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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up; The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo


Image from here

Summary
from here

Japanese organizational consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly declutter your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Whereas most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, the KonMari Method's category-by-category, all-at-once prescription leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have been repeat customers (and she still has a three-month waiting list of new customers!). With detailed guidance for every type of item in the household, this quirky little manual from Japan's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help readers clear their clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home--and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Where to get it?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN/1607747308/rs12-20


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(I am totally cool with permies.com staff editing this post)
 
r ranson
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.
Some of you might be wondering why this is a permaculture book? It has no food forest or advice on water retention in the soil. What it does have is an amazing approach to simplifying your life and more importantly, reducing the total number of belongings cluttering up your home.

This is the perfect book for those looking to downsize, especially those interested in tiny home living. It is also a good book for simply living a more sustainable lifestyle. Reducing the items in your life to just those that are useful or give you joy can be a tremendous step towards using less and leaving a less harmful footprint on the planet.

Marie Kondo is a professional declutter-er. She has developed a very soothing, step by step approach to decluttering. Maybe decluttering is a bit mild... it’s a major clean out. Not only does she have a specific way to decide what of which item to keep, but also where you should start and how to store what you have left at the end.

It is necessary that the items you keep bring you joy and fulfillment. They have a use in your life. Kondo’s approach makes the emotional decision to remove the excess stuff from our lives, so much easier than it’s ever been. This has been a great book for getting ready to downsize to a smaller house.

I’m not quite finished the book yet, so I may be wrong. However, I am having trouble with one small aspect of this book. I don’t know what to do with this stuff I’ve decided to get rid of. It is all well and good deciding that I don’t need my Star Trek mementos anymore, but now what do I do with it? Clothing can go to the Good Will, some things can be recycled... but what about the rest? I’m spending more time figuring out what to do with this stuff than it did sorting through it.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Putting this on my wish list asap.

Also, I don't want to be a negative nancy, but goodwill is kinda shitty and if you can avoid it, it'd be better (in my opinion) to donate your clothes to a local thrift store or something. .

Goodwill is just kinda greedy and exploits disabled people:
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1876905

there are tons of local thrift stores where I live where the profits go to a homeless shelter or something, not directly into the CEOs pockets...
 
r ranson
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That's interesting about the Good Will. Thanks for letting us know. We don't actually have it here, but we use the term Good Will to refer to any charity thrift shop.

Mostly we give to the Sally Anne (salvation Army) because of the good work they did during WW2.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Yeah Salvation Army is a great place to give to!
 
nancy sutton
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Might also consider St. Vincent de Paul... they also offer classes for immigrants and other needy folks.

I hope this decluttering doesn't apply to the typical gardeners', permies' etc. 'boneyard' aka 'junk corner' where all the odds and ends that might be useful (and usually are) for something or other. I love mine... I've reused so many items, after pondering my trash/treasure pile inspired a stroke of genius ?)
 
r ranson
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nancy sutton wrote:Might also consider St. Vincent de Paul... they also offer classes for immigrants and other needy folks.

I hope this decluttering doesn't apply to the typical gardeners', permies' etc. 'boneyard' aka 'junk corner' where all the odds and ends that might be useful (and usually are) for something or other. I love mine... I've reused so many items, after pondering my trash/treasure pile inspired a stroke of genius ?)


I think the main criteria is if the object brings you joy. If it does, keep it, if not then it's just wasting space.
 
Matu Collins
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I'm so glad you started this thread! I've been meaning to write a review of this book for a year but I've been spending every free moment piling my possessions up by category and picking up each item in turn, feeling for a spark of joy! Seriously.

I agree, the method is very related to permaculture design. Especially the bit about "a place for everything and everything in its place" Zone 1, baby.

Kondo ranges into woo-type areas when she considers the preferences of the socks in sock folding decisions. I hope this purple flavor that creeps in sometimes does not dissuade the more concrete thinkers among us to throw The KonMari Method out with the bathwater.

She's right when she says doing clothes and books is a good place to start. Her time frame is more suited to a young single person in a small apartment. A weekend! Ha! She is not envisioning an American family farm with lots of children and outbuildings full off decades of other people's junk. It took us a weekend just to do the books that belong to the adults.
 
Vera Stewart
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I give this book 7 out of 10 acorns.

