Book Reviews

Book Review #1/50 – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying


On our way back to the airport from our reunion on Nov 24, 2018 Amit mentioned this book about de-cluttering to Vandana and I. We then spoke about our habits of keeping our places clean and I mentioned how I try and only replace sarees rather than adding to my collection. I bought the book ten days back and completed reading it in about a week. This is also the first book of the 50 I hope to read this year …. yep, that’s one of the 50 things I want to do in my 50th year, read 50 books.

I not only completed reading the book, but have de-cluttered my saree wardrobe and the “Konmari” process works !!!!

The after picture –

Am genuinely thrilled and now the plan is to keep going through the house as per the steps that Marie Kondo has suggested.

The preface of the book has these lines – “…The KonMari Method is a simple, smart and effective way to banish clutter forever. Start by discarding. Then organise your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go. If you adopt this strategy, you’ll never revert to clutter again.” True words ! Just one space that I have de-cluttered makes me believe that I will never revert to clutter again.

There is this statement in the book which pretty much sums up the impact of de-cluttering the “Konmari” way – “..My clients always sound so happy and the results show that tidying has changed their way of thinking and their approach to life. In fact, it has changed their future. Why? This question is addressed in more detail throughout this book, but basically, when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t, what you should and shouldn’t do.”

The two step process – “…Tidying in the end is just a physical act. The work involved can be broadly divided into two kinds: deciding whether or not to throw something away and deciding where to put it. If you can do these two things, you can indeed achieve perfection. Objects can be counted. All you need to do is look at each item, one at a time, and decide whether or not to keep it and where to put it. That’s all you need to do to complete this job.”

The Konmari method of de-cluttering doesn’t result in a rebound because of this central philosophy – “…Through this experience, I came to the conclusion that the best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it. If not, throw it out. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.” So its about filling your space with things that spark joy and not with just “things”. After de-cluttering my saree wardrobe, every time I open it, I feel a sense of satisfaction and elation because every one of those sarees spark joy !!

I am a total convert to the “Konmari” method of de-cluttering and tidying. Thrilled to start the year with this book and I recommend this one as a must read. I am sure as the whole house gets de-cluttered, it will bring much joy as our house will be filled with only those things that spark joy. Thanks Marie Kondo for writing this book – its a life-changer !

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