Okay, so following the success of the Happy Family Plan, one of my cousins bought me Konmari’s books, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising“and “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up“, as gifts for Christmas.
Now, I actually put these books on my Christmas wish list because I had come across Marie Kondo‘s home organisation technique whilst completing the Happy Family Plan. I mean, if you google ‘decluttering’ or ‘tidying’, you will eventually come across her books sooner or later.
My idea of tidying was to put all the mess out of sight as quickly as possible, which is only a short term measure of keeping things neat and organised. Soon, the cupboards and drawers were beginning to spill over all over the house again. In fact, when I was completing my Happy Family Plan, I realised halfway through that I was becoming fatigued and overwhelmed. This was because I was trying to do everything all at once and it wasn’t working for me.
For example, I really wanted to reorganise my cupboards, so I started out reorganising the Craft Cupboard, and soon this expanded to ‘reorganisation of the Games Cupboard’ which led to the ‘reorganisation of the Mementos Cupboard and Household Tools Cupboard’. I ended up with a bunch of half-organised, half-full cupboards, and a bunch of half-organised, overflowing cupboards. At one point, I found myself spending a whole hour just emptying and repacking the same things into different cupboards like a crazy person.
Eventually, I decided to call a stop to the reorganisation of the cupboards and just move on with the rest of the Happy Family Plan.
I wanted to read Marie Kondo’s books because she claims to have a ‘ONCE AND FOR ALL TIME’ plan. You complete her method ONCE AND FOR ALL TIME and never return to your previous state of disorganisation and mess. And because I am an inherently lazy person, I like the idea of doing things only once.
So, I have read both of her books, and I have come to the conclusion that:
- Yes, they are very useful because they set down a very clear and logical framework that you can follow.
- Yes, if you really want to follow her plan, buy both books.
- The Konmari method works especially well if you are the sort of person who tends to procrastinate, if you are constantly looking for good storage solutions and if you feel guilt about your messy house but you are not a tidy person by nature.
And now, my thoughts on each book:
Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising
Okay, the biggest criticism that this book has is that it uses some flower child hippie descriptive language. I mean, there is literally a whole paragraph in the book dedicated to examining the inner feelings of socks and the horror and abuse that is balling your socks up in the drawer.
Well, the first thing to remember is that this book is written primarily for a Japanese audience, and that culturally, all objects in Japan are described as having a spiritual nature. So in order to reach the heart of her audience, Konmari very cleverly appeals to the Japanese innate appreciation of objects as well as for all things cute and cuddly, in order to achieve to change in psychological mindset.
If you strip away all of that, what you are left with is a very concise and logical method of managing the task of curating and organising personal possessions as well as household items. Marie Kondo explains the development process behind her method, and understanding the theory does help you focus on tackling the problem of household mess in a positive and manageable way. Additionally, I think that following her advice on how to store or display items (or fold clothes) will actually help you to prolong the lifespan of your treasured possessions. She also has some very useful advice on what to do with items that have outlived their usefulness, things that you are holding onto out of guilt or some other emotional reason, or that you are keeping in store for a rainy day.
Conclusion: This book is very useful if you do not like tidying, and you need some help getting started.
Thoughts on Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
I think that this book is only helpful if you have already started to tidy your house via the Konmari method, or if you have read the first book and you have more questions.
This book is written as a companion to the first one. It already assumes that you have read Marie Kondo’s book, and so it proceeds to explain everything in much more detail. It covers her entire method in a very thorough and detailed manner – with pictures, descriptions and very practical, helpful tips to help you along if you start feeling discouraged.
However, if you don’t understand the theory behind the Konmari method or if you have an obsessive personality, this book will hinder more than it helps as the amount of information it contains will be too overwhelming.
Conclusion: This book is immensely helpful as a quick reference guide for people who are already committed to the Konmari method.
So, Meimei, now I have completed reviewing the Konmari books as per the Queen of Clean challenge. Haha!