Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing & Tidying Up; Marie Kondo


Spark Joy; Marie Kondo
Ten Speed Press - 2015




In her 2014 book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this author was highly successful in drawing readers who were interested in decluttering and learning how to organize and minimize messes around their homes.  I personally thought that first book, which I purchased, was helpful.  It did seem weird to me when she suggested talking to your possessions - asking each item if it "Sparks Joy".

I borrowed her most recent book, Spark Joy, from the library.  The second book in many ways is a rehash of the first except that this one has drawings which the first book lacked.  (It would have been helpful to see the folding techniques in a photo in the first book, IMO).  This book does get into other areas such as, how to pair down your book collections, paper items, toiletries, memorabilia etc.

This book begins with the Kon Mari method (tidying up by category, not by room - beginning with clothes). With all items - anything which doesn't "spark joy" should be gotten rid of.  But is that practical?  My Kitchen Aid mixer that sits on my counter doesn't really bring me joy but, I use it every few weeks.  Not all of my cookbooks "spark joy" but, I like the way they look in my kitchen.



I also had issues with "praising my possessions and talking to them."  So overall, this book was just okay for me. I did like the visuals and wish the first book had contained some.  I also think the binding is all wrong for this ope of book. It's impossible for it to stay opened to a page or lie flat when trying one of the folding methods for example.  A spiral bound comb would have made this book much more useful, IMO. I know I may have sounded a bit critical here, as there are many helpful suggestions.  It's just that in order to find the useful info, I needed to read through some ideas which just seemed rather odd to me.  If I were to only buy (1) of Kondo's (2) books, I think I would have chosen this one that has the illustrations and most of the info that was important in her first book.

So far I've tackled my clothes and books and purged about 75-80% of what no longer "sparked joy".  RW - Look at her purged closet illustration. Seriously, who has a closet that contains so few items? This seemed impractical to me. Have you read these books? What were your thoughts?

3/5 stars
(library)

21 comments:

  1. I'm with you on that "spark joy" thing. Some things are useful, and even necessary, without sparking joy.

    I think the writer sounds a bit compulsive, and coming from me, also suffering from a little compulsiveness, that's saying a lot. LOL

    I am trying to work through eliminating excess paper (shredding); I have a stack of stuff in front of my shredder now, but first I have to empty the shredder, which is a task I hate. The shredded goods always manage to escape when I'm bagging the contents.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book, which I will now be able to skip...with no problem.



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  2. Ha! Sounds like Marie Kondo (or her publisher) need to do some tidying up!
    That first illustration on the right in your post just cracked me up. It made me think of some of my OCD tendencies. Sometimes OCD tendencies can lead to aesthetic, creative things I think.

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  3. My first thought when I saw that picture was the same thing - those are too few items in the closet! I love Marie's concept of spark joy. I think just the idea that the mixer is being used every few days is a reason for joy even if you don't like the device.

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    1. Counter clutter is a double-edged sword as I like my kitchen gadgets but, not the clutter.

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  4. I'm not sure about the talking to objects part -- but I probably would be helped by reading Kondo. I need encouragement to get rid of things. hmm

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    1. The talking to our things seemed just plain weird to me.

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  5. I'm with you. There is no way that I would have that few belongings and I'm not sure I'd want too. I have a number of things that belonged to my grandmother and my great-aunt and they give me a lot of joy as do my collections of Fostoria and Belleek. The first book did help me change my mindset on things that didn't improve my happiness - like keeping piles of magazines because I hadn't read them yet when in reality I wasn't going to read them. I wouldn't mind looking at this one but I think it's definitely a library book and not one I'm going to purchase.

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    1. Katherine, I'll never purge the way this book suggests just because it seems like it would stress me to get rid of that much stuff -- I mean I'm not a hoarder but I do have some stuff I don't really use or that doesn't "spark joy" but, I'm not ready to toss it.

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  6. Sounds like we had similar reactions to this book...

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  7. I really have an organization problem. I was tempted by the first book, but actually just started using a few of the techniques that I read from reviews, lol. I think I'll take a look at this second one, from the library.

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  8. I haven't read her books, and want to declutter. You were brilliant to borrow her latest book from the library so it did not become one more thing to store! Maybe I will borrow it from the library one day.

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    1. Terra, once you see the illustrations - no need to clutter your house with the book. LOL

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  9. I get stressed out just thinking about deciding what to get rid of because I like most of my stuff. I need a bigger house, but that's not really a practical solution!

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    1. I know what you mean. I did get rid of a lot of clothes and housewares but, even though I don't have conversations with some stuff doesn't mean I am ready to party with them LOL

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  10. I'm all for anything that convinces people that they can live with less and I'm a pretty regular purger. But...I've got clothes in my closet that don't, by themselves, spark joy. But then I do appreciate having a good variety of things to wear to having choices does spark joy in that way.

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    1. I think I'm in your camp on clothes Lisa. I do like variety even though each piece does not "spark joy".

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  11. I borrowed both books from the library and read them. Kondo makes some valid points but for the most part I felt that her ideas sound great in theory but in the real world of most people are not realistic. I can fold my clothes her way, but when you have one layer on top of another(socks) it's hard to see them all.

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    1. Yes, Elisabeth, I like to see my stuff, and I also like wrinkle free clothes so tend to hang everything except exercise clothes.

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