The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

We’re always interested in reading the latest talked-about-book. We are a bit late with this one, but suddenly everyone was reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and we knew we had to pick up a copy!

Kondo is a Japanese cleaning consultant, with a three month waiting list and a claimed 100% success rate. She has no repeat business, with no clients returning to their pre-Kondo cluttered ways.

Kondo’s KonMari approach differs from traditional tidying advice, which often advocates keeping your increasing number of possessions in complex storage solutions. Instead she recommends that tidying begin with the act of discarding, with only items that “spark joy” being kept.

The KonMari Method

In her book Kondo lays out her simple and firm approach:

  • Tidy once
  • Sort your possessions by category instead of location
  • Discard everything that does not spark joy
  • Designate a place for all remaining items to be kept
  • Never tidy again

Once the process is complete, Kondo reasons, you are not tidying away the remaining items after you use them, you are simply returning them to their designated place for a rest.  

She also provides advice for effectively storing your remaining items and her methods of folding clothes have sparked a number online tutorials, including how to fold and pack a perfect underwear and sock drawer.


The Result

Kondo has an infectiously enthusiastic approach to the process combined with a zen like calm, perfected from her years of working at a Shinto Shrine. She does not nag, but gently encourages you to change your ways and in doing so change your life.

The most interesting result of her method is that clients who complete her course have gone on to find new successes in other areas including work and relationships. The logic being that once your house is in order, other areas of your life will follow suit and order is established  both personally and professionally.

Our Verdict

The Life Changing Magic of tidying is an interesting and quick read that contains genuinely helpful and thought-provoking advice.! It’s made the rounds here in the Sönd office, resulting in a group of devout of KonMari converts, and more than a few bags of of clothing delivered to local London charity shops.

We found the book to be a logical approach to organising the home, with an unexpected emotional result that makes total sense. The home needs to be a place of sanctuary and filling it only with the items that spark joy seems like a good place to begin.  

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