This online-book club thing is harder than I anticipated. I wish I was hosting an in-person book club. I wouldn’t have to clean up first because I’ve been sharing photos of my mess, and there would be wine and snacks.
Anyway, I thought The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo would be a great book for our first digital discussion because I found it really helpful. It gave me a much-needed kick in the pants and helped me get started on my project. My enthusiasm, I must confess, has seriously waned in recent weeks, so I’m thinking about re-reading.
I hope share your thoughts, even if you base your comments off reviews and buzz if you weren’t able to read it. And I hope you come away with some insights about decluttering. After I chose this book I realized the timing wasn’t great because its popularity has made it tough to get from the library. I’m keeping this in mind for next month’s pick.
Anyway, if you weren’t able to get the book already or if you did read it and want to see what others thought, here are some links:
- This post from Here & Now includes a nice excerpt about ‘selection criterion’ to help you decide what to part with and what to keep.
- I liked this post because the blogger shared some additional tips about how she made the book work for her.
- Here’s a slightly critical review which I’m sharing because it made some valid points.
What I liked:
- I found something key in the Table of Contents: You can’t tidy if you’ve never learned how. As kids, we’re told to clean our rooms, but what does that really entail? It’s made me think about what I do with Emma, but so far she’s doing pretty well on her own. I labeled bins and boxes for her and she’s usually diligent about returning things to their spots. But at some point I may have to give her more direction.
- Decluttering by category is much easier than decluttering by space. Even though it was more time-consuming, pulling all my clothes out and taking the time to handle everything led to me getting rid of a lot of things I didn’t really need or want.
- I’m still using Marie’s strategy to fold my clothes, and Emma’s too. Since Emma’s currently into sporting mismatched socks, I’m not bothering to be nice to them and am just stuffing them in the drawer. But all my clothes and socks are folded neatly.
- A list for decluttering komono, which is Japanese for miscellaneous items, was also helpful. I probably don’t need to point out that trying to declutter can be really overwhelming, but having someone else give you a list and a suggested order helped.
What I disliked:
- I have lots of books, and am open to most ideas regarding ways to pare down my collection. But I was appalled by her suggestion to rip out favorite pages and then donating or tossing the book. The one thing that helps me choose books to donate is the hope that they will make it into a home of someone who will enjoy them. I could never, ever rip up a book. If there hadn’t been so many other useful tips I might have put this book in my donate box.
- Some of her tips seemed a bit impractical. For example, she talks about emptying her purse every day when she comes home. Even though I always have way too much random crap in my bag, taking everything out daily seems pointless. There’s also a pretty good chance I’d walk out with an empty purse, and get pulled over without my license.
- Marie’s tip to stop storing seasonal clothes won’t work for us, at least as far as winter gear is concerned. Our coat closet is about to burst, and we don’t have excessive amounts of winter clothes. Bob has one winter jacket. Emma has a coat and a vest, I have a vest, a dressy coat and a long puffy coat I keep to wear to the bus stop. Emma and I also have snow pants. Putting those items elsewhere will mean I get a seven-month respite from cursing every time I attempt to close the coat closet.
What did you think? Share your comments below.