Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spark Joy by Marie Kondō


Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
by Marie Kondō
Ten Speed Press, 2016
291 pages
source: library

Description (from goodreads):
Marie Kondo’s unique KonMari Method of tidying up is nothing short of life-changing—and her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has become a worldwide sensation. In Spark Joy, Kondo presents an in-depth, illustrated manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from kitchen and bathroom items to work-related papers and hobby collections. User-friendly line drawings illustrate Kondo’s patented folding method as it applies to shirts, pants, socks, and jackets, as well as images of properly organized drawers, closets, and cabinets. This book is perfect for anyone who wants a home—and life—that sparks joy.

My thoughts:

Though I did not love The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (my review), it inspired one of the most thorough closet purges and reorganizations of my life. I truly embraced Kondo's call to declutter, pare down, and organize until I was left with only those items which "spark joy".

In Spark Joy, she reminds us of the main principles in Life-Changing Magic, but also offers more detailed instructions for folding clothing, dealing with kimono, etc. Kondō continues to to encourage us to speak to our possessions and even mentions their "auras" one or twice... I'd say the degree of weirdness has remained a constant.
"If you are wondering whether to hang or fold a skirt, the rule of thumb is to hang only those items that look happier when hung." 
I don't know about you, but it never occurred to me to consider whether the clothes in my closet look happy or not.

The book has some cute illustrations,


but is a half page about folding bras really necessary? 



A few points I noted:

  • All items (komono) must be sorted before deciding where/how to store them, so things will get worse before they get better.
  • Handle each item individually and ask whether it sparks joy... however, for books in a series it is permissible to embrace the whole stack ;-)
  • Make the dishes you love the ones you use every day.

Overall, there is not much new here and most of it is common sense, at least to me - an organized, tidy person by nature. Toward the end, I was skimming more than reading.

Bottom line: Not much new, not as inspiring as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and not really worth purchasing. Borrow it from the library if you're curious... you may pick up a tip or two.




43 comments:

  1. I am fascinated by this phenomenon! I know a lot of people are overwhelmed with stuff, I am sometimes, and I can see the appeal of clearing out and making room.

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    1. Lisa - I'm fascinated by the actual phenomenon, but not so much the books.

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  2. I think I like reading the reviews about this book more than I would like the book.

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    1. Patty - The reviews are definitely more fun ;-)

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  3. I don't know...I just don't think I could take any book seriously that tells me to consider whether my skirt is happier being hung or folded. Haha! But, I am in the middle of a closet purge!

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    1. Sarah - Exactly... she lost me with that comment. Good luck with the closet purge though.

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  4. I am going to spend some time embracing my books...one at a time. :)

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    1. I wish I could heart this comment :)

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    2. Audrey, Lisa - Me, too! <3

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  5. How can you tell if your clothes are happy? I hang most of mine because they get less wrinkled that way.

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    1. Kathy - Same here. Who has time (or the desire) to wonder whether their clothes are happy?

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  6. I am a very tidy person by nature and also have no problem 'letting go' of possessions. That being said, I don't want to think about whether my clothes are 'happy' and also don't want to take 10 minutes to fold my bras. LOL

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    1. Kay - That's exactly where I'm coming from :)

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  7. This book does sound weird. However, when I do it, tidying up does bring me joy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts JoAnn.

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    1. Pat - A tidy house or closet makes me happy, too, but I'm not into the auras of my possessions to the happiness of my clothes! ;-)

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  8. Like you I didn't love the first book but it did inspire me in some ways - especially in a closet purge and I have been doing the vertical folding. I've been wondering about this one so I"m really glad to see this review. This does seem like a lot of common sense and my clothes don't seem all that excited to be folded or hung up. Maybe I'm doing it wrong? I wouldn't mind getting this from the library and flipping through but I definitely won't be buying it. I did that with the first one and regretted it.

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    1. Katherine - Yes, I really appreciated the first book for its inspirational value. Nothing redeeming here though...

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  9. I think I may have released a giggle snort at how to fold a bra. Who knew I'd been doing it right all these years? I agree that half a page is a bit much for that. I've seen these books all over the internet with everyone raving about them. I wondered what I was missing because Pinterest is usually my go to place for organization, etc.

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    1. Kathy - I'm guessing everyone is raving about the inspiration rather than the actual content... most people will pick and choose which principles (in her first book) they want to embrace and put into practice.

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  10. I feel like I've learned enough from reading reviews of her books that I don't need to actually read the books. People have done a pretty good job of distilling them. Also satirizing: http://the-toast.net/2015/02/24/get-rid-clutter-live-abundantly/

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    1. Christy - I don't doubt that. Both books can be summarized in less than a page ;-) Thanks for the link.

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  11. I can't do my whole house her way, but I do love her concept of only keeping those things that make you truly happy....that "spark of joy". So simple, and yet so profound.

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    1. Lark - It really is! If nothing else, I think long and hard before bringing any new possessions into my home now... and always ask whether they spark joy.

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  12. From your review, I gather that: First time out, it seems she was quite successful with her tips; second outing, not so much. That happens with great writers as well. 🙄

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    1. JudyMac- I think she's trying to cash in on the success of her first book.

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  13. I really embraced the philosophy of her first book, culling dozens of books for donation, as well as loads of unworn clothes and unused kitchen items. I hope to go through the entire house once again before our big garage sale in May. That said, I have no desire to read this follow-up, nor do I plan to buy her journal. Did you know there's a journal? Neither of these are selling as well as the first book. Big shock.

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    1. Les - Even though she is a little 'out there', I embraced the principles in the first book, too. Unfortunately, this one was basically just fluff. Hadn't heard about the journal... I will take a look at it next time I'm in the store, but definitely not purchasing!

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  14. I think I'll not bother with this one. I started the Kon Mari tidying method in my own house and was happy with it, but then Christmas came and that killed my momentum.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - A good decision. You'd be better of rereading the first book if you want to get that momentum going again.

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  15. I picked this up from the library last week but haven't started it yet. I read the first book and got some good ideas but some seemed just weird.

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    1. Diane - This one is just as weird, and with fewer new ideas.

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  16. Have to admit the whole KonMari thing totally passed me by. I'm organized and happily so without it and somehow didn't feel like it would be fun reading but rather preachy. But those are cute drawings and my clothes better be happy :)

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    1. Bina - It sounds like you don't really need either of her books :)

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  17. I've been debating getting the Life Changing Magic book but maybe I'll get the ebook in case it doesn't give me joy. :P But, I love her concept of keeping only those items that give you joy. Like you said, very common-sense and obvious once you think about it.

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    1. Athira - Keeping only items that bring joy makes a lot of sense... that is the most worthwhile part of her message.

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  18. I keep hearing such rave reviews about this one but I think I'm a bit on the fence on wanting to read it. I know I can have some pack rat tendencies when it comes to books & artsy supplies so I don't think it would help me in that area :) Like you said, might be a good one from the library.

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    1. Iliana - The library is definitely the way to go with both of her books!

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  19. I like what you said about being fascinated by the phenomenon but not the books. I feel the same way. Sometimes I just find myself saying... "huh?"

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    1. Jillian - The books just aren't all that good, but the message has certainly caught fire!

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  20. Folding bras? How about throwing them in the bra drawer & never looking back.

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  21. So two books to say "go through everything; keep only what you really love?"

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