Friday, February 19, 2016

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

★★★★★  The publisher provided a copy for review.
"Hey, have you guys heard about the new Japanese organizing book by Marie Kondo?" My daughter-in-law asked us last week. Her enthusiasm was palpable.

I'd heard the buzz about the "KonMari" organizing method from friends and read reviews. I've watched a few videos online, too. It's not complicated but it sure is specific - which brings a measure of sanity to the "too much already" that occupies many of our homes.

I love DIYs and how-tos. With the book in hand, I keep thinking, "I could have used this concept and this process when ..."

  • I moved into a college dorm and there was not enough room for everything I thought I needed = crowded!
  • we  married and the house filled up with my stuff and my new husband's things = messy!
  • our kids were small and toys and little clothes littered the drawers, closets, and living room floor = chaos!
  • we downsized to move to another country = pressured! This most recent wave of organizing might have benefitted most from the method. I gave away a lot of things I loved and now miss. (Doing KonMari  would have changed what I held and what I let go.)
The sketches are easy to follow and minimalistic in the Japanese style of "essentials only." The text is clear and simply worded, especially if you hang out with Japanese friends. Kondō writes as though she's in the room, giving personal advice.

My recommendation is that before you hire a professional organizer, buy the book and let Marie Kondō talk you through your stuff. You may find you need less than you thought and don't like your things enough to dust, vacuum, and sort through them over and over.

And that breathing space in the corners of your rooms, those empty shelves in the closet, and the room for pots and pans in the cupboard? It shouts: "Welcome! You've been KonMari-ed." Have fun with this.

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