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Publisher's Summary

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house "spark joy" (and which don't), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home-and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

©2014 Marie Kondo (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic." (The New York Times)

"Narrator Emily Woo Zeller captures the voice of author Marie Kondo so perfectly that it's as if the Japanese de-cluttering guru is speaking in person." (AudioFile)

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What listeners say about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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This should've been a magazine article.

What would have made The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up better?

By the time you get thru 2 chapters your entire house could've been spic and span & you still wouldn't have learned anything new.
All she says is - Throw things away. Imagine how you want your room to look. Then clean it. Put things away. Think about your loved ones having to clean your house out after you die & make decisions based on that.

I just saved you one credit & hours of your life.

What could Marie Kondo have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Written a one page magazine article rather than saying the same thing over and over again to make it a book.
People don't care that she wanted to clean her room instead of studying.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emily Woo Zeller?

Anyone who could make a point rather than rambling on and on.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger at myself for wasting my time listening.

96 people found this helpful

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I both love and hate this life changing book

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?

At one point this woman tells the reader that they will love folding. I have a clean laundry basket and a dirty laundry basket, and i always have, because i hate folding. When i first listened to the narrator tell me this I audibly laughed. Absurd! Well 2 weeks later, I am finished with the clothes, books, and papers section of her guide and I just realized I didnt dread folding my clothes this weekend... I refuse to say that I love folding but saying that I dont dread/hate it is a huge step. I am so annoyed that she is right, and so happy to have amazing drawers.

I would describe my entire experience of the book like this. I am so annoyed with whatever she is saying and yet I want to do everything she is saying and in the end every step of hers that I have followed has been revolutionary for my life.

How annoyingly wonderful.

1,498 people found this helpful

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Concept is good, but...

I listened to this at the recommendation of my wife. I was all for living simply by tidying our space. Personally, this book lost me in talking about how my socks "feel" being rolled up or that I need to thank my shoes for the work they do each day. That's just not my thing.

71 people found this helpful

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WTF did I just listen to???

I have no idea where all these 5-star reviews came from. If I had scrolled a little further down the Reviews page before buying this book, I probably would not have made the purchase, which makes me think that Audible is misleading it's listeners by listing all the most favorable reviews at the top of the page to disguise the less popular books. Conspiracy theories aside, here are my thoughts on this book:

Marie Kondo is a practicing Shintoist and approaches the whole "Tidying" process with a very Japanese philosophy. Being an uneducated ugly American, I had a hard time accepting her advice to visit and caress the clothes I don't wear very often so they don't feel left out, nor am I in the habit of thanking my clothing for serving me, or apologizing to my socks for rolling them into balls.

As I listened to this book, it seemed to me that Kondo has suffered from a lifelong case of OCD and she absolutely lives to throw things away. She discards everything she can get her hands on, even if it has practical value. She even admits to throwing away things that didn't belong to her and then lying about it when questioned. She arrogantly put herself in the position of deciding for other people what they needed & did not need. In this country, I believe that is called "theft". If she really likes to live with as few possessions as possible, she might actually be happy in jail!

This book is full of impractical advice, like emptying your handbag at the end of every day and putting the contents away in their own places even if you will need all the exact same things tomorrow. After all, those things "deserve" to have their own places of rest and refuge, and your handbag which served you faithfully all day needs to rest too. Really? If I followed this advice, I would be guaranteed to forget something important that I needed for the next day. Besides the fact that I am always short on time in the morning and need to prep everything the night before so I can just grab & go the next day. But maybe that's just me.

Another pearl is to put your sponge and dishes outside to dry after you clean them, so there is no need to own a dish rack. Maybe they don't have dirt & bugs outside in Japan.

She also says that you don't need to keep the owners' manuals for anything you buy because you probably won't ever need them again, and even if something stops working you can probably fix it yourself by "fiddling with it". While this may be true for your smaller uncomplicated purchases, I wouldn't advise that you discard the manual for your larger purchases such as your flat-screen TV or car. Not to mention that it's much easier to sell those items later if you still have the manuals.

