The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (book review)


Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.


It seems like I am in a constant battle of decluttering and having too much stuff in our house. I have read a lot of books on decluttering and getting rid of stuff, so I was intrigued enough to read Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I was intrigued because maybe there was something new in this book that would help me finally.

What I found was a book that really didn't have anything new to say, however said what I already knew in a different way. Kondo begins her book by discussing why we seem to live in a world of clutter and untidiness--it is because we were never taught, or we were taught the wrong way. That leads to Kondo's big belief that we must change our way of thinking about tidying and do a big all at once declutterization versus a little at a time. She argues that we should declutter our homes by categories, not by rooms necessarily. Kondo offers the order that one should declutter: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items. Once you have decluttered by only keeping things that bring you joy, then she offers suggestions on how to decorate and place things in your living space that work for your life.

There were several ideas that I liked that Kondo offers. I liked how she would take each thing and ask if it brings joy to your life and if it does you keep, if it does not you get rid of. I like how to she recommends doing one category at a time and I like how she gives tips on how to store the items that you do keep. I do agree that if you surround yourself with things that you love that you will be happier.

There was, however, times that I rolled my eyes and couldn't use some of her advice. First of all, many of her ideas seem to work for a single person or someone who lives with other adults. I did not see much, if any, advice on how to deal with kids' toys and the many things that children may have. I also got the impression that this type of organization would be better suited to someone with a tiny house or apartment, and not a 3 bedroom family home with 3 young children and 2 adults.

I would suggest this book to those with no children or older adult children and who want a simpler, easier lifestyle with not many things. For someone like myself, I like the concept of it, but am finding it hard to put it into practice. 

DISCLOSURE: I received this book free from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 


  1. I follow a blogger and writer named Mike Burns. He wrote a book called Living Clutter Free With Kids in the House. Here is a link to it. It's not very expensive.

    Maybe it will help.

    1. Thanks for the link. I will have to look into it! :)


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