Jen’s Book Nook | The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Happy first day of spring!  It’s that time of year when winter starts to fade away and the natural world around us comes out from hibernation.  Here in the midwest, the birds have returned in flocks and are singing sweetly, buds are forming on barren trees, and the tippy tops of dandelions and tulip buds are poking up through the ground.  With this energy of rebirth and regeneration all around us, many feel invigorated to clear out and clean up our homes.  Refreshing our surroundings is a natural reflection of the season.  It’s time to spring clean!

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I just finished reading the ever popular and current best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  This is essentially a guide on how to whittle down your belongings to only having things you truly love and keep it that way.  Kondo recommends a fully immersive purge and sort process which she calls the KonMari Method.  Her recommendation to do this all in one go is meant to have drastic results that basically shock you into changing your old cluttery ways for good.  While I plan to primarily write my book reviews and post them here in the future, I decided to film this book nook since it’s an appropriate segue into my own home purge I am about to embark on.  I talk about the book and my thoughts on Kondo’s process for the bulk of the video and then wrap up by discussing my plan for sharing my home purge process with you.

If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts on this book, check out my video:

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this book.  I’d also be very interested to hear about your plans for spring cleaning this year and what you hope to accomplish from them.  I will be sharing my own spring cleaning/home purge process and checking in with you along the way.  Stay tuned if you’re interested!
Happy spring cleaning!

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 * This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

27 comments

27 thoughts on “Jen’s Book Nook | The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

  1. Hi Jen!
    I really enjoyed listening to your views on the book. I have been wanting/needing to do a major purge for a while now and this is just the thing to motivate me, I hope 🙂 Because of some major occurrences in my life, I feel like I have fallen badly behind on my normally fairly organized self. I get rid of things often, but with my son and his young children living in my home, things accumulate very quickly! I am one who likes to go from room to room to clean and tidy because I find myself getting bored or not being able to stay on task because of being overwhelmed, so the room to room makes sense to me. As for the author, is her method because the Japanese tend to have less room to store things? A friend of mine whose daughter was a Japanese exchange student said that the Japanese like to keep things very compact because of storage issues. Anyway, just a thought. I look forward to your series. the memento category will be the hardest for me, so I’m happy that she saves it for last!!!

    1. I imagine there is a definite cultural divide in terms of how homes are built in Japan vs the US, but I honestly don’t know for a fact. If anyone who does know wants to weigh in that would be great 🙂

      1. Hello! I just watched your video and posted this in the comments but just in case I hope you don’t mind me adding my thoughts here as well! I read the book in its original Japanese. The concept of tidying that she mentions, as you said, is a bit different from the English tidying (IMHO). It’s actually putting things away as you finish using them which allows you to not have to do “tidying up”. Japanese homes are relatively smaller than homes in the US, so over here we really have to be careful of how much stuff we hold on to! The “KonMari” method has also helped me with PURCHASING new items too. I have cut down soon much on how I buy things, and I think that is where the real benefit for me is!

        The other cultural difference would definetly be how things are revered to …sort…have a “soul”… As you mentioned, it is best explained as metaphorical. I guess it is sort of like, you treat your things how you treat yourself. If you ball things up or leave things dusty etc it kind of represents how you might be treating yourself. Things as well as humans are made of energy….and that energy helps you live or can give you “power”. Like you mentioned, things have a purpose.

        I tried to purge once but went room by room only to find that I had boxes of clothes stored away in another closet that I had to purge again at a later date…now when I do purge, I go by her suggestion of pulling out like things with like. This is really useful when you go through batteries and chargers etc. Jen, you are already super organized so you won’t have this problem but when I went around the house collecting phone cables/chargers/batteries, I was astounded to find so many duplicates and old chargers that do not match any appliances that we have now! LOL

        I watch all of your videos and am looking forward to this new series! Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Hi Jen!

