So have you seen the book?  Have you read the book?  Do you know about the book?  Do you own the book??



The world seems to have been swallowed up by the soft voice and firm, sensibly manicured hand of Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo.  The petite woman who gave herself a miniature nervous breakdown as a teen  because she became so obsessed yet never satisfied with tidying up, has created a cult following.

The cult of Kondo.


Holy shit.  She’s RIGHT.  Marie would never, ever say that bad word by the way.  Maybe if I want to get organized I should stop saying bad words.  Maybe that would help me become more tidy.

I first heard about the book over a year ago when I ran into a Cult of Kondo friend at the local drugstore.  We were …

Wait!  Something big and messy is about to happen!

If you could just excuse me for a minute that’d be great because I’m pretty sure my head is going to explode.  I’ve had an inkling that this was going to happen for the past month or so and I have a feeling this is the moment.  I’m sure you’ve been there.  There’s just too much mashed and scribbled around in your brain so some of it is looking for a way out.  Much like a ticking time bomb, my head is just waiting for the exact right moment to go off in a spectacular display.   So if we could all just sit quietly for a minute or two until I know one way or the other that’d be great.  I’m pretty sure it’s gonna happen though.  Right now.  In the middle of writing a post.



Nope.  We’re good.  Head isn’t going to explode today I don’t think.

It’s only a matter of time though. I know this on account of the fact that there’s too much in my head and it’s all out of order and mish mashed around in there in such a scrambled mess I can’t really call any information up to my frontal lobe when I need it.  I think, What will I have for dinner, and instead of pizza or pesto, a little anxiety attack named Sam comes raging forward instead of a dinner idea, screaming at me to give up eating so I have time to tidy up the house instead.  I hate Sam.  Sam’s an asshead.

So back to this book. I found out about it over a year ago from a friend, as I said, but I didn’t buy it. I just sort of forgot about it. Here’s proof of when I was first told about it because I even took a “note” of the title.




But today that changes.  Because TODAY I am buying The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I’ve left it so late Marie already has another book out on tidying up.  I think it’s more of a companion book for the already tidy so I’m not sure I need this one.



I’m going to read this book and do every SINGLE thing it says.  Mainly I want to get my house organized, decluttered and ready for the fall makeover.  I have so many things to move around and a few big storage pieces I may have to get rid of that I have to get my decluttering done before I even attempt to redecorate.

Along with ordering and submitting to the Cult of Kondo there are 2 other things I’m going to do to help me organize my life and house this month.


Organize my thoughts.  Seriously. I need to get this jumble of ideas and thoughts figured out and evict Sam the Asshead as soon as possible.  I will prioritize, list, re-prioritize and make a new list of the things I need to get done.  Over and over until it’s doable.  This is just for all the stuff I need to do that *isn’t* tidying and organizing.  More like figuring out when I’m going to fix the chicken coop roof and making a timeline and material list for redecorating the lower floor of my house this fall.

I will NOT try to organize/tidy my entire house.  That’s crazy talk.  I’ll do 4 rooms.

4 rooms in 4 weeks.  Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bathroom.

(Sign up for the 4 Rooms, 4 Week Challenge  that starts this Monday!)

I have to confess I’m unreasonably excited about this book. I’ve already been using Marie Kondo’s folding method   (the Konmari method) and it kindda has magically changed my life.  Opening my tee shirt drawer never made me smile before.  Now it does.  Now it makes me giddy.


Ditto for my jean drawer and tea towel drawer. You know how you fold your tee shirts all nice and sit them on top of each other, then you need a tee shirt and it’s under another one and you pull it out and it makes them a bit messy? Then you’re in a huge rush and you just go diving and rummaging through them to find one that doesn’t have a hole in it ’cause your fart-face-fussy mother-law-law is coming over and by the time you walk away from the drawer it’s a tangle of polyester and cotton? Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore.

If reviews of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up are to be believed it really is life changing.  Folding tee shirts her way had me so excited I almost had to pull out the smelling salts so I can’t imagine what’ll happen to me when I read the whole book.

I *can* imagine what will happen to Anxiety Sam though.

Have a good weekend!



  1. Ruth Hirsch says:

    The person who told me about Kondo finally did get the book. She read it.
    And followed her advice on only keeping things she loves: the book went out!!

    Last week she told me about this book:
    The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do

    Apparently, there’re a spate of Kondo satires out there.

  2. Kris says:

    Thanks, Karen – I always appreciate your wise feedback! Spark joy and get the one you want!

