on the kindle | the life changing magic of tidying


So I bought a Kindle and love it. I have finished two books this month which feels like more than I have read in ages. So using my new kindle and Circle of Pine’s #theyearinbooks as inspiration I thought I would share a little bit of what I am reading. It hasn’t been something I have done on here before so let me know if you find it interesting or not.

I literally finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo in an evening and a morning. I seriously think the author is a wee bit crazy but the principals and methodology made a whole lot of sense to me. Her advice is incredibly blunt and potentially sexist at times, such as: “if sweat pants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them” but this in fact made it quite amusing to read and I was constantly having a little giggle while reading the book. One caveat is that her fondness for tidying is just not the norm (she was cleaning her house when she was 5) and I think her cultural upbringing makes it hard (or undesirable) to wholly transplant to many “Western” homes.

Aside from the main ideas of the book, one concept that intrigued me is that as children we are not taught to tidy. We are just told to tidy our room and it is almost like we are expected to have some genetic programming on how tidying should be done. But if you think about us as individuals we probably own more things than ever before in history. As a cave person I had my hammer weapon thing and my furry shoes and I probably didn’t mind the bones piling up in the corner of the cave because I was more concerned with my survival.

Confession time here: I just never feel like I get on top of the tidying (separate to cleaning I am not gross). There are always piles of clothes that I haven’t put away after washing and craft supplies that I take out of hiding and then sit on the dining table for days/weeks because it is too much of a hassle to put them away again. But I really don’t want to spend hours a week tidying so that I can vacuum and clean the floors. There are seriously better things to do with my life and the reason this book caught my attention is because it seemed like it might have an out.

Marie Kondi’s tidying method (the KonMari Method) actually makes a huge amount of sense to me. I think more important than the actual process is the underlying philosophy:

  • You should only have things in your house which bring you joy. If it doesn’t bring you joy get rid of it.
  • Properly tidying your house will give you the space and time to properly pursue higher level goals. The author apparently now spends 5 minutes a day putting away things she has used and once a year will spend about an hour reassessing what she owns.

The process itself is pretty simple. Step 1. Discard. Step 2. Organise. The book outlines an order in which this should be done and gives some tips on how things should be organised. But in a nutshell everything has a home.

I have so far only gotten around to the Step 1 Part 1 (cleaning out my clothes). And do you know what – I actually enjoyed tidying! I was getting rid of things that haven’t fitted me in five years (why did I bring them to Italy?) and items given to me by friends that just didn’t work for me. Because I couldn’t then leave my remaining clothes in a pile until I moved onto the next section to discard I did put them away with the KoMari folding technique so that my clothes are all vertically displayed in the cupboard/drawers. Seriously if I do nothing else in this book that will have revolutionised my life!

I am actually excited to start sorting the rest and will let you know how it goes and how I keep up with it.

Also this month I finished Living to Tell the Tale Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s autobiography that I started ages ago. We bought it as part of the Ebook Pack so I have a few more GGM books to go through though no complaint as I love his writing and his biography was beautifully done too.

This month I have started reading: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. We are travelling a bit this month so I will have plenty of train, airport lounge and flight time to consume that and maybe another one even.

11 thoughts on “on the kindle | the life changing magic of tidying

  1. Ahhh…tidying. I go through phases of being on top of everything and then it slides a bit until I can be bothered again. I do think tidying as you go helps…but like anything, it means developing a habit and sticking to it.

    I’m intrigued by the folding technique, however…

    You’re going to love Gone Girl! Very addictive.

    1. Thanks Gemma. I am slowly getting into Gone Girl but maybe the anticipation was too strong.

      The author suggests that using this technique you have one mega tidying event and then have minimal tidying everyday (5 minutes although I don’t imagine that includes washing dishes and packing them away). Anyway good luck!

  2. I think I’m going to have to pick up a copy of the book about tidying. I’m very like you – I hate doing it, I begrudge it, and the only reason I do it is because it triggers anxieties for me, and because I like to have a clean house. Sounds like it could be interesting!

  3. My friend swears by that book! The one tip she shared which I love is rolling t-shirts up instead of folding them, that way you can always see what you have at a glance. Works a treat!

    1. I know I have already done this weird fold thing to all my clothes and it is amazing. Looking into my cupboard makes me feel calm (google Konmari folding method on youtube to see)

  4. I like the sound of the tidying book, I am sporadic at it. We did a bit yesterday, very cathartic. I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I am going to find a copy of his autobiography didn’t realise he had written one!

    1. The Marquez autobiography is great (it is up to his late 20s I think) but there are so many little stories that actually happened which you know from his stories and I loved the insight.

  5. Everyone is raving about this book. In the interest of not acquiring any further stuff I’ve reserved a copy from the library but, judging by its popularity, I may have to wait some time before I am able to unlock the magic.

    1. Maybe find out if any of your friends want to ‘share’ it with you and all chip in to buy it and then share it around. The author herself says she is happy you ‘throw out’ her book once you are done!

  6. I wonder if the author is living on her own??? It takes me at least 5 minutes per child (even though they are quite good at tidying themselves) plus 10 minutes for my own mess. That is on a good day. I do want this book though, just because.

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