Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
Published by: Ten Speed Press on October 14, 2014.
Genres: Self-Help, Nonfiction
Pages: 226
Format: E-Book
Buy on Amazon


There is a two-step method to tidying permanently: reduce what you own, then organize what remains. Marie Kondō goes into great detail about how to create a clutter free space so you can thrive in life.

Key-Concepts + Application:

These Key-Concepts are the most relevant parts in my opinion. It is a mixture of quotes and summarized sections. I also provide an application to help enact these concepts into your life.

  • Tidy (Discard) by category instead of location in order to be effective, start with clothes then books, papers, miscellany, and finally things with sentimental value.
    • Gather every item for each category into one location so you can view the volume of the category
  • To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.
    • The goal is for things you love (Books, Pictures, Clothes, etc.) to always be within sight. It is hard to be appreciative of something you forget even existed (e.g., a photo album in the back of your closet).
  • In order to be truly content you must only be surrounded by the things that spark joy in your life.
    • The ideology here is to remove all items that do not serve a practical purpose in enhancing your happiness.
  • When we organize our possessions (clothes, books, etc.) vertically we can easily view at a glance everything we have.
    • Create a system where when putting things away they always go back vertically. This seems tedious to institute but can save huge amounts of time later when finding items.
  • Commercial storage items are often unnecessary: a rectangular or square box can be used as a divider in drawers to do the same job.
    • As you discard save boxes that you find to later use as drawer organizers.

My Review:

I believe Kondō’s method for cleaning is intuitive: Tidy by category once and never tidy again. I appreciated how in-depth she went into every form of storage and her method for keeping your home tidy permanently, specifically her chapter: “Empty your bag every day.” She, however, tends to be a bit too spiritual in the book, which to her credit has worked for her career, but at times it took away from the rich content the book has. When I first started reading the book I thought her method for assessing items (“Does this spark joy”) was peculiar, however, after I tried it I was able to get rid of six bags of trash. I hope she eventually comes out with a new edition of the book with chapters on tidying one’s digital life, such as methods for managing your inbox, organizing files and clearing the clutter of notifications that flood our lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s