Tuesday, November 4, 2014

'The magic of tidying up' - a small book that is changing my life

Marie Kondo
Does this old book still give you a thrill of pleasure when you open it? Does this sweater bring you joy when you wear it?
No? Then there they go, outski the doorski.

That's the premise of a new book that is revolutionizing my life. It's called "the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing." (Ten Speed Press, $16.99 hardcover)

You will love it, too.
The author, Marie Kondo, 30, is a Japanese cleaning consultant with a three-month waiting list for her services. She "takes tidying to a whole new level."
When I mentioned to a friend that she should discard anything that didn't bring her joy, she said: "There's goes my husband."
I'll keep mine. But since reading this dandy guide, I have discarded about 800 pounds of books (including all my 2013 New Yorker magazines), several sweaters, broken jewelry, stained dish towels and other things I won't mention. (I emptied one whole bookcase, which I can now give away.)
And I haven't even started on the garage.
Here's what's wonderful about this book: Marie says:
  • Forget plugging away, tossing one thing each day. No. Go for it. Revolutionize a room by aiming for perfection.
  • Effective tidying involves two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to put things.
  • Start with clothes, then move on to books, papers, miscellany and sentimental objects.
  • To discard books, remove them from the shelves and put them all on the floor.
  • The true pleasure of tidying is reducing your items to those that inspire joy.
There's so much more. Marie says not to worry about throwing away too much. "There will come a moment," she says, "when you know what is just right."



Anonymous said...

The question is, what do you DO with all those books? Donate? Recycle?? It's hard to part with books that at one time were treasured!

Anonymous said...

You can donate them to habitat for humanity. :)

Anonymous said...

That is great to know; thank you! I'm in the middle of a book-reduction project right now and struggling with where to leverage the discards. Thanks for the great idea!

Anonymous said...

I have donated more than 100 books to my son's high school. Many went onto the school's library shelves, and some went to the faculty room for teachers' use. You can also take your books to a used-book store, such as The Last Word at 230 East W.T. Harris Blvd., which will give you cash or store credit. An assisted living facility is another possibility.