    I just watched your Book Nook video, and I’m really excited to see how you start the purging process. I feel like I have so much “stuff” in my house that’s not used or that I keep due to guilt. I started my clothing purge a few weeks ago, and I’m working on certain areas of my house when I can. Your new series will definitely give me the little nudge to keep going! Perfect timing! 🙂

  3. I have been cleaning out my home and purging items for the last couple of months. Your videos are a great inspiration and keep me going and growing. I have a different outcome than I though I would. In purging all items/decorations I no longer feel connected to, I find myself lost as to who I am right now. I used to know my style and how I liked my home to look and function. I have lots of empty spaces and don’t know how to recreate myself. I used to like country/primitive colors and decorations and now with the clearing I find myself drawn to more bright fresh colors and decorations. It feels much lighter but a bit strange. Have you ever heard of anyone going through something similar and how do I begin. I would some ideas to get me through this change!

  4. Hi Jen
    I did a huge purge and organise just before my second child was born two years ago and it has been life changing. We have even less stuff now and we are never going back. I never ever realised how much of my precious time was consumed with buying and maintaining stuff (and fighting with the kids about not messing it up again). I hope it works out wonderfully for you too. Good luck! Lex

  5. I just finished it!!! Bought it the day you shared it on Instagram, I just knew I needed to read it!! My home is usually picked up & organized (at least main areas!) but I found it refreshing and inspiring none the less! I found her view of being so grateful to your home and belongings very sweet…. And when I came home today, I greeted my house, lol. It does make the world feel more magical!! I also loved that she stresses keeping what delights you – not a number, not minimalist. I have dolls, momentos, purses, mickey ears, etc, that ‘spark joy’, but I still feel pared down. Its just a great method! Something different to try for Spring cleaning this year. I’m just delighted! The only thing I really disagreed with was emptying your hand bag every night.

  6. As I can see ,the book looks really interesting!
    Ienjoyed watching the video and the nice advices.
    And I think it s completky true,some things you can not threw away because they have some meanings and belongs to souvnirs from the past,but I m sure there is alot of things that may be analysed,clothes to small or to big,cold or hot weather..
    Have a nice weekend!

  7. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings about “letting go of things”. I grew up in a big house and have been married now for 20yrs. All of these years in small apartments. Right there it’s hard b/c I was brought up to just store it away. When you have less space you have to choose wisely. I really need to go over everything so I too can finally move on. My parents passed few yrs ago and I know I don’t have that much stuff of there’s but I have trouble letting go of any of it. You really brought up some really important info to my attention. I was so close to my parents and some gifts that I have from them that I really don’t like,but I just can’t let it go. I know that grieving was not the subject but sometimes there are reasons, whatever they may be that stop you from ever starting. On a different note, I have been journaling what I eat for yrs and I threw them away about a yr ago,again not a lot of room in the apartment. I am looking forward to seeing what you will do with your papers. It is not easy letting go of what you right down. Thanks again for sharing Jen, my husband and I (we have no children) have been talking about moving furniture around and finally going through everything together for a few hours since watching your video. Take care, Danette

  8. We are building a new house and getting our house we are living in now ready to sell so I am on a purge-a-thon! Would be great to see how somebody else tackles the job no one really wants to do but must be done. House building/selling is a GREAT motivator 🙂

  9. I’ve been waiting to hear what you thought of this book because I was in two minds about purchasing it. I downloaded a sample onto my Kindle and read a few reviews but it was all very mixed. I like some of her ideas, especially to do with guilt and only having things around you that bring sheer joy, those are two things I really want to try and implement. I’m terrible for keeping things just because someone bought me it, I feel so obliged to keep it in my life even if I don’t use/like it so much! I have this insane idea that if I got rid of said item, the giver would find out and be hurt, even if it’s just a pan set!

    I had a huge purge when I moved last year and threw things away without thinking, I really want to get back into that frame of mind, I was ruthless for sure but I miss NONE of what I actually got rid of! So it CAN be done!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  10. Hi Jen, I can’t wait for your purge series to hopefully gather tips to motivate my husband to go through his possessions. He was a member of Air-Force One for 20 years, and most of his items have historical value. I don’t know what to do with it all! My own items have been gone through and labeled with notes for my children as to their significance to me. A great tip if you have grown children. Have a lovely weekend. E

  11. Hi Jen
    I’m excited for this new series. At the moment I’m trying to implement a capsule wardrobe, so I’m trying to purge out all the clothing that doesn’t work for me, but I find I get attached to certain pieces or I feel guilty over spending money on items and not using them so I think this book will be a great read for me to address these issues.
    Hope you have a nice day.

