Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Life Changing Magic of Cleaning Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

When I decided to check this book out, it wasn't because I was particularly concerned with getting decluttering advice.  I feel like I do a pretty decent job of keeping the clutter in our home down.  We live in a small 700-ish square foot condo and when we moved in 5 years ago, we moved from a 1400-ish square foot house with a garage.  If I didn't know how to get rid of stuff, that would never have happened.  But, I am fond of decluttering as a topic.  Back when I used to follow blogs (I actually don't follow any anymore, even though I'm a blogger - shameful), many of them were about simple living.  The 100 item challenge, where you tried to get all your possessions down to only 100 individual items, was popular in my circles.  Anthony would tell you, I was/am too ruthless in my decluttering endeavors. 

So, I picked this book up not to help me figure out how to finally declutter, but just out of curiosity about the buzz.  There is a fair amount of buzz surrounding this book.  People are devotees.  However, when I popped in on a blog I used to follow (yes, even though I don't do so regularly, I occasionally get the itch to check in and do), there was a why I'm not a KonMari Method devotee post.  That made me want to see what it was all about.  I got The Life Changing Magic of Cleaning Up in audio book form.

The KonMari Method is a bit different from other advise I've seen regarding decluttering.  She suggests you work in a very specific order, for example, starting with clothes.  You spread everything in your category out on the floor, then hold the item to see if it sparks joy.  If not, it goes.  Once you're done with all the clothes, you move on.  I'm not going to go into a ton of detail about the categories or details of how to do the method, as you can A) Find it lots of places online or B) Read the book if you actually want to do it.

I will say that if you are just starting out that this method will probably work just fine for you.  I think that doing it myself would be kind of overkill, but, perhaps, I'll grant you, fruitful.  I did get the decluttering bug out of listening to this book and got rid of a couple of bags of things today, some trash, some Goodwill.  And this is after I'd just last week gone through my books and gotten rid of a bunch of them.  So, it was useful to me to listen, even if I didn't totally deploy her methods.

Here's what irked me:  I didn't care for all the treating objects like they have feelings stuff that permeates her method and book.  But, that's just me.  It might well appeal to Davan, for example, and, possibly(?) make it easier for her to be tidy to think of what the object in question would want.  Additionally, the conviction that this is The Way was a bit annoying.

The take away is that your mileage may vary.  Marie claims that none of the clients who've actually completed her course have backslid into clutter/messiness, but I find that a bit hard to swallow.  I do think that it's as good a method as any and likely better than some that are just about storing your stuff, but I don't think it's really all that. 

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