Book Review – Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Why I read this book:  My wife is on a cleaning kick as nesting kicks in for our impending third child.

Did I enjoy this book:  Not really.  It wasn’t a bad book per se, but I honestly think it could have been done in less than 15 pages without losing a single bit of actual content.

What I will learn from this book:  Throw things away if you don’t LOVE them.  On the writing front, remember to eliminate unnecessary words (sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc).


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up is a book on keeping your home clean and in order, and how much it can help make your life better. Although I think the message of this book is sound, the delivery leaves a lot to be desired.
The author does entirely too much stating of the exact same message over and over again in different ways. It’s important to dispose of things you no longer want. That said, disposing of things you no longer want is very important. If an object doesn’t bring you joy, you shouldn’t hold onto it. Etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if those exact three lines are covered in the book.
The core of the book revolves around the above point: You should look at each and everything in your home and decide if you truly enjoy that thing… Not the memory that thing is associated with, or the moment you got that thing… But do you enjoy the thing itself? If you no longer find joy in the present for the thing, it’s time to say goodbye and let the thing go. Storage is just a way to put things you never have any use for in a place you won’t notice it, where you will then forget it.
A key element of good non-fiction is the “war stories” or real life examples… In this case, the examples provided feel weak and generic… Or at best only marginally related to the specific point the author is trying to make. I honestly feel this book could have been made into a 10-15 page pamphlet and would have had the same value provided.
I will give a few points to the author. First, English is not her native language. As such, there are sure to be a few nuances. Second, I’m not a cleaning or storage nut. I’d like to have a cleaner house, and thought this book could give me some good tips. And it absolutely did. The suggestions are great…. All two hundred times each one is made.

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