  12. Hi Jen! I love your vlogs. I think you are so cute and so sweet and I love that. A little jealous of your homes

  13. Jen I generally love you and your videos, but the start of this one really annoyed me! Maybe I am generalising, but it seems such a predictable thing now, to see an American nit-picking and criticising how another culture uses a word! You honestly spent the first two and a half minutes mocking the way this author used the word “‘tidying’!
    In my experience as a Brit, the Americans are some of the worst for misusing language! Also, whilst almost mocking this lady, you then appear to go on to say that you are basing a whole series of videos and blog posts around her concept. Leaves me aghast to be honest!

    1. I understand you are sharing your opinion and of course you may think what you like but it was not my intent to “nitpick” the book and I certainly had no intention of criticizing another culture. I was merely giving my opinion of the book and I very clearly said that I couldn’t make any real comments about the differences in culture since I’ve never lived in Japan nor am I Japanese.

  14. As I rent & live in small basement suites which I can’t remodel in any way, and have no funds for storage systems etc., I’ve had to purge every time I’ve had to move (about every 3-5 years since I divorced my husband). I’m in my 70s, no pension, no assets – challenging to figure out how to store/save/file in a useful way that is also truly satisfying.

    My biggest problem is with PAPER – I write novels, and I do genealogy research for myself/family and others, so there are notes, suggested ideas for research, articles, etc. I’m trying to keep things as much as possible in the Cloud storage (BackBlaze), and in Evernote, which is helping somewhat. But at the moment I’m seeing piles of memos, sticky notes, pads of half-used paper, folders for specific family lines or clients… And then there are the few magazines I get (gift subscriptions from friends who know my passions) – Scientific American, Archaeology, Writers Digest (& others)… Hate to get rid of them, can’t find a good way to keep them.

    Thanks for putting out such a good video about this M.Kondo book – I think I’ll start with Clothes and move on from there. I’ll be back here again!

    1. I, too, find it difficult to part with paper things, although I have been slowly changing and feel a big paper purge coming on soon. I think the important thing to remember for me at least is that once my notes are no longer helping me with a current project, they’ve served their purpose and can be recycled. As for bills and such, most of those backlogs can be found in online accounts now so keeping the paper is unnecessary for most things.

  15. Hi Jen !

    Hope you doing well. I you liked this book, I highly highly recommand to you Dominique Loreau’s books, especially “THE ART OF SIMPLICITY”. I read it several times already and I love it !

    I love spring cleanin too There is something deeply satisfaying in decletering the house and start fresh with less 🙂 I always feel lighter after that ! For me it often happened when i get back home after a trip or hliday and I realised that I was just fine with just the content of my suitcase !

    I am looking forward to more articles about spring-cleaning, I love this subject !
    Take care.

    S.

  16. Hi Jen! I really enjoyed your review of the book. I LOVE organization and love to read books and watch your videos to get inspiration. I feel that your methods from what I’ve seen make more logical sense than that book’s philosophy. From what I’ve seen from you, you organize like me. Break it up. I read the other day to go into a room that needs cleaning and choose where “12 o’clock” is and work clockwise from there. That makes soooo much sense. Then you will soon have a clean room which is a victory and Spurs you to do more! Even within that organizing technique, if you choose to, for example, clean out each dresser, nightstand, etc then those are small victories too. Seems to me like when you can completely cross things off your list in a relatively short amount of time, you will keep motivated. I loved your baskets video- great idea! I hope you choose to do a home purge challenge. I would love to do that along with you! I think that would be very motivating to focus on one room a month or so, to move throughout that house. Thanks for sharing!

  17. A home purging series??? YIPEE!!!!! I first got hooked on your channel at the beginning for your superb organising and home making skills. I would LOVE to this series ….. Inspire away and we will follow.
    Big hugs from Spain
    Sue x

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