One of the most popular non-fiction titles at O’Fallon right now is Spark Joy by Marie Kondo!

Please don’t pick up Spark Joy until you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I think this companion novel is an excellent book by itself, but you won’t be able to fully appreciate it unless you’ve read Kondo’s first title. She doesn’t completely explain her tidying methods in this book as in the last, but there was still so much to enjoy here. Kondo’s not for everyone- some of her ideas are very different like treating your possessions as if they have spirits of their own and sorting items by smell- but I really like her. I think it’s because she is obviously very passionate about what she teaches and her excitement seems to exude from the pages of her book.

I like that she encourages individuals to embrace what they love, even if society doesn’t love it too, like in this section called Save Your Cosplay for Indoors: “…a surprisingly high percentage of my clients have costume-like clothes. To name just a few, I have encountered a Chinese dress, a maid’s outfit, and a belly-dancing costume. If the client loves it, parting with it can be very hard. If it brings you joy, but you can’t see yourself wearing it outside, there’s no reason you shouldn’t wear it inside.” pg 25-26

A pretty philosophy of living: “I’m convinced that things that have been loved and cherished acquire elegance and character. When we surround ourselves only with things that spark joy and shower them with love, we can transform our home into a space filled with precious artifacts, our very own art museum.” pg 47

I remembered her theory on socks from her last book and it made me smile again so I’m including it here: “The socks you wear at home are particularly important because they are the contact point between you and your house, so choose ones that will make the time you spend there even more enjoyable. Balling your socks and stockings, or tying them into knots, is cruel. Please put an end to this practice today.” pg 98 🙂

I’m still trying to talk myself out of the mountains of books that I have around the house. I have this dream that one day, I’ll have an enormous library with shelves so high that I’ll need a ladder with rollers to climb up and reach the books at the top. Here’s what Kondo has to say about tidying up the books: “When you’re left with only those books that you love, you’ll discover that the quality of information you receive changes noticeably. The room you make by discarding books seems to create space for an equivalent volume of new information. You’ll soon see that the information you need comes just when you need it, and when it does, you’ll find that you respond to it immediately in a new pattern of behavior that wasn’t possible when you were hoarding books and neglecting the information they contained.” pg 126 Sigh.

Helpful tip for sorting my daughter’s piles of stuffed animals: “Energy resides in the eyes, which is why it’s best to cover them when discarding something. Once their eyes are hidden, stuffed toys and dolls look much more like objects, and that makes it far easier to part with them. The simplest solution is to place a cloth or piece of paper over their faces.” pg 164-165 A different method, certainly, now to see if it works…

The royal treatment of possessions: “…my criterion for deciding which items require royal treatment… is this: the item’s proximity to your body. Items such as forks or undergarments, which come in direct contact with delicate parts of our bodies, should be treated as a rank above the rest whenever possible.” pg 183 Good to know.

And finally: “Tidying is a special event. If you give storage your best effort, experimenting with different ideas and enjoying the whole process, you’ll find that it goes very smoothly. Treat it like a game. Each idea you try will bring immediate results, and you can readjust anytime you like. Storage is really the most entertaining attraction in the tidying carnival.” pg 206 If only I had that sort of passion for tidying… Marie Kondo is inspiring but I don’t know if I will ever achieve the emotional highs that she finds from it. But, she makes me willing to try.

Thanks for reading! -Heidi

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