It is a truth universally acknowledged that we often judge books by their cover. In the case of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2014), soothing blues and turquoises promise levity and peacefulness, both desirable states of being in a frantically disordered world. The KonMari method promotes order, freedom from oppressive attachments, and joy. To put it bluntly: I’ll have what she’s having.
The organizational consultant’s first bestseller was published in Japan in 2011, and entered North American markets in 2014. Reader response was sensational and millions around the world still watch her calmly folding socks on YouTube before seeking joy in ordering their own closets.
Our thirty-second reader and I delve into the KonMari method (its effectiveness and its shortcomings) and discuss the ways in which personal history informs our relationship to possessions. We also talk about sharing economies and repairing culture, the difficulty in letting go, and the difference between listening to an audio book and reading a physical book.
Click here to watch a video of Marie Kondo demonstrating her folding technique.
Check out this article from LitHub about one writer’s attempt to “Kondo” her book collection.
Difficult Women (2017) by Roxane Gay