Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has been quite the phenomenon. Here were my quick take-aways:
- Many of the concepts are not new, but she uses language that sounds enchanting and fresh.
- It’s written from a “one size fits all” perspective, (as most self-help books are).
- Much of the book seems unrealistic.
As you may have guessed, I was fairly dismissive of the book, but then clients started raving about it, describing all the epiphanies they were having about their clutter. I was happy for my clients, but also a bit perplexed, because I really thought we had been having very similar conversations. Somehow, there were no epiphanies with me, but the ideas landed differently when they came from Marie Kondo.
Some say the success of the book can be explained by great marketing and public relations. Others attribute the charming language, (whether it was intentional or just the serendipity of the translation from Japanese). Whatever is generating the success, I’m not dismissive anymore. Marie Kondo has tapped into an elusive “something” that stirs a very deep longing and catalyzes our thinking. Whatever that “something” may be, she makes us believe it’s possible.
I’m a firm believer that once we identify a problem or a need, we can identify solutions. So I want to understand what it is people are longing for, and why they believe Marie Kondo has the answers. Maybe her ideas are unrealistic, but if we understand why they are so appealing, perhaps we can morph them into something that is achievable and truly life-changing.