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Kaethe

Kaethe

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

Kind of wonderful, kind of wacky. I'm fascinated that she found her own way to fold laundry, and I appreciate that it both takes up less space AND makes it easier to find clothes. On the other hand, she seems to want to put all the clothes in drawers so that she can use closets for other things. She tells the reader repeatedly that she's been tidying since she was 5. As well as her profession, it is also her favorite hobby, which has to frighten anyone a little. Talking to your objects seems charmingly wacky, but honoring your special things in a shrine seems cool.

I'm not a minimalist, and I'm never going to be one. If I got rid of three quarters of the books in my house, I'd start re-filling them immediately. Clothes that don't fit, I can get rid of. The magic for me isn't some version of The Secret where a tidy home brings you all good things in life, it's not feeling guilty as I tackle the daunting prospect of going through everything my mother left. And it is also the very important lesson not to try to pile your stuff onto someone else. I have by this pointed inherited the sundry lifetime collections of five people, and I don't want to burden my children with more stuff that they never wanted, but can't get rid of without feeling guilty. Those two beautiful desks that we could use? No more guilt about hocking the antiques, no more longing for things I couldn't use.

Getting rid of the stuff has got to be easier than letting go of the guilt.

Library copy