I'm not usually drawn to the self-help variety of book, but I've read three books this summer that sort of fall into that category and I thought a book report was in order.
First up, majorly popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. There were lots of things I really liked about this book, and some things that I didn't. Instead of leaving me feeling motivated, I finished the book and felt completely overwhelmed. And it took me a long time to shake that feeling. In the book's defense, I read it right before I had a lot of things going on in my life (like the pioneer trek and girl's camp and a long vacation) and no time to implement its practices. The method the author promotes is very specific, and that kind of turned me off. So I guess I would suggest reading it only if you can set aside plenty of time to purge your house.
But there were lots of things that resonated with me. Like, only keeping and buying things that "spark joy". I love that idea! I don't need to limit my belongings to a particular number or amount, I just need to limit them to what brings me joy. It feels really good to look in my closet or into a kitchen cupboard and only see things that I love. Granted, some things might not spark joy but are necessary to my household. I like to think that their necessity sparks a sort of joy.
Something else I liked was how the author describes thanking your belongings for their service. It sounds totally crazy, but thanking a dress for it's service before getting rid of it makes getting rid of it a lot less painful. Same goes for gifts. If someone gives me a gift that I don't need or use or like, I can thank the item for the joy it brought me when I received it and then I can feel ok about getting rid of it. And Ms. Kondo gives us the go-ahead to throw all of our papers away! It's really liberating to think that I don't need to keep every paper that comes home from school, or all of those old bank statements or credit card bills.
I fold our clothes differently now, and the kids' drawers are no longer overflowing. And that feels good. But I still roll our socks together, because that's just what makes the most sense for us.
Have you read it? I'd love to hear what you thought about it. Did it make you feel energized or overwhelmed?