Book Review: Magic is in the eye of the beholder

Like every mother of a toddler, my house has a general level of what my mother termed “messy build up” which we can never on top of because as soon as we clean up on area, Little C destroys it as we clean the next. But nonetheless, like every mother of a toddler, I frequently find myself bemoaning the face that we have too much stuff. Since the internet is losing it’s mind over the KonMari method, I thought “what the heck” and added The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo to my Christmas list.

I’m not sure what it says about my house that I received not one, but two copies of it.

With a full week between our last holiday obligation and our first day back at work, it seemed the ultimate time to tackle this project so I immediately dove into the book on the way back into the city. I realize that there are a lot of internet fads that I don’t get, but I didn’t think it would be this one. But boy oh boy, I don’t get this one. Her writing style irritated me (there was a lot of repetition and redundancy), her philosophy seemed cheesy (really? my socks need to “rest” in the drawer, so I should gently roll them?) and her method in general seemed to ignore the issues I am well aware that I have (keeping my kid’s toys corralled went against the whole “don’t organize someone else’s stuff for them” and quagmire of the kitchen couldn’t be solved by “keep only what sparks joy” because I hate cooking and so most of my kitchen stuff would end up in the garbage and we’d have to start eating out all the time, which would not spark joy in my digestive system).

That being said, as I read, I did think of some areas where I had decided against decluttering, or items I had avoided trashing because I was over-rationalizing their value. Perhaps the most valuable moment was visualizing what you wanted as an end result, beyond just a “cleaner house”. Why did you want a cleaner house? Why was that important? Why? Why? Ultimately, I often put off cleaning on evenings because I want to spend time with C after work. And I often feel stressed as we spend time together, because the toys that interested her yesterday would still be spilled across the floor so there was no room for us to play with today’s toys. And then we’d lose our weekend time together cleaning a full week’s worth of mess. So I resolved to take the week that I’d love to spend with Little C and focus on streamlining our house to help reduce the amount of cleaning that is needed in return for spending more time together once I’m back at work next week.

And with that motivation, I really hope some of the magic rubbed off on me.

Book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Rating: 2/5
Features: Organizational strategies for tidying up on a category by category basis
Who should read it: people who have already streamlined their houses and are looking to take it to the next level

Categories: The new identity | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Magic is in the eye of the beholder

  1. sounds like one to skip… i hear you with the the house though. I can’t seem to get ANYthing done between a wild toddler and a fussy 5 month old. As it stands, I’m trying to catch up on commenting with a baby in the carrier and aforementioned toddler glued to the tv #momoftheyear

    Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy

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