Home » Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Life-changing magic of tidying up

Moving always makes me want to start over. I mean, it’s a natural time to do so. Something about it makes me want to go through all of my belongings and organize. I want to tidy. I want to be *that girl* with the great aesthetic and an uncluttered space. So, when I feel like that, I turn to the experts. And this time I turned to Marie Kondo. Read on for my thoughts and a The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up review.

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“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


Marie Kondo is a renowned Japanese consultant, tidying expert, and bestselling author. She started a tidying business at 19 and slowly developed her own method–the KonMari Method– to help people never have clutter again. She writes with a casual voice, and (especially if you listen to the audiobook) it feels like you’re chatting with her over coffee.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is an excellent resource for people looking to cut down on clutter. Throughout, the reader gets to hear about past clients, little anecdotes, tips, and most importantly, the proposed method for cutting down on clutter. I loved hearing little stories that made me feel like I was not alone. Some of them even made me question how I do some of the things I do (like handing down clothes). I felt like it was super relatable and didn’t talk down to the reader. I’m always afraid of these books coming off as judge-y or preachy, but The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up had a wonderful balance of authority and friend. Some of it did come across as a little woo-woo-y (that’s definitely not a word, but I don’t know how else to say it), but more on that later.

Recommended decluttering order: Clothes. Books. Papers. Mementos. Personal Items. Decluttering in this order according to the book is ideal as it will speed up the process and give additional confidence as you proceed.


I loved that Marie Kondo didn’t shame the reader for their consumption and having many items. Instead she points out that these items may have already served their purpose for you, even if it was to show you that you don’t like it. Keeping that in mind made it easier to reframe how I thought about getting rid of items.

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”

Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

CRITIQUES of the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I don’t think that you can only have items that spark joy. There. I said it.

Like, silverware. It’s mundane. Mine are cute. I got them at target. Do they spark joy? No.

There was also a lot of recommendations for communication with one’s objects. I understand treating them with respect. After all, taking good care of the item allows it to last longer, but speaking to my belongings seemed a bit much. It might be just me but I’m picturing a cross between the Beast’s enchanted castle from Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story. I just can’t do it. If you can, great! But it’s just really not my thing.


Overall, this is a good book to pick up if you’re interested in tidying. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by Emily Woo Zeller) and really enjoyed it. It offers a different perspective. Just know that it’s definitely more of a philosophy than a “how to” guide. For some this is definitely going to be a negative, especially as it relates to not just how you think of/treat your items, but how you speak and interact with them as well. I was personally inspired to tidy after reading this (more on that to come) and think others will be as well!

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


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