Tidying up Barnes n Noble




If you are interested in getting your life in order in more ways than one then this book is for you. Certainly, this book provides a lot of practical and useful advice for cleaning up a home but surprisingly it also offers a framework through with to organize our emotional and psychological life as well.

Why I Picked Up This Book

I started reading this book at the beginning of the year, right around Martin Luther King Day January 15. I was motivated by new year resolutions to better my life and my environment. I’ve always been a very messy person, often feeling like I thrive in the chaos and mess of a creative life. At the same time I had just turned 30 and wanted to really cultivate better habits for myself. I thought this book help along in that journey.

Biggest Take Aways

It’s more than just about cleaning your home, its about cleansing your life

The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.

I had heard about how a clean space could help clear the mind and Marie Kondo reinforces that idea. She writes about the transformative power of cleaning and organizing your space. Many of our belongings are connected to a memory or hold some sort of psychological purpose in our lives. By really evaluating whether these are things (both items and ideas/feelings) that we need to hold on to we evaluate our lives. We reprioritize our values and begin to truly focus on what matters to us and brings joy into our lives.

You can’t procrastinate-Just Decide to do it and do it

Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever.

Marie Kondo speaks about the importance to decide to take action and enact change and keep at it until it is done. She writes that it is important to spend the time to make this a priority so that it can be over and done with in a given amount of time. In total she writes that completely cleaning house should take about 6 months. Spending too much time can be too draining and end up killing the person’s motivation. Resulting in the person ultimately giving up and not changing their life at all.

It’s a work in progress, Don’t give up

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

In her book Marie Kondo writes about misconceptions about cleaning she used to have. She writes about how through out her life she has learned from her failings and refined her ideas to make them the best that they can be. Similarly there is a sense on her writing that many of us who struggle with keeping things in order often feel overwhelmed and like things will never get better. Marie Kondo urges readers to never give up and that no matter how hopeless or futile your efforts may feel, it is important to keep at it and realize this goal or organizing not just our home but our life.

Book Details/Structure

The paper book 224 pages

The book is divided into 5 sections

Part 1: Why can’t i keep my house in order?

Part 2: Finish discarding first

Part 3: Tidying by category works like magic

Part 4: Storing your things to make your life shine

Part 5: The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life

The audio book is 4 hours and 50 minutes long.

Overall Rating

I would give this book a 4.5+ out of 5. Very close to a 5 star rating. There were a few slower parts of the book but not very many. In general I wanted to keep reading this book. It actually got me to take action in my life. I seriously threw out several bags of trash and donated several more to my local Goodwill. I shared the magic of this book with coworkers and family members. It made me excited.

I definitely recommend it, in fact give it a high recommendation. This is a must read for any person.

Notable Quotes

The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.

Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.

The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.

No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important.

Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.

Many people carry this type of negative self-image for years, but it is swept away the instant they experience their own perfectly clean space. This drastic change in self-perception, the belief that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, transforms behavior and lifestyles. This is precisely why my students never experience rebound. Once you have experienced the powerful impact of a perfectly ordered space, you, too, will never return to clutter.

Additional Resources


The Life Changing Magic of Trying Up Book

The Life Changing Magic of Trying Up Audio Book

Photo Credit

Marie Kondo|@MarieKondo|Twitter

Posted by:smartworkingirl

Hi, my name is Angelica and I am a young professional. This blog is to share helpful career resources and ideas with others. Navigating the professional world can be hard and isolating, here I strive for inclusion.

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