Spark Joy

An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
Narrated by: Sumalee Montano
4.5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's Summary

Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes - and lives - across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. 

With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.

Includes a bonus PDF with instructional illustrations.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2016 Marie Kondo (P)2016 Random House Audio
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5 out of 5 stars
By Cynthia on 01-28-16

Yes, this works as an Audible.

The other morning, my elderly father and I were watching 'Good Morning America'. Marie Kondo was making her first guest appearance on an American morning show, introducing "Spark Joy" (2016), the follow up to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" (2011, Japanese; 2014, English). My dad watched, shaking his head in wonderment, as the hosts folded t-shirts, making them stand up vertically on their own. I marched Dad to my dresser and displayed my own carefully folded clothes, arrayed by color, standing proudly in the KonMari way. That is, if clothes can feel proud - and In Kondo's world, they do.

"Spark Joy" isn't gong to make a lot of sense without reading/listening to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" first. Kondo anthropomorphizes clothes, books and even pots and pans. In my first listen of the first book, I mentally made fun of improperly hung unused blouses feeling abandoned, and laughed at thanking worn tennis shoes for their hard work - until I set aside skepticism and tidied my clothes. All those classes in psychology I've taken give me a complex explanation for why what Kondo suggests works, but there's no reason to end up in psychoanalysis on the way to decluttering. Kondo's method works, so go with it - even if it means performing a Japanese purifying rite so you're okay with letting some stuffed animals go.

Both books do work as Audibles. "Spark Joy" comes with a nicely illustrated 57 page .pdf that opens easily in iBooks. I listened to "Spark Joy" while driving and went though the illustrations later. The clothes folding diagrams were really helpful, and I was pleased to realize that I'd gotten most of them right just by listening.

Does the KonMari Method really work? Well, I'm not through my year of tidying and organizing yet. It's going to take me that long because I work full time and have a long commute. I've kept what I've tidied so far neat and organized. Best of all, I stopped buying new things unless they 'spark joy'. Sure, now I've got three pairs of hiking boots - but I smile looking at them. I did find myself tempted to chuck a handful of expensive suits I wear to court appearances, but I decided to think of them as uniforms I needed to do my job. They don't spark joy themselves, but what they enable me to do does spark joy.

Books are next, and I'm looking forward to the challenge. "Spark Joy" helped me realize that for me, a lot of books I have fall into the "komono" - or miscellaneous - category, not "books." I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and a devotee of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I've indulged myself with a collection of first editions and signed books. I'm going to happily hold onto my King books, my signed Joseph Wambaughs, and my entire signed Jaine Austen (Laura Levine) collection, but donate the books I've picked up over the years and held onto because . . . ? Because, why? I don't even know. I feel less burdened already.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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442 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By John Price on 02-14-16

Probably not in the target market but great book

Would you listen to Spark Joy again? Why?

I think I would listen to it again. I am definitely having my wife listen to it on our devices. And my children are young, but I'm creating my library on the presumption that it will draw my then older children to it, the same way my parent's book shelves drew me in.

What did you like best about this story?


What about Sumalee Montano’s performance did you like?

The recording felt very stern. I'm not sure if the book would read that way, but for what it's worth, the stern tone seemed to keep me awake and listening.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was extremely skeptical of her premise: only keep things that cause you joy in your house and your life will be more joyful. But in the months since I've listened to this book, I have felt a difference in the way I treat the things in my house. My experience: our house isn't very cluttered; we cull now and then; I did a version of the clothes step in the book about 3 weeks before reading it. I was still able to learn a little from the step after and pared down the closet a bit more. But the principal still held. Also, while I was listening, I could think of a couple of T-shirts I owned that brought me joy without even touching them.It's super quick too. The learning of the skills she describes. We didn't have a problem in our house but we also weren't thinking about our things the accumulation too carefully either. We like it; her philosophy works for us.It was Christmas time when I was listening to this (and it has definitely made me a more considerate gift giver) so when she talked about bringing things that bring you joy out of hiding, I was thinking about an ornament that really does bring me joy and how it was on the tree. When we were packing up the ornaments, I made sure to snatch it and it's on my tie rack and when I get dressed in the morning it is noce to see hanging there.

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21 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By livinginmauilady on 01-10-16

Love it

I I've read the first volume the magic of tidying up and I really enjoyed it and I did try to do it but this book is like a follow up a taxi takes you to the nitty gritty of how to do a lot of things that she doesn't touch on in the first book I love this book its the best and I have changed my life in a lot of different ways clearing everything up

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74 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By G. G. Goodale on 02-04-16

Deeper look into understanding "joy"

This book helps me better understand how to find and determine things give me joy and gave me the starting blocks to get underway in this process.

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12 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By James U. Collins Jr. on 01-14-16

More than a book on tidiness!

This author has made her life's journey to explore orderliness, the value of orderliness, and what an individual's management of their living environment communicates. This book just might help you understand yourself better!

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22 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Erin A on 02-02-16

Such a good complement

A perfect follow up to her first book, I am ready to tackle my belongings!

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9 people found this helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Charlotte Blank on 05-16-16

This sequel did not spark joy like the first.

I don't recommend this one as an audiobook. It feels manual-esque in parts. In general it gets a little annoying... less inspirational, more self-obsessed. The first book is perfect and all you need. This one is overkill!

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18 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By SGJP on 02-09-17

More Details for the Declutter Mindset

So helpful that I have listened to this book twice! I first listened to Kondo's first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It was was a great introduction of a mindset that one must adopt to declutter home. I have always been a packrat by nature. I have a hard time letting things go in fear that I could find use for them later. Kondo's advice of only keeping items that "spark joy" helped me start to understand that I was holding on to objects for no other reason than to take up space in my home. After reading the first book, I immediately found this one to begin listening to. It covers much the same info but goes into more detail. Highly recommend. Also, son and I both enjoyed the narrator of audio version. She has a soothing, easy-to-listen to voice. Audible version comes with PDF guide for some illustrations.

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7 people found this helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By jclay on 04-11-16

Unnecessary book... Just read her first

This book is really just all the same info that's in her first book. I was so bored because I've heard it all. So, while it's good info, it's nothing new, and isn't expressed as well as the first book. I recommend reading/listening to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up"

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14 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Julie on 01-29-16

The Next Step

After listening to this book, I'm ready to clear out the clutter. What seemed like a chore before this book now seems like an event that I'm looking forward to. The narrator has a lovely voice that I listened to with joy. :) The first book is not necessary to "get" the concepts, but it did set the stage for full readiness. I preferred the more humble approach of this book over the seemingly endless jr. high stories in the first book.

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28 people found this helpful