Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Japanese author Marie Kondo created a flurry of interest recently when she published her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up."  Now she's back with part two of the series, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.  Not only does she explain her "Kondori" method of tidying up your house (and by extension, your life), she also includes cute illustrations to show how to implement her suggestions.

The author has devoted herself to "the art of tidying" to such an extent that she is a sought-after consultant.  People who have tried and repeatedly failed to get their homes in order frequently call her in to get them on the right path.  She begins with the 6 rules of tidying:

1. Commit Yourself to Tidying
2. Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
3. Finish Discarding (to keep you from getting distracted as you store things instead of getting rid of them once and for all)
4. Tidy By Category, Not Location (as in, gather every piece of clothing in the house into one big pile and start discarding)
5. Follow the Right Order
6. Ask Yourself if it Sparks Joy

The final rule is the one thing that the author returns to again and again.  She says you should keep absolutely nothing in your house that doesn't give you a little thrill when you see it or pick it up.  While this is an admirable goal, she also mentions her own experiences in, for instance, throwing out a hammer and screwdriver that didn't "spark joy" and then having to use (and damage) some of her joyful possessions -- such as using a frying pan to hammer a nail and a ruler to turn a screw.  Even so, her mantra is "It might come in handy is taboo."

She includes a "Tidying Encyclopedia" which takes various categories (clothing, papers, miscellaneous, etc.) and shows with little cartoon drawings how to fold, store and organize these items.  If you aren't inspired enough by her detailed instructions, at the end of the book she discusses the wonderful changes that will occur in your life once your home and possessions are in order.  All in all, this is an inspiring, if somewhat radical, look at how to start tidying and organizing your things so that you have more time to focus on what sparks joy in your life.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Spark Joy from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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