  3. Kris says:

    Hmm – I read the book and then promptly took it back to the library. I like some of the ideas, and just knew I would never commit to doing my whole house (even though I’m not a fan of clutter).

    My bigger question is – what about buying new things? For example, I need an entryway bench that looks modern/rustic, has a place to store hats/gloves (out of sight) and also shoes.

    I bought one from Ikea that I can hack, and I don’t love it – it’s ok and it’s just so Ikea!

    The one I really like is almost $1000 – so what do you think – make do with the Ikea bench for $200 or return it and spend for the $1000 one that I think is so much better (sparks joy? )

    And by the way, I think I will join the one room, one month challenge (because I’m away until Aug 18 and can’t do 4) – maybe two rooms, one month!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, well if you’re away until the 18th there isn’t much sense in joining, lol. so. I much prefer the crate and barrel one obviously. I’d save for the better one at this point in my life but that’s because I’ve had it with making due and living with stuff I don’t love. There’s only a difference of $800, right? If you can put $100 a week towards it for 2 months … it’s yours! How do you save $100 a week? Every time you go to spend money on something you don’t HAVE to, don’t, lol. And then put that money in an envelope. Seems like it would work in theory anyway. 🙂 Or … it would be easy to build if you looked around I’m sure. ~ karen!

  4. Kasia W says:

    I read the book about a year and a half ago when I moved into an apartment after my divorce. My house had a whole walk up attic FULL of stuff I’d collected and inherited and saved, just in the off-chance one of my siblings or anyone I knew ever wanted it. When I moved, family helped, and if they didn’t want it then it went to Goodwill. At my new apartment I now fold all my clothes her way, even undies, and it’s lasted for a year and half. LOVE being able to see everything and find what I want right away. T-shirts have been the only issue, as I like the kind made of real thin material, so I have to roll those and stand them on end. Not as pretty, but the only way they stand up. As for those that think the thanking of things is weird, I get what you’re saying, but really, as an another reader stated, I feel it’s about gratitude for what you have and appreciating the beauty behind the creation of objects. I also LOVE the “sparking joy” bit. I think I’ve saved an incredible amount of money just by paying attention to this phrase and not buying something just because I sort of like it or it’s on sale. I now notice how some things not only don’t quite spark joy, but even annoy me to look at! It has changed my life, but I get how it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. Glad you’re covering it Karen!

  5. Amy in StL says:

    I tried folding jeans and long sleeve tshirts and tank tops this way and only the jeans held their shape; but the drawer now held only half the amount of jeans. All the rest became a mess halfway through the second week. My short sleeve shirts are in a cabinet with a door, so this method totally doesn’t work for that. I’d love for miss ‘my way is the only right way’ to admit she’s wrong and this only works for some things. But I would guess she never is wrong about anything.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well, you probably have deep drawers that you can stack jeans really high in. For me, I can fit way more jeans in my drawer by folding them this way. But my drawer is about the same depth as the jeans are when they’re folded the fancy way. ~ karen!

  6. Penny says:

    I’ve not read Kondo’s book, but one my daughter and I both found helpful was Ruth Field’s ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’. (that’s her publisher using the asterisk, not me.)
    Maybe not so much one for The Art of Doing Stuff types as for those of us who fall (gracelessly, with a thud and a little squeal) into the category of The Art of Finding Spurious Reasons Not to Start Doing Stuff. Her advice to us lazybones is ‘Do a little, teeny-weeny, tiny, barely-noticeable bit, but DO IT NOW!!’ for example, de-clutter one shelf or drawer in the kitchen. The theory is that the satisfaction gained creates a desire for further hits of the tidysmack, and hopefully you’ll soon be hooked on GYSTing.
    The other thing I use when I go a-tidying is the acronym SPACE, as in Sort (into categories), Purge, Allocate (where’s it gonna live?), Contain and Evaluate, which translates into maintaining the system on a regular basis.
    It was going quite well for a while, but then Life got in the way – my elderly dad started needing much more of my time and my daughter moved back home after a 10-year relationship fizzled out. At the time of posting, Dad’s in hospital with a broken hip and daughter is still fast asleep after too much fun last night … it’s 7pm !
    It’s not really a good enough reason for the current level of Crap-shackedness in this house but it’ll do for now.

  7. Lisa says:

    I call my closets “TARDIS” for a reason. 🙂

    Books are a keeper for me- they all bring me joy, I can’t get rid of books. I have stopped promising to get shoes/bags fixed and do throw when completely wrecked. So little tiny steps in the de-cluttering process.

