One of the central tenets of Marie Kondo's world-renowned tidying method is that books should not be stored--if you've read something once, she says, you've absorbed it and should discard it from your life. Yet just over a year after the U.S. release of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has sold more than 3 million copies in 35 languages, she's back with a companion book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. For Kondo's adherents, this will be one more item to thank for its service before dutifully placing it on the discard pile when completed.
Spark Joy offers visual instructions for her complex folding method, which involves storing clothes upright, not flat, so that opening a drawer reveals its full contents. Kondo also reiterates that when sorting through your possessions, only those objects that "spark joy" when held should be kept. This has given Kondo a reputation for minimalism, but in fact, readers will see she's inarguably pro-stuff: she owns 19 sets of chopstick rests; advocates for decorating your home with beloved baubles and tchotchkes even if they have no use; and empathizes with possessions, covering up stuffed animals' eyes before throwing them out and ruling that "balling your socks and stockings, or tying them into knots, is cruel."
Following the "KonMari" method to the letter would be hugely time-consuming, and readers may prefer to pick and choose some of the smaller life hacks she offers, like keeping warranties in a clear plastic folder to help you remember to throw them out when they expire. But Kondo has real confidence in her regimen's ability to transform the neatnik as well as the house. "Life truly begins," she writes, "only after you have put your house in order."
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