Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Is Only Moderately Life-Changing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Is Only Moderately Life-Changing.

Well, it’s been not a minute, but several minutes! Y’all, I finally made my way through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up! And while it wasn’t magical, I did find myself drawn to KonMari’s brute cleaning philosophy — my main takeaway from this handy little book is that you should aim to exhaustively clean all at once instead of making it a recurring chore. In that regard, Kondo often feels more like a hardcore fitness trainer rather than the whimsical fixer-upper that pop culture chalks her up to be. If you want to get your life together, you have to commit to it, no excuses. 

Frankly, I think that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a book that you need to be in the mood for, much like a children’s movie or a horror flick. That’s not a dunk on it. The book can be incredibly helpful if you’re in the right mindset — that is, extraordinarily dedicated to self-improvement! Suffice to say, I wasn’t emotionally in this space when I started the book.

Much of what Kondo says makes sense, though. She confesses in a late chapter that she’s not the most confident person but that tidying has given her an outlet to feel joy and comfort in her environment. It’s not a groundbreaking insight, but it tracks! I’ve taken this message to heart and have been more deliberate with curating my belongings. Halfway through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I donated stacks and stacks of books that I never intended to read and brought garbage bags of clothes to Savers. Now, I keep in bold display things that do bring me joy, such as my perfumes and plants. 

Kondo slips in practical advice while keeping an authoritative-inspirational tone. Her method begins with dumping out your least sentimental objects first (i.e. clothes) and asking yourself if your objects bring you joy. I felt curious as to what she had to say regarding storage. Warning people not to go overboard with organizers, she’s a proponent of upcycling items such as Apple packaging and shoeboxes for storing belongings, likening them to homes for things that bring you joy! Accordingly, I used old perfume and candy boxes to organize my crafts and closet items. (Though, I wasn’t above getting cute boxes at T.J. Maxx!) 

Overall, I appreciated The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up while not completely loving it. A clean space allows me to think more clearly, but I didn’t find changing my relationship with my objects emotionally revolutionary, you know? This copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up may find itself back on another Goodwill shelf shortly. 

Anyway, thanks so much for reading, y’all! Life has really been a whirlwind lately, but I’m hoping to post more regularly as I crack a dent in my queue of spooky reads for October. I’m cutting back on Weekend Updates, but I definitely plan on doing more one-off lifestyle/plant updates in the next few weeks. Be back soon, plant babies!

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