Considering myself more tidy then messy, and less-stuff-concerned then the Canadian average, (although by no means a minimalist,) I read this book about tidying up a household space not to address any particular sense of need, but just out of curiosity.

Ms. Kondo, a very successful tidying-guru in Japan, advises a dedicated decluttering, following some very prescriptive steps, followed by tips for better storage, and believes that following her plan will lead you to live a more fulfilled life.

One of the most important aspects of household management that Ms. Kondo addressed for me, was that try as you might, you can't successfully "tidy" another person's "mess." She describes this as disrespectful, and bound for failure. As someone who has tried and failed and been frustrated by attempts to have/help other family/household members de-clutter, Ms. Kondo's writing about this as a respect issue was enlightening. I'd never quite thought of it as an issue of respect for the other person's choices before. Now I feel I am less stressed about other-clutter as a result of this new view on it as an issue. This, and the way I treat my socks, seems to be the longest-lasting result in my life from reading this self-help book.

I did make a semi-serious attempt to follow the "KonMarie" method of decluttering and tidying with my personal items, although I feel I was probably not as ruthless in culling items which "lack joy" for me as Ms. Kondo would advise. Many times this was a financial decision. I did get the sense that most of Ms. Kondo's clients had a greater level of disposable income then I, and would be better able to afford to "throw out" everthing that didn't "spark joy." There is, as I recall, a few lines about how it's okay to keep useful items, as you should view their usefulness joyfully, but I really came away feeling like this was just a tokenism. There also seems to be little room for "just in case" items, which I suspect will go down poorly with many forum users.

Another negative aspect on the book, which may simply be a result of poor translation, is that Ms. Kondo frequently seems to advise that what you don't want anymore should be thrown out. Into the garbage.
This made me complain out loud a few times while reading the book, and I do wonder if it was intended or not, because surely the translator would of asked if she meant "into the trash" versus "recycling" or "put it in the donation box" - these are surely different things in Japanese as well as in English!

About the socks - yes, it gets woo-woo-ish, and I am not talking to my socks, or any other clothes item as if it were alive anytime soon, despite Ms. Kondo's recommendation, but I have converted to storing my socks rolled up on their sides in the sock drawer as she described. Not for any spiritual reason, but for better grab-a-bility, I am finding my favourite sock pairs in a rapid manner these days. I did not try other storage recommendations, but I suspect that at least a few other suggestions in the storage department are practical as well.

It is written that if you faithfully follow the rules set out in this book, you will tidy once and never have to tidy again.
I can't tell you that this is true - I followed most of the practical steps and find myself still doing a little tidying. A true KonMarie convert would no doubt point to my lack of utter remorselessness when going through my items to keep only those which sparked joy, and unwillingness to take on many of the storing solutions, as the reason.

However, if you struggle mightily with clutter and untidiness, you could do worse then picking up this book in search for a solution.

Plus, you will get to read about Japanese closets, which sound like they must be enormous.
 
Vera Stewart
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:Yeah Salvation Army is a great place to give to!


The Sally Ann thrift shop back in the city was my introduction to thrifting as an amazing thing. Before I discovered them, all I had tried was the Value Village/Savers which was not the same thing at all!

Ideas for what to do with the items you are deculttering:

1)Offer bigger ticket items for sale, using free classifieds offline/online. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it takes a year for an item to sell. I'd suggest setting a time limit. "I'll keep this toaster oven listed for a month, and if it sells, great, if it doesn't, then I'll do something else with it to get it outta here..." In my experience, clothing and books are next to impossible to sell second hand person to person

2) Offer the toaster oven up for free. Again, time limit!

3) My town has a volunteer run flea market. A couple of times a week, you can drop large or small items off at their warehouse, and they'll put it up for sale for charity on the weekend. Maybe there is something close to you like this.

4) Thrift shops. If there is no Salvation Army, perhaps there is a local equivalent? Look in the phone book, a locally run thrift shop might not have a website.

5) Homeless shelters/soup kitchens. I donated a bunch of old toques, etc., to the regional homeless shelter this past fall. I'm sure you've seen those appeals too.

6) No one wants the toaster oven. Well, is there a recycling depot around? Maybe they will be able to use the metal/electronics.

edited to add 7) for books, you might be able to take them to a second-hand book shop. If they don't want to buy them from you, maybe they'll still take them for you!
 
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