The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

A review of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying”

Written by Marie Kondo

Published in 2014 by Vermilion, London.


This is a book about the impact tidying can have on your life. Marie Kondo talks you through her method of tidying and her experiences working with clients.

I will say first off that I read this book as a means to further my research for a project I was exploring. I wanted to create an animation about a woman who was struggling with clutter. I did not read this book because I wanted to seek a method to clean my living space. (Although I did pick up a few helpful tricks)

I appreciate the research and years of experience that the author has used as a basis of┬áthis book. I think it’s interesting to see how other people live their lives. There are some elements that struck a particular chord in my heart once or twice. (I see the logic in organising your belongings vertically.) Mostly though I was just looking for things that would be useful for my research.

I find the tone of voice in this book exhausting. It is somewhere between over enthusiastic and over preachy. I understand what this woman is trying to achieve with her method, and I do not doubt her results. However, there are some explanations she wrote which touch on very existential themes and I just think it’s a lot easier to see the things she is discussing in a rational light. It’s not about explaining things which don’t have an explanation. That’s just it. This book appears to give normal, everyday banal things some greater meaning which I don’t really think is necessary.

A lot of this book annoys me, but some parts are useful. If I ever was to completely clean my home top to bottom, then I would re-read parts of this book to get a better idea of the order that the author suggests you should tidy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t really bother reading the whole thing again.

This book is really beefed out with repetition – there are many things that the author repeats again and again. I wish that there was a simpler format to this book. A section at the back which would go through the “optimum” steps to tidying would be really helpful. Right now the tidying method steps are sandwitched between examples of past clients, the magical feels you should experience when tidying (according to the author) and tips on what you should and shouldn’t do.

It’s a good read. The language is easy. The method the author is trying to “promote” is in most cases rational and helpful. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who thinks that they need a change in their lives, or who realises that they have too much clutter.


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