36. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

This book was all the rage on Facebook, and many of my friends were buying it, but I chose to wait for it, and I was 60+ in line on the hold list. Two days after putting it on hold, I went to book club, and my friend had it in a pile to bring back to the library with a week still left on the check out! So, I quickly read this. It is a simple book. While I am convinced the person who wrote it is has some emotional issues (she does allude to this toward the end of the book) which made her compulsive and almost OCD in her "tidying" behavior, I think there are some valuable things to be gleaned from this book. I read half of it into the wee hours of my 56th birthday and put the principles to work on my clothes in a break between my lunch time birthday celebration with a friend and my dinner time celebration with my family. I was so "into" it that I totally forgot to go to a doctor's appointment! LOL! She recommended that all your clothes be in one place, and I had always had a summer clothes set and a winter clothes set, and it was always a pain to bring up the Rubbermaid Action Packer to change them out. After my purge, I was able to fit the whole year in one closet. So, I think her method works.
She has you ask yourself, "Does this thing bring me joy?" I realize that while things used to bring me joy, they no longer do. So it is OK to "let go" of that thing and know that its time of giving you joy has past, and you have that memory of it giving you joy. So, there were some good principles (although I won't be talking to my objects anytime soon - some of her stuff is just weird Shinto stuff that I have no desire to approach). 
Here is a link to a thorough analysis of the book along with pictures of how the author put it all into practice. That was helpful: 

Here is a book excerpt: 

Here is the order (Sorry if the numbering is all wonky, Blogger has such an outdated word processor that sometimes it does the weirdest things. So I put it in Word, and it looked fine so now I am cutting it from Word and putting it back here and hoping it works.):

1. Clothes 
1.    Tops
2.    Bottoms 
3.    Hung Clothes [Hang from left to right: coats, dresses, jackets, pants, skirts, blouses], 
4.    Socks 
5.    Underwear
6.    Bags
7.    Accessories
8.    Clothes for special events [swimsuits, uniforms, costumes, triathlon, backpacking], shoes)

2. Books
3. Papers (discard everything that does not fall into these categories: currently in use, needed for a limited time, kept indefinitely. This includes credit card statements, old checkbook stubs, greeting cards (unless sentimental for joy), seminar notes [oh that would be hard for me as I feel like an archival person when it comes to that]. This does not include papers with sentimental value as they go in the mementos category)

4. Komono (miscellany)
1.    CDs, DVDs
2.    Skin care products
3.    Make up
4.    Accessories
5.    Valuables (passports, credit cards, etc)
6.    Electrical equipment (camera, electric cords, anything vaguely so)
7.    Household equipment (stationary and writing materials, sewing kits, etc.)
8.    Household supplied (medicine, detergent, tissues, etc.) 
9.    Kitchen goods/food supplies (spatulas, pots, blenders, etc.)
10.Other (spare change, figurines, etc.) 

5. Mementos
She says to do this over a six month period of time. I think that is reasonable. She recommends by category rather than room (I wonder what the Flylady thinks of that?).  She also recommends having all your things in that category in one place (unless they are for specific season clothes).

It is not as worthless a book as some have reviewed, but it is also not as earth shattering as others have purported (I mean really - the way she teaches you to fold your shirts is the way my mom taught me years ago, but I realized I have NOT taught my kids this method, and I will do so today!)

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