File Name: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.pdf
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Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.
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721 of 744 people found the following review helpful.
Pleasant continuation from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By Moi Surtout
Mari Kondo's first book covered her method pretty thoroughly, so I wasn't sure whether this one would be worth the purchase. If you aren't sure which to buy first, I would say the first book does a better job of explaining her attitude towards tidying and this book has better practical advice.
In a nutshell, the konmari method involves getting rid of anything in your life that doesn't spark joy. Starting with clothes, you go through each item and decide what stays or goes based on whether or not it sparks joy when you hold it. Joy is the only criterion: 'If it makes you happy, then the right choice is to keep it confidently, regardless of what anyone else says.'
The illustrations are charming, but there aren't very many of them. The most helpful shows her famous folding method, which is something I didn't understand simply from reading the first book. (Youtube videos helped.) This book has around 10 diagrams for folding dresses, shirts, odd-shaped clothes, camisoles, parkas, etc. Apart from the folding instructions, the other images are simply cute images of rabbits putting things away, a perfectly tidied closet, etc.
One of the criticisms of the first book is that it seems geared mostly towards people cleaning up their own mess, and that hasn't changed. For example, the section on handling stuffed animals is talking about your own plushies, not your children's. I wish there were more discussion of handling items belonging to family members and how to inspire them to tidy up too. Family is covered in one small section, and the main advice is simply to set a good example and accept others – easier said than done!
Overall this is a fun read but not substantially different from the first book. This book has more explanation of the original advice, but if you understood it the first time around, you may not need it. There is a lot of repetition between the two books. However, it's an enjoyable read and may give you that last bit of motivation to tidy up once and for all. In addition to the extra folding help, it has more specific advice about handling certain types of items such as greeting cards, dishes, photos, etc.
599 of 624 people found the following review helpful.
By College Stealth
I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up when it was released in late 2014. I found Marie Kondo's book both useful and charming. I am a somewhat sloppy person. Neither am I a hoarder, however. I found Ms. Kondo's advice useful in tidying up both my bedroom closets and kitchen. I was able to toss a number of clothing items which I had kept from a sense of guilt instead of joy. Similarly, I was able to let go of a number of kitchen appliances to which I had sentimental attachments but no use. Ms. Kondo's childish suggestion to thank my things before letting go was oddly touching and helpful with regard to certain items. I photographed a number of items before releasing them to GoodWill; this gave me an opportunity to acknowledge the memories they generated without retaining the objects themselves (which included a 40 year old blender, some old and hole-ridden t-shirts, and a coffee press which I have not used in over ten years). Ms. Kondo touches on a few of these elements in the introduction of her book as well.
Ms. Kondo's new book, Spark Joy, contains further instructions. For example, she provides detailed diagrams explaining how to fold certain clothing items. These are things I wish I would have had when I read the original book. I also enjoyed pictures of organized spaces. There is something attractive about the spartan simplicity of these arrangements, even if they are not for everyone. In the introduction Ms. Kondo highlights that it is good that this book has come later and serves the purpose for aiding those who are in mid-process, whereas those who are just starting may feel overwhelmed. I understand the rationale for not including as many diagrams in the first book, but, I do wish I had it when I was more invested in the process.
In the Kindle version of the book, which I got, the first 900 locations (single page showing) is mostly verbal and revisits many of the aspects from her first book. Following this information, there is a “encyclopedia” section that has a large number of diagrams that are very easy to follow; especially with multiple folding techniques for clothing. There are additional paragraphs about specific items, with some pictures, but then the diagrams become less frequent. The abridged information on each section is useful though, and as Ms. Kondo references in her introduction, one can simply turn to the specific area and see what information Ms. Kondo provides for that specific section.
There is also a very lovely section on working with others with regards to them being tidy. Ms. Kondo does a good job of helping an individual understand what they can do to help themselves, but still love others who may not have the same draw to being tidy. There is also, within this particular section, a conversation about working children into the process of learning how to fold, which will help them be tidy as well.
Must you accept every one of Ms. Kondo's recommendations? I do not think so. For example, Ms. Kondo recommends eliminating extra books. But I am not about to whittle my book collection down to thirty volumes. I find myself going back to certain books again and again, or referring to something I had read years before. But I can still cull out certain books. Nor am I going to rid myself of my file cabinet and all its contents. But I do not need to maintain monthly copies of my cable and water bills, nor do I need to maintain handouts from old seminars. However, a year after reading her original book, I still find myself meditating while I fold clothes and tidy up my drawers, which is truly a bit of life-changing magic.
This particular book is a nice addition, giving further insight, reminders, and guidance on the process of creating joy while organizing.
474 of 500 people found the following review helpful.
"Here's the minutiae...but don't sweat it"
By Deb Nam-Krane
Like many others, I found Kondo's previous book to be, well, life-changing. She not only gave you permission to rid yourself of things you didn't love- many have done that- but she prompted you to surround yourself only with what you do ("sparks joy"). And while she promised that you would be happier with an environment that reflected what you enjoyed, the more important premise was that the process of tidying would guide you to make peace with your past choices, accept the person you are in the present and confidently recognize whom you want to be in the future. Most importantly, tidying could be finished in one go (even if that go was extended over a period of months) and you wouldn't be bound to perpetually repeat the process with the checklists almost every other tidying guide offers. That, in my opinion, is why her book sold so incredibly well.
What this book offers is deeper, step-by-step "how-to" instructions for the mechanics of maintaining your tidy home. Yes, here you will find detailed instructions on how to fold your shirts, bottoms, dresses, towels, rags and even bags. She will also, of course, explain what should usually be hung and why. She goes into the philosophy of each room and what should be stored with what. Even better, she assures you that as you tune into the logic of the materials you own, you'll discover what storage philosophy makes the most sense to you and your items- particularly the "komono" or miscellany- will reflect a "rainbow" of gradation based on your needs and usage.
While a number of people genuinely enjoyed getting rid of things that didn't spark joy, there were many who complained that there were items they genuinely were on the fence about. In this book, Kondo gives you permission to hold onto things that you're not sure about but advises you to try and make use of them while you decide. Our things, she writes, want to be of use to us, and it's better to give them one last chance to be useful than to put them in limbo while you see if you magically decide you need them.
The previous book made it seem as if Kondo was perfectly content to live by herself with her things- hence, perhaps, her strong identification with the feelings of inanimate objects- but here she speaks more warmly of people. Items can in and of themselves bring joy, but when they are invested with memories of experiences with people we love, they become that much more precious. That, then, is yet another reason to take care of what we have.
Both the beginning and the end of the book imply that Kondo was reluctant to write this book. While she has specific instructions as to how items should be taken care of and where they should be stored, 90% of successful tidying is in your mindset. Further, she allows that there will be exceptions to her rules- sometimes it makes more sense to store the coats in the front closet- and that the reader ultimately knows what works in their environment better than she will.
This book answers specific questions but also gives you permission to approach tidying in the way that works best for you. It is also a reminder that it isn't perfection we should be aiming for as we tidy but rather happiness.
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