Sunday 19 April 2015

#CBR7 Book 41: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever" by Marie Kondô

Page count: 256 pages
Rating: 4 stars

A while back, I read a fascinating interview, where Jamie Lee Curtis interviewed fellow actress Sigourney Weaver. In between all the other very interesting things they talk about, they mention this book. I was curious, looked it up on Amazon, and because being tidy is not something I think I've ever managed to be in my entire life, the description and purpose of the book appealed to me.

Marie Kondô has clearly turned the art of discarding all your pointless possessions and finding the right place for your remaining ones her life's purpose. She teaches people about her KonMari method in seminars, and writes very compellingly about it in this book. In order for people to be tidy, they need to reduce the amount of stuff they have. People who are untidy and whose lives are full of clutter, have far too much stuff and need to discard most of it, in order to be tidy. Ms Kondô writes about what order you should start sorting through your possessions, and the only criterion she gives for you to keep something is "Does it spark joy?" You have to gather all your items of the same kind (clothes, books, dvds etc) in one place and touch each and every one. If the item sparks joy, that is what you keep. Everything else goes, with very few exceptions.

She claims that once you have managed to discard all of your unnecessary possessions and let go of the ones that don't actually make you happy, it will fall pretty naturally where you want to keep the remaining items that you have. She advises that you keep all the same type of items in one place, and says that this helps you get a good idea of what you have at all times, to avoid new clutter building up. She promises that if you actually follow her method for discarding and tidying, you will never back-slide into becoming an untidy person.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that I'm a hoarder, because having seen cases of ACTUAL hoarding, I'm nowhere near that stage. But I do find a tremendous comfort in owning things. Books, films, handbags, kitchen equipment, beautiful notebooks that I hardly ever write anything in, pens - these are items I probably have way too many of. Especially considering I literally can't remember the last time I actually watched most of my dvds. There are more than a hundred books on my shelves that I haven't read (and that's not even counting all the e-books - they don't cause clutter, as they are stored on my hard drive). There is not a surface in our flat that isn't full of stuff. Our tiny Oslo flat is terribly cluttered, something my father never fails to give me grief about, even when we actually do tidy as best we can every time he's due to come over. We simply have far too many things to keep the place properly tidy.

The husband and I are in the process of looking for a new place to live, and before we do, I have every intention of following Ms. Kondô's advice for de-cluttering our lives. We need to do a major sort-through of our possessions, and we need to do it before we actually move anywhere, because I suspect by that point, we'll be too stressed to go through our stuff without being too stressed and emotional. If this method actually works, I intend to write an extremely glowing review and post it on Amazon - because it will mean this book has succeeded where everything else has failed. I'm already mentally preparing myself for the discard phase, getting myself used to the idea that I don't need to surround myself with physical objects I never use to be happy. The book was a fascinating read, I just hope I can follow the advice given and finally become a tidier person.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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