Tidying, Japanese Art?

I finished a book! Recently I decided I don’t read enough, and since reading allows me to be more deeply informed on any number of issues, I should read more. My first book, after that decision, still isn’t finished because it’s extremely tedious to read (some books are). I’m about halfway through. A few days ago I started another book, which has been an easy read. It’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

Her method, briefly summarized, is to have a go at tidying just once–get rid of every single item in your home which doesn’t “spark joy”–and then, with very little left to organize, one’s house should remain “in order.” And if you do it right, you won’t start over-accumulating, and you’ll be motivated to put things back in their places.

It’s an interesting concept–how minimalistic do you want to go? Although there was quite a bit of weirdness in the book, from an Islamic perspective. From the sections about your personal shrine, and the proper care of talismans, to the way she advocates communing with the house and household objects. So the Japanese traditions play a heavy part in the book, and of course have tremendously influenced her background.

The real question is the usefulness of her method. I love that books like this one inspire me to discard things I don’t need. And reading it this week has been great timing, since I’ve been cleaning to prepare for Thanksgiving, when I’m planning to have a few friends over. I’ve been more eager to toss out things like a broken lamp which did nothing but “decorate” a side table, a nice simplehuman trashcan that we replaced with a nicer one, once my son was able to pull it over on himself, and a painting that I haven’t hung on the wall since we moved here almost two years ago.

Not sure if the book made the difference (I doubt it), but aside from the living room (toys, etc.) I’m really happy with how my home looks right now. Hope it keeps!

Any recommendations for good books on tidying or organizing the home?

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