Spark Joy: A Review of the Latest Marie Kondo (KonMari) Book

in what seems like perfect timing, given my and everyone else's desire to declutter at the start of this new year, the latest from japanese professional cleaning consultant marie kondo has been released.  marie kondo is the author of the best seller the life changing magic of tidying up and if you've been around here for any length of time, you've absolutely heard me mention it.  her declutter method, the konmari method, is a pretty shocking and drastic way to quickly clean out your home.  essentially, you do it all at once (estimating a full house to take about 6 months), going category by category as she lists them, and only keep the belongings that spark joy.

hence the title of her latest work, spark joy.

this book is actually a companion to the first, so i recommend reading that first.  this follow up is an illustrated guide to everything she mentions in her first book (because if you actually followed her sock folding method without photos, you're a smarter person than i), and she answers the frequently asked questions that have come up.  including ones that i had myself, which i really appreciated.  you could read this one on it's own, the basics are just condensed.  personally, i recommend you start with the first book if you're new to decluttering and tidying.  if you already feel pretty good about the rate at which you're able to declutter, you may be able to just read this book and get a good understanding.

the book begins with a quick overview of the basics of the first and then jumps into the section of 'master tips.'  it's the answers to the frequently asked questions that come from the konmari declutter.  the most helpful section is a more definitive answer on how to decide what to get rid of, since many people were confused by how to tidy according to 'what sparks joy.'  it takes a look at how to define this for yourself, and then includes a section on how to organize what you're left with (which i loved, organizing is my main love of course.)

the second section is the 'tidying encyclopedia', which is where the most illustrations come in.  they're done in a cutesy way, like a little cartoon rabbit, which i was surprised by but i thought it made it whimsical and not so cold.  it shows how to fold and store items, and has a large section on komono, which are the miscellaneous items.  i particularly enjoyed this because it's the part that's really lacking in the first book.  although 'miscellaneous' seems to mean just little things you couldn't place in other categories, it's actually quite a lot and it includes kitchen items, which for me is a big problem.  this was the first time i felt like marie kondo actually addressed what you need to do in the kitchen and gave a pretty good list of what other areas to work through in this komono category.

and the final section just wraps up some smaller details, like tips on how to set up each area of the home in a way that will bring you joy and some stories of how tidying really affects other aspects of your life.

essentially, it is all the tiny details that were left out of the original, as well as some of the 'why' (why start with clothes?  why fold things?), and if you're not a details person, this won't appeal to you.  but although some information is repetitive of the first book, if you're a marie kondo fan and really enjoyed the life changing magic of tidying up, i do recommend you check out this new one.  whether you're 'done' with your konmari declutter or if you're only halfway, you'll still enjoy all her answers and details, and will absolutely learn something new to use on your declutter journey.  

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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