The Nerd Journals

Filling up journals as proof of my meager existence.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

3/5 stars

I think this book had a lot of good ideas for decluttering but it was awfully fluffy and repetitive at points. Also possibly a bit crazy. I think a lot of the bad reviews for this book are from people who didn’t understand that this book was about decluttering unnecessary items (you don’t have to ask yourself if your medication sparks joy) and I think a lot of the really great people are from people who didn’t actually use this method for dealing with their extras.

I’m somewhere in the middle and I would have rated this book 2.5 stars if that had been an option, but I decided to round up since overall the KonMari method has definitely been helping me deal with the excess in my life. But honestly, some advice in this book is a bit insane. The author tells us that she washes her dishes and puts them on the veranda to dry in the sun so she doesn’t have to keep a dish rack in her home. I mean, that’s nuts, right? Who does that?

I also found a bit more of what I consider bad advice, as someone who is financially strapped. The author recommends getting rid of excess (of what I call “overstock”) of things like toilet paper, shampoo, etc. That’s crazy! It’s stuff that is definitely going to be used and in the not-too-distant future. My recommendation would be to keep the overstock that you buy for cheap with coupons (just don’t go overboard) in a container in the bathroom closet or under the sink.; somewhere you don’t forget about it. And use it! Don’t buy excess when you have a few bottles already (good sale prices always come again and coupons go in cycles in your weekend newspapers).

People are shitting all over Marie Kondo for her thoughts about speaking to objects and thanking them for their service. I think this is one of the lesser crazy ideas in the book because I think the brain is very powerful and cues such as thanking an object before discarding it is a great mental cue to move on from something you may have been hoarding. Not to be in a battle of theologies, but what’s the difference between thanking god and thanking a book for entertaining you? It’s a nice way for closure and to remind yourself that you probably wouldn’t read it again anyway. Just last night I discarded a beautiful Roots team Canada hockey jersey that I was given for Christmas about 15 years ago. It was still in impeccable shape, but I haven’t worn it for more than a decade. It was time to let go so I thanked my jersey before putting it in the donate pile. It feels like saying goodbye to an old friend.

In the end, I’m glad I didn’t buy a copy of this book because it didn’t spark joy and I would end up having to discard it.

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