Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo

Readers, are you familiar with "Murphy's Law?" Wikipedia gives this definition:

"Murphy's Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

I have developed a similar "law" that I will call "Anja's Law," which states:

"If you assume things will go one way, they will actually go the opposite way."

This book is a case in point - a perfect example of Anja's Law in action. Let me explain.

So as you may have guessed by my constant references to my crazy TBR pile, I have a bit of a problem with finding way, way, way too many things interesting and bringing home books and sometimes other things that in reality I don't need. I also try to keep things neat around the house, but usually fail miserably. I'm not dirty, but I am messy and lazy and that leads to an untidy house. I have gotten a lot better (seriously, a LOT better) about not bringing so much stuff into the house, and I have in fact gotten rid of a lot of unused stuff, but I am still working on generally keeping things neat and getting rid of other stuff that I just don't need. So when I heard about this book, and what a sensation it was, I decided I should probably read it and see if it had some techniques I might find helpful. My library had a really long waiting list too (like, REALLY long) so I assumed (uh oh, here's the magic word from Anja's Law!) that I wouldn't get my hands on it until early 2016, so it wouldn't infringe on my late-2015 catching-up-on-all-my-challenges reading.


To be fair, I did place the request for this book at the library a while ago, and in fact I forgot I had even placed the hold at one point, so it's not like I was on the waiting list for only a few days; but I still got the notification that this book was ready for me much earlier than I had anticipated. But I didn't want to miss my chance to read the book, so I picked it up.

Luckily for me, it's a small book and took very little time to read. I'm glad I read it, because I think the author's method is something that could really work for me. I won't get into details but I will say that I was surprised that there was so much anthropomorphizing of inanimate objects. I'm someone who has a tendency to do this, so that aspect of the book really spoke to me. I did somewhat disagree with her assertion that when you mean to read a book "sometime" you are highly unlikely to ever read the book - the progress I have made with my TBR pile* is proof that someone who is determined enough can actually accomplish this, but overall, I do agree that in most cases it's unlikely. All in all I think I am ready to downsize things like books I have already read, clothes I never wear, and generally rid myself of possessions that don't spark joy, so I think this book will ultimately help me on my quest for a neat and tidy home.

*In reality, even though I complain about my TBR pile a lot, it's really shrinking. I started being a lot more careful about not bringing home any old book that seems like it might be interesting, and I have strategically used my reading challenges to help keep my focus on reading books from the pile. I've also avoided the library so that I don't load up on books that seem interesting at the expense of reading books that are gathering dust on the pile, etc. So I can in fact state that it might be possible to clear this pile once and for all in the very near future. Crazy, I know, but it feels good to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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