I cannot remember when and how I discovered the book. Was it from Goodreads or another blogger? What I know for sure, I was again drawn by positive reviews. I even landed on a blogger, who beceame so attached with the KonMari principles. She was able to organise a grand garage sale with her friends and soon after, surrendered her life to become a true disciple. :)

Truth to be told, I'm not a fan of self-help books. The irony. :) I'm not comfortable with the usual preachy and imposing atmosphere of this genre. I've been deceived by some inspirational books claiming to transform my life in 365 days, only to later feel bored and irritated. If not because of the positive reviews, I would not have purchased this expensive hardback.

I have a number of thoughts and realisations while learning the KonMari approach. I hope I'll be able to relate everything in one post. Let me start with the structure of the book. The first chapters related Marie Kondo's personal experiences on decluttering. It progressed with the different techniques and principles in decluttering, which she trademarked as the KonMari approach, emanating from the author's name. The book ended with explanations on how decluttering can actually lead our path to the life-changing happiness.

I find the principles presented by the KonMari approach realistic, manageable and convincing to some extent.  However,  not everything appeared innovative and impressive for me. An example is the vertical arrangement of clothes in storage spaces. By principle, vertical arrangement has always been the solution in space saving problems.

What I love most about the KonMari principle is the rule of thumb in decluttering. More often than not, our primary basis on decluttering is usefulness. Items that are no longer useful should be thrown away. The KonMari principle presents a different approach. KonMari's first step in decluttering stems from the question, does this spark joy? If an item does not anymore spark any degree of joy, then it's time to part ways.

Contrary to the usual basis in decluttering, I appreciate the consideration of every person's emotional state in the process. Marie Kondo presented a more humane and realistic approach. An example is the baptismal gown worn by each child in the family. If we are dealing with the element of usefulness, there's no reason to keep it. The KonMari principle is rather forgiving. We're allowed to keep items that still spark joy. Although along the way, Marie Kondo gives more reasons why sentimental factors are sometimes deceiving. There are examples on how to gradually move away from sentimental value.

I was expecting that Marie Kondo will highlight the root cause of all clutter....accumulating unnecessary items. Impulsive shopping and hoarding... I was surprised that Marie Kondo never mentioned anything about suppressing our shopaholic hormones. The KonMari principle did not enforce a shopping ban or preventing further purchases. I appreciate this approach for the simple reason that it's realistic. Marie Kondo remained focused on her major concern of decluttering alone. However, the core of the KonMari approach will later provide compelling reasons that will discourage readers to engage in excessive shopping.

Another principle I learned from the KonMari is the system of decluttering by category and not of location. If we decide to declutter books, other items at home should be set side first. Gather all the books not just in your room, but all books contained in your house. Same goes with clothes. If the focus of the decluttering is clothes, then everyone's clothes should be subjected.

The concluding chapters of the book revealed my most awaited part. Marie Kondo's explanation of how a well organised home can lead us to this "life-changing" stage. There were discussions on happiness and self-discovery. Marie Kondo related how one client actually discovered her real passion in life after adapting the KonMari lifestyle. (and yes, Marie Kondo has developed seminars, trainings and consultancy projects from decluttering) I was hoping to find the link between decluttering and happiness. There were explanations provided, but I still find it a little weak and insufficient.

Despite the minor disappointment, I have to admit that Marie Kondo's first book is one of the limited self-help and inspirational books I like. I may not be totally convinced of the life changing impact, but I believe in the principles taught. In fact, I felt the sudden urge to clean up my closet while reading the book. I was able to update my eBay account again.

Even without the life changing impact, I'm more than willing to live and apply the KonMari principles. And as it appears now, it looks like I'm another disciple in the making :)