hold a lot of memories.  While you may not agree with all of Kondo’s ideas (She treats inanimate objects like people), if you are looking to declutter and tidy your personal space, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up will alter your perspective, and perhaps, your life.

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