kondo folding

The author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has written a sequel


Marie Kondo, the Japanese neatnik, has written a sequel to her best-selling first book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying and it has more valuable content to offer. I was skeptical at first because I couldn’t imagine there was another book’s worth of her tidying techniques and beliefs. In fact, she expands on many of her techniques, and addresses some of the specific areas I had questions about.

Her principal tenet is that everything we own should ‘spark joy’ within us. I can understand that concept when it comes to a favorite dress, book or photograph, but a screwdriver or a toaster? In her first book I felt she had not adequately dealt with all the items that are necessary to have but might not spark joy. This is an area she discusses at length in this new book and it is very helpful.

This new book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up was just released a couple of weeks ago. It has step-by-step instructions for her folding methods and illustrations of organized drawers and closets. The illustrated folding methods are not the best I’ve ever seen, so I would advise that you go to You Tube for real videos of Kondo fans folding accurately. She emphasizes the fact that her techniques are not about what to discard, but about what to keep. Anything that sparks joy we keep, and if viewed that way, a major closet and drawer reorganization won’t spark a feeling of deprivation.


Which brings me to the murky area of  items that seem to spark nothing, but there are…. uh, circumstances. The fact is that my mother’s 40 year old blender which I have a sentimental attachment to, has been outdone by newer, modern versions. I even own one of these newer models and it does make me happy because it works so well, the design is pleasing, and it has useful attachments. My options are to take a picture of the old one to remember the memories, and/or thank it for it’s long service and give it away. Strangely enough, expressing gratitude to an item we are hanging onto out of guilt or sentimentality is an oddly freeing action. I have let go of the old blender and have not looked back. I’m also very happy at the extra room in my cabinets that has been freed up by letting go of unused tools and appliances.

If you are new to Marie Kondo and aren’t certain which book to buy first, I would advise that you go in order. The first book describes her philosophy which is important to understand before beginning a major clean-out. The second book is very helpful once you have begun the process because it adds more practical advice and illustrations. Perhaps the most important distinction between Kondo’s method and many other organizers’ methods, is that once you complete the sorting through of all your belongings, you will never have to repeat the entire process again because everything you contemplate bringing into your home will have to pass the ‘spark joy’ test, and your current belongings will be so edited and under control that it will be obvious to you if something ceases to spark joy. $11.49.

“The essence of a storage and tidying project is to enjoy and appreciate the items you own”  Marie Kondo

See our review of her first book,