Sunday, April 26, 2015

How Cleaning Up Can Be Life Changing -- A Book Review

I love the stark lines of these giants of my yard. 
It didn't surprise me that I was a bit behind in discovering the latest book craze, written by a Japanese organizer who doesn't even speak English. In my life, I always tend to be a bit behind on the trends, if I ever notice them at all. 

The book was published in October of last year, was a #1 New York Times bestseller, has spawned Facebook groups about it, and is still currently #3 in Amazon books. 

But late or not, I am so, so excited to share this book I am currently reading with you. I haven't done many book reviews on the blog, but this book fits perfectly into the things I write about, here at Life in the Woods: the simple life, organizing, and finding beauty in the world around you. 

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," is written by a woman from Japan called Marie Kondo, and the goal of the book is help the reader get her house in order. 

Kondo claims those that follow her system will never let their house get out of order again. They will never relapse. Wow! What a claim. What a promise this is. And those of us who are reformed reforming slobs, what hope! 

The book is all about how you feel about things -- your things. How you feel about things, is how you decide whether or not to keep something. If something gives you joy, keep it. If it doesn't, don't. That is the book, in two sentences, but there is so much more to the book. 

Kondo writes in a dreamy, intimate style, that makes you feel as if she is your quirky best friend. The translation is so perfect that you would swear the book was actually written in English. And she shares so much more than just a method of keeping things in order. She shares her heart, her journey, her growth, in learning how to order a home. 

Her method of decluttering and organizing did not come to her, all at once, but is a system borne out of years of trial and error, experimenting and perfecting. 

There's no one-size-fits-all system, she tells us. No one can do it for you, she insists. No, we must do the work ourselves. Holding each item we hold in our hands, and deciding if it fits into the life we live, the live we want to live. 

She writes about how getting our house in our house in order, will help us discover who we really are: 
After all, our possessions very accurately reflect the history of the decisions we have made in life. Tidying is a way of taking stock that shows us what we really like.
I can't say enough about how much I am enjoying this book. I am reading it slowly, so it will last longer. I tried to find more books that she has written, and they are presently being translated, from my understanding. 

I highly recommend this book, for anyone interested in a simpler life. (The link below is an affiliate link.) Since downloading the book to my Kindle last Wednesday, I have gotten rid of about 12 bags of garbage from our home in the woods. This is a picture of a few things I am donating to a local charity: 

 I am giving away books that I no longer need, shoes that don't suit me, and other items.
This is a start to many more donations!

The process has been healing, already, for me. Holding each item in my hand, I quietly noticed what I was feeling, and through doing this, got rid of a photo album full of old pictures from my first marriage. I threw out some classroom posters given to me, on a job where I had experienced workplace bullying.  I got rid of bank papers and old bills that I always thought I might need. And much more ... 

So, tell me, have you already heard of this book? Read it? Do you think you would like to read it? 

Love Sharilee. Hey thanks so much for reading. I would love to hear your comments and input in the space below. Also, if you like what you are reading, sign up through my FaceboBok page. or receive posts by e-mail byjoining here


  1. Thanks for sharing the review with us. I hope all is well in your little corner of the world.

  2. Hi Bill, my friend! Things are well, here in Canada. I am back teaching again, and the year is going very quickly! Thanks for reading, and hope things are going well with you, too. Happy writing!

  3. You might be eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.


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