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

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.


  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (October 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607747308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607747307
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10,685 customer reviews)
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3 thoughts on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”

  1. I will admit to having a tortured relationship with stuff. I grew up in a cluttered house and married the King of Clutter (he’s the type of person who’ll open a credit card bill, pay it online, and then just leave the empty envelope, inserts, and bill itself randomly strewn on whatever surface happens to be nearby). I don’t like the disorder of clutter, but dealing with it is such a soul-sucking experience that I haven’t gotten very far. Many days I semi-wish the whole place would burn down and save me from having to deal with it.

    Typically I’ll catch an episode of Hoarders, fear that I’m one incapacitating injury away from being the focus of an episode (if I can’t clean up all those strewn papers, they’ll just pile up to the rafters, after all!), and then go through a stack of junk in a fit of unhappiness. Not the best way to deal with it all.

    Marie Kondo’s book is the opposite of that. It’s a breath of fresh air and positive energy that brings real joy to the process of “tidying up.”

    I was only about halfway through before I tackled my clothes. She’s right to begin there. My clothes are all mine (which also means that they’re in nowhere near as terrible a state as other things in my house), so going through them affects only me and involves only my own feelings. Her advice may sound silly at first, but if your belongings inspire feelings of unhappiness, guilt, etc., her anthropomorphism of them can really help you change your viewpoint in a positive direction. I finished up with three bags for Goodwill and one for the garbage man. My drawers and closet, which were never very messy, are now exactly as I want them, and I feel fantastic!

    My one quibble with her instructions has to do with folding. I’ve always disliked rolls of items.Read more ›

  2. Marie Kondo says something to the effect of: If you read this book and feel as though it is you, then it is meant to be. Not a direct quote, but something that resignates with me as I read some of the negative reviews. This book spoke to me, it was truly magic. When I moved 9 months ago, I took approx 3 car loads of belongings to goodwill, thinking that I had done a darn good job of getting rid of unnecessary items. Yet still, my home continued to be rather cluttered and storage spaces felt messy no matter how much I tried to organize. I have read a multitude of books and articles, searched on Pinterest and other sites about organization. Read things on minimalism that were just unrealistic to me. I wanted to be more minimalist, but just couldn’t get myself to only own 12 items in my kitchen. Nothing was quite right. Marie addresses all of these problems in her book and why they may or may not work. When I started reading I thought that I might be able to find a few things to discard and some new ways to organize the clutter I currently have. This was definitely, not the case. I purchased this book on Friday and have only tackled the category of clothing and 1 “catch all ” bedroom I had because I had a guest coming to stay. I’m not even finished with those 2 places in my home and I have 2 large sized black garbage bags full, 4 smaller trash bags full, 1 medium sized box, and 3 of those reusable sized shopping bags and a pile of clothes still on the floor, all ready to leave my house. If you had asked me yesterday how many pairs of shoes I owned, I would have answered “maybe 20-25”. When I took EVERY SINGLE shoe in my house and laid it out on the floor – not missing a single pair – it was eye opening, this is the magic of it.Read more ›

  3. I rarely write reviews, but this book truly sparked something in me that I feel compelled to share. The basic concept is to only surround yourself with things that spark joy. Decide what you want to keep, not necessarily what you want to throw away. I have bought other organization or purging books in hopes of getting my cluttered home in order. This book was the only one that I read all the way through and actually put into practice. The anthropomorphism in this book spoke to me for some reason. While I don’t believe socks are alive, her concept of freeing socks in their tight, little bundles and letting them rest because they work hard for you makes perfect sense to me. In other words, don’t stretch out your socks because you want them to last as long as possible. Care for your items as if they were “real” and not only will your items last longer, but you will feel better having done so. The book really is about being happier. Cleaning out your clutter and the process she describes is truly life changing in ways I cannot explain. I am about 2 weeks into my de cluttering and I am much happier in my home. I have donated and discarded over 6 large bags of items. While I usually feel guilt over letting objects go, her process and explanations have freed me of that. She has wonderful folding and storage techniques as well. My children and husband love the work I have done thus far and it is causing them to start the process on their items. An unexpected surprise for me (and total joy to my husband) is my newfound frugality while shopping. I used to be a borderline shopaholic. But now, I truly just buy things I want around me. I think differently as I shop. I know it’s a change that will last. It’s strange but true. Marie Kondo is not only an expert on the art of de cluttering, but she is also an expert on human behavior and how to change it. I am a believer in her methods, and fan. She’s amazing. The book is well worth it.

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