Thumbs up for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Nonfiction/Self-help.
I am generally a pretty tidy person who’s good at limiting my possessions to available space, so it was out of curiosity at this book’s glowing reviews, rather than any desperate need, that made me request it from the library. Rather to my surprise, after finishing it I rampaged through my closet and storage and managed to find eight boxes of stuff to ditch. I then recommended it to one of my best friends, and she went on a similar rampage. I swear, this thing is like a mind-virus. In a nutshell, Kondo’s basic premise is that you should get rid of everything you don’t love. The rest of the book is elucidation, technique, and a bit of the history of how she came to her work. Some might be put off by her obsessiveness—though I’d say it’s served her, her clients, and now her readers well—or mystified by her animistic philosophy. Don’t let that stop you. As my mother said, “the first thing I’m getting rid of is all of my books on organizing.” This is the only one you’ll ever need. If you’ve ever felt even somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that seems to inevitably pile up, get this book.
People often ask me what I recommend, no doubt expecting me to reveal some hitherto secret storage weapon. But I can tell you right now: there is no need to buy dividers or any other gadget. You can solve your storage problems with things you already have in the house. The most common item I use is an empty shoebox. I have tried all kinds of storage product, but have never found any other that is free and still surpasses the shoebox. It gets above average marks for all five of my criteria: size, material, durability, ease of use, and attractiveness. These well-balanced attributes and its versatility are its greatest merits. Shoes come in boxes with cute designs as well. I frequently ask my clients, “Do you have any shoeboxes?” when I visit their homes.
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