In addition to lots of odd and impractical advice, Kondo also ignores some of the most obvious clutter solutions, like digitizing music collections, stacks of old photos, or class notes instead of forcing her clients to discard them

One of the most annoying features of this book (to me) was the frequent over-use of the word "tidying", or "tidying up", which made me think the book was written in the '50's. Kondo completely ignores terms such as "cleaning" or "de-cluttering" which at least sound like they've come from this century.

I also view with suspicion Kondo's claims that NONE of her clients have ever relapsed after learning her tidying method, none of them have ever regretted throwing away even important items like receipts and legal documents, and that throwing away eveything you own can help you find the love of your life and even lose weight.

Overall I found very little useful advice in this book, and found myself questioning instead what sort of emotional or psychological disturbance the author suffers from to make her this obsessed with throwing everything away. Even as a child she describes spending all her free time cleaning and tidying. If you're looking for a practical and insightful book on de-cluttering, I suggest "Clutter Busting" by Brooks Palmer. He insightfully delves into the deeper reasons why people keep things that are no longer useful, and uses gentle and positive methods to help you learn how to let go of things that no longer serve you.

69 people found this helpful

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Definitely one of the best books on the subject

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have well over 100 books in my Audible library now, and while I came across several really excellent ones, this was the one that compelled me to write a review for the first time. I would definitely recommend this to a friend and have done so already. It is a fascinating listen. The author approaches such a mundane task as tidying with such passion, creativity and inspiration that I am absolutely amazed. I loved her very last chapter as well, where she points out that if you (the reader) pour as much passion into what you do, the results will surpass all expectations. It felt to me that Marie Kondo uses "tidying" as therapy sessions. I have finished her book in two long commutes during this cold and snowy Chicago winter. It was perfect, not too intense and yet so much to think about - my own home, things I possess and why. One other very interesting thing to me was that being a Japanese she describes how things are in Japanese households. I have travelled to Japan many times and I know that Japanese houses are much smaller than those in the US on average. Thus it was very fascinating how the author addressed the need for storing things in a Japanese home.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?

Her approach to life - surround yourself with things (and people for that matter) that "spark joy" - so easy, yet makes so much sense.

Any additional comments?

I also loved the narrator. She did a superb job especially pronouncing Japanese words. Oftentimes narrators butcher foreign words, but Emily did a fantastic job. I enjoyed this listen a lot!

535 people found this helpful

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This book brings me joy!!

As a person burdened with the possessions of a seven person household (and a pooch), I finally can see my way past the clutter and on to a "tidier" life. (By the way, I despise the word "de-clutter"... now it's "tidying up"!) The simplistic yet profound methods & thought processes introduced in this book have finally inspired me, not overwhelmed me. It was presented in a manner I could understand and relate to. I have started with my own clothes (first!!) and will continue with MY possesssions BEFORE I attempt to tidy-up my family. I feel freedom already. Thanks Marie Kondo!!

226 people found this helpful

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Life-changing Indeed

I listened to this book several months ago-- twice. It's short and entertaining and easy to follow. Most importantly, it's changed my life. In the last few months, I've decluttered my bedroom closet, linen closet, hall closet, dresser drawers, bathroom, bookshelves, junk drawer, and office. Next up are the kitchen and garage. I feel so much better with my possessions winnowed down and organized. The book really has brought me joy.

218 people found this helpful

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Inspirational

Book exceeded my expectations. At long last I can let go of "things ". I have more time to do the things that add joy to my life. I no longer have to spend hours trying to find items in the house which were hidden by clutter. My blood pressure has improved. Life-Changing is an understatement!

101 people found this helpful

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Robot voice

There were some interesting points in here.
Some of it seems more of a "sounds good in theory" but doesn't sound realistic in practice. I also feel the author fosters a culture of waste. Advising to just throw everything away and buy it again if you ever need it again.
Also the narrator sounded like a text to speech program at times. If not text to speech, than the overhead voice at the airport.

92 people found this helpful

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Okay Concepts but Horribly Written and Narrated

Narration is almost as if read by a computer program with random bursts of emphasis. Writing is self-absorbed and redundant about a simple subject. The concepts of this book, although extremely helpful, can be summarized onto one sheet of paper, and this book is an obvious money-grab typical of the modern guru-giddy world.

61 people found this helpful