  8. Heather Sykora says:

    Hi, I never comment, but had something to add to the discussion. I have red many, many de-clutter books and learned something from most of them. The thing that I found liberating about Kondo’s method is the focus on what I love and want to surround myself with. My house was already reasonable okay, but after reading her book I was able to donate items I used to enjoy but don’t use anymore. I also finally felt free from the compulsion to make my house look like a magazine that someone else lived in, rather I meditate on what I like/brings me visual pleasure and arrange my belongings to my liking. If someone else doesn’t like it doesn’t matter. I feel a new sense of confidence in my personal choices and am getting better at making decisions about what I bring into my space. I prefer my office space busy, comfy, and my kitchen very minimalistic. I feel that I have been learning a skill that is empowering me personally and this skill is rubbing off on my four children without any lecturing. My husband loves that I feel more at peace with my things and more thankful for the house and space we have. Just wanted to add my thoughts to the discussion.

  9. Chris says:

    Really? I saw her one video about folding tees and have to tell you I’ve been folding my husband’s undershirts this way since…..ummmm 1966. Having raised a family & gardens while being a small business owner, restoring an antique house circa 1860s and doing what Martha Stewart did a few years before her (except the jail part) it really makes me shake my head in amazement that this is found to be so exciting. Even after being the Nana who had the 4Treasures after school every day and when school wasn’t ‘in’, retirement now has me as busy as ever sewing fine heirloom pretties for the two little great granddaughters (Jewels in my Treasure box). These things aren’t new, gals. Growing up in the 50s we learned how to fold sheets while standing at the clothesline. And some of us know the proper way to iron a shirt. Never needed a book to tell us how to do the everyday things. I wonder if she teaches people how to peel a carrot? All said in fun…..!!

  10. Geraldine Peterson says:

    Thanks for the tip on the bbq brush. I had heard of the dangers but didn’t know where to buy one. I don’t think it’s a mainstream idea. The big box stores all have something but no good enough to buy.

    Also, when you redo your rooms, will you be selling anything?

  11. Sylvia says:

    It’s already Monday morning in Nova Scotia. Hurry up already!!! I want to get shit done and I want to start now! Well…right after a cuppa coffee. But soon!! Karen, help!!!

    • Karen says:

      Did you sign up for the course Sylvia? That’s where everything takes place, lol. And if you *did* sign up recently did you get a welcome email? ~ karen!

      • Sylvia says:

        Yes, I did sign up and rec’d an email saying I’d receive log in info on first day of month of challenge and nothing so far 🙁

  12. Eliza Leahy says:

    I read it. Then I threw it out because I didn’t want unnecessary clutter.

  13. Kelli says:

    I don’t have a little Sam. I have a very big, unorganized, out of control Sam. My mother’s uber-organized genes completely skipped me. Instead I got Grandma’s depression-era, save everything, pack rat genes. I definitely need Kondo power! Putting this book on my list!

  14. Jeannette says:

    It has been a while since I read Marie Kondo’s book, but as I remember, she says DO NOT go behind your loved ones’ backs & purge their possessions. She made that mistake with her family & now believes each person is responsible for their own de-cluttering. Hopefully, someone who is resistant will see the difference in YOUR life & will want that for themselves. She is obviously incorporating ideas from her culture & religion, but all that can be modified to fit your particular view. I am a Christian, so it is easy for me to thank God for a particular item & the role it had in my life. As others have said, feeling permission to get rid of things can be life changing, especially for someone like me who was raised by Depression era parents & was taught to keep everything in fear that it might be needed someday. How wonderful to be surrounded by only those things you find useful or attractive. What those are & how many will vary for each person, also may vary depending upon which stage of life each of us is in. I literally had shelves of books devoted to organizing &/or de-cluttering; now I have 2, both of Marie Kondo’s, truly life-changing magic for me.

    • Rebekah says:

      Parental experiences do have a big impact! My folks are a combo: depression baby married a war refugee – so of course we saved and scraped and reused. My house is full of repurposed useful items.

      What helps me is sending stuff on to others – I just spent some time carefully selecting the best coloured pencils of my kids’ younger school days, sharpening them, packaging them up carefully, labelling what they were, then donating them. The too short pencils I did manage to throw in the garbage – although I did have to deliberate whether they were in deed too short or I was just too lazy to imagine a better way to use them.

      I have no problem donating a $100 jacket that it turns out didn’t actually suit me – I have the hardest time throwing out stuff!

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