Our book club has picked out 7 books to read this year, all of them are fiction except one… ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo.
Last Sunday we discussed this book and today you can read all about what my fellow book club members and I think about this book!
‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ – Summary
This non-fiction book is about… tidying up! I know… I never thought I would read a book about this subject, but hey… that’s what book clubs do to you I guess 😀
This book was written by Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo. She advocates a new approach on tidying up. Whereas other cleaning consultants or specialists say to tidy up room by room, little by little or throw away one thing on day one, two things on day two, etc, her ways are a bit more drastic…
She says that if you’ll follow her rules, you’ll only have to tidy up once in your entire life! She conducted a category by category system, put everything from one category on the floor, take each and every item into your hands and let the general feeling guide you whether you should keep it or not… she calls it the KonMari Method.
The overall message the book gives is, that a tidy house has a positive impact on other aspects of your life and that you should only keep stuff that ‘spark joy’…
‘The life-changing magic of tidying’ – My thoughts on this book
When we chose this book, the majority of our book club members wanted to read this book just out of curiousity I guess… well I did anyway. Would this book really change my life?!?! That’s the big question of course and the answer is really simple… NO 🙂
However when reading it, I really had the urge to start cleaning up… but once I finished the book, I had better stuff to do 🙂 I did clear out part of my wardrobe keeping some of her tips in mind, but the rest of my house still needs clearing out so I guess Marie Kondo didn’t really succeed in converting me to her methods of tidying up.
Below you can read my thoughts on this book:
- I really like the underlying thought: you should only keep the things you really like or really need that way you will be so much happier as you will only be surrounded by the things that spark joy!
- She’s certainly right about this one: you only use the things you know you have… so you better make sure that you have a system in which you see what you’ve got in order to use the things that you’ve got!
- Marie Kondo repeats herself… a lot! It might be deliberate so that the reader gets the idea, but it’s just a bit too much repetition in my opinion.
- Especially with a subject like this, I think you should avoid full sentences. I think this book lacks usable checklists and a summing-up of tips. But on the other hand, my daughter says that making only checklists, the reader wouldn’t get inspired by the book. It would only be a couple of checklists. With the way she writes this book, the reader gets motivated to start tidying up herself (mind… herself… I don’t see many men reading this book!). She tells stories from herself and her clients which work inspiring… so my daughter and I came up with the idea that the book can stay as it is, but she could add some checklists after each chapter 🙂
- This book misses pictures. She writes down how you should fold clothes and socks, but it would be better to visualise it. Apparantly in her second book (“Spark Joy”) there are images on how to fold stuff…
- Besides these few negative remarks I do think this book is inspiring. It certainly makes you think about tidying up and you may perhaps not follow all her tips, you will definitely learn a few that come in handy whilst clearing out your closets!
- I loved the minimalistic cover. It suits the subject of the book.
- It’s a quick read.
‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ – The book club
There were mixed feelings about this book in our book club. Some of us were quite enthusiastic about Marie Kondo’s approach of tidying up, others were not really into it. But in the end we all agreed that some of her tips can be really useful and you just have to apply them the way you feel about them!
Here are some of our thoughts:
- If you bear in mind some of her tips, you get to tidy up really well.
- The tidying up gives a positive feeling and you will buy less stuff.
- If everything in your house has a fixed place, you will automatically put it away in the right spot.
- If stuff keeps floating around your house/room, it means that it doesn’t have a fixed place. You should then give it a place or throw it out!
- If you want to apply the folding tips of Marie Kondo, you’d better have lots of cabinets instead of shelves!
- You can be really into this magic of tidying up, but if your housemates aren’t… well then you’ve got a bit of a problem! You can’t tidy up their stuff… you can but hope that they will get infected by your efforts of tidying up!
- Something we all agreed on: we wouldn’t start ripping out pages out of books and chuck the rest out… My daughter however has applied this on her sketchbooks. She had quite some sketchbooks as she did a lot of drawing in her teens. She ripped out the drawings she really liked and threw the rest of the sketchbooks away.
- We don’t empty our handbag each day… however if we would do this, we would change handbas more regularly and use the handbags we have instead of using the same for months on end!
- If you tidy up, you know what you have and you will use it more often.
- We cannot exactly compare our houses with the Japanese houses, so perhaps this method of tidying up is less applicable for our culture?
- We did all agree that a tidy house gives you a good feeling!
- The writing style isn’t very good, but we don’t know whether that is due to the translation or due to Marie Kondo’s style.
‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ – Score
This non-fiction book had a score of 7,43/10.
We discussed two books last Sunday, so next week you can read about the second book: ‘Afterwards’, written by Rosamund Lupton.
Have you already read this Marie Kondo book? Did you like it and perhaps more important… do you apply her method at home?