Maira's Books

In January of 2005 I started this blog as a record of books I’ve read as I was afraid I would forget what I have read. I have often referred back to my own blog to remember a book's contents or see what I have read by an author. I have enjoyed passing my books on to friends or recommending books to read. I know I have missed recording some, but in general I try to keep up with what I have read or listened to.

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Location: Kalamazoo, MI, United States

I am a librarian at Waldo Library at Western Michigan University.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (2015)

Subtitle: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Parts of my house are very cluttered, and I hope to move to smaller quarters in a few years when I retire, so I need some help. This sounded interesting and though there are cultural differences between Japan and the U.S., there was a lot to learn from Marie Kondo. The main difference was the size of our houses, though the same principles apply. I did not hear her mention basements, garages and attics. We always collect memorabilia of our lives and there is something cool about finding grandma's wedding dress, etc.

Her system is simple in its basics - throw things out, then organize. She has a set order for doing this - clothing, books, papers, stuff (she had another name), and then memorabilia like photos. The throwing out part is pulling together everything of one type of thing, then handling each item and asking yourself it it gives you joy. I really think I could do this with my clothing. Then she has an interesting folding technique where most clothes are folded and stored upright in drawers. Handling you clothing and other things with care and appreciation makes them look better.

I do have an issue with her approach to books and papers. She did mention that there might be an exception for academics, but for most normal people, they should just keep a few books that give them information (like cookbooks) and joy. Her approach to papers was to throw them all out, except for a small folder of important warranties, etc.


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