The Best Book You Will Read this Year

bookA few months ago I was scrolling through Instagram and noticed a picture of a book that looked interesting. It’s not often that I get pulled into product endorsements but whoever posted the pic was raving about this book and I just felt really compelled to buy it.

So I headed over to my Amazon app, found the book to be quite inexpensive and decided to buy. Two days later the book was in hand and I was doing nothing but reading.

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up is an easy, fascinating read that will help you climb up on your clutter issues and conquer. I’m totally serious. I’m not getting paid to endorse this book, but I cannot tell you how LIFE CHANGING it was for me.

I like to think of my self as being a minimalist, but I think I’m actually not that at all. I’m just really good at hiding clutter. I’m tidy, but only in the in-view spots of my home. And what I was beginning to find was that the closed-off spaces were stressing me out. Like I’d go to put something in my closet and feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. And despair. It sounds melodramatic but it’s true. We couldn’t walk in our closet. We couldn’t easily put our clothes away. Some of the areas I did so well organizing for the boys I had never even attempted for myself.

And don’t even get me started on my pantry. It was a nightmare, and I knew it was time to do something about it when I found bouillon in there that had expired in 1998. I’m serious.

So I bought this book and I devoured it and then I spent the next seven-to-ten days purging everything I could. Our closet. The pantry. The linen closet. The art/supply closet. The coat closet. The boys rooms. Isa’s room. I was on a roll because for the very first time, I knew exactly how to handle the mess. The book told me what to do.

By the time I was done I had an entire room’s worth of large black bags. I was dizzy from the freedom, from the beauty of closets and shelves that had space on them. Just open spots with nothing to put there. It was glorious.

The gist of the book is this: don’t decide what you want to get rid of. Decide what you want to keep. When you go through each space, take it all out (which is exhausting and a giant mess) but then when you put things back you really are committed to only keeping what you really want and need.

I’ve always struggled with getting rid of things, especially if I was too attached to the sentimental aspect of an item. The book handles that too! It’s a weird concept but it totally worked for me. When you examine and consider each item in your home, when you determine what you want to keep, you show gratitude to each item that you decide to discard. Weird. But it works.

I had dresses and jewelry and knick knacks that I couldn’t get rid of because of what they “meant” to me, sentimentally but not in a practical sense. And I had to take each one of these items and sort of (in a non-theatrical way) make a mental note of gratitude. For the lesson it taught me, for the memory, for whatever it was that it brought me to own this THING. But to also remember it was just that, a thing. And then I’d place the item in a bag and say a little prayer that it would bless someone else along its journey.

For me, what  I noticed as I moved through our belongings, was an unhealthy attachment to these things. I was “in slavery” almost to the amount of stuff I felt obligated to keep. And telling myself it was okay to let them go was a relief that gives new meaning to “take a load off.”

The book has so many helpful tips and yes plenty of weirdness too. It’s from a Japanese writer, translated into English, and there are certainly some cultural differences within. But there is so much to gain from reading this book that I recommend you get it and sort of ignore the stuff that strikes you are wacky. It’s worth it.

 

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Comments

  1. I read this book last month and am still digesting it. I’m hopeful it will be helpful as we start doing some spring purging. I don’t know if it’s my age, or what, but I am longing for empty, clear spaces. Took me a bit to get past some of the weird aspects of this book, and I’m not sure if my returning home routine will ever mirror hers ;), but it was a helpful read.

    • There were definitely aspects of the book where I had to just say “ooookay….” and yet! Some of the weirdness was strangely helpful. Thanking items was somehow very helpful in letting them go. Who knew! I agree about the returning home routine…maybe when we’re 80!

  2. You are the second person in my interwebs world that endorsed this book today. A sign, surely, that I should look into it. Well, that and the heaps of school work that is currently taking up half my dining table. We were doing so well with low clutter for so long, mindful of living in a small apartment with oversized furniture (landlord’s furnishings) and limited storage. But in the last few months it has really snowballed.

    • This book had so many helpful ideas that while not necessary addressing every aspect of home life, it helps you think in a way that will inspire you to solve these kinds of clutter problems. Good luck!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this book in all its weirdness (I had to stop reading once and inform my husband that I was apparently not allowing my socks to rest from their long day’s work by balling them up in the drawer like I’ve been doing my whole life!). It was a hoot, but it also made me think, and made me clear out four trash bags worth of clothing! Now my socks are happily resting folded up and stacked sideways along with the rest of my clothes, and I can see the top of my dresser again! Now to attack the rest of the house…

    • Okay, can I just say that I changed the way I fold socks too! Everytime I put socks away now I think about needing to let them rest. Hysterical…

  4. I love, love, love, loved this book! It is life changing and I am still “Kondoing” as I call it!

  5. Saw your instagram post this morning, went right to your blog, from there I went to the library, and I’m currently on chapter 2 of the book. Looking forward to changing my life :).

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a powerful endorsement for a book before. As soon as I hit send on this comment, I will be ordering this book. Thank you!

    • I hope you find it useful! I know there are varied opinions out there on this book, but it was wonderful for me.

  7. Ordered on my Kindle just now! I started to order the book, and then thought – do I really need another book?

    • Well you are already have way there to have that attitude! Not bringing more stuff into your home is half the battle I think. Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Thank you recommending this book. I ordered it on Kindle and am halfway through, so excited about getting started!

  9. With five young boys, I feel stretched tightly between “how many Legos are too much?” and “how long do we need to keep these bins of boys’ clothing?” This season of life is certainly sanctifying. Please do tell, do we ever get to a place of “We have enough Legos!”?

  10. I saw the book on instagram a while back also (maybe the same account? I think it was Carrie) and immediately read reviews and then ordered it on kindle. I must confess that I have yet to dive in. My daughter read it though and was inspired to do a major purge of her clothes and belongings.