“The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo was published in Japan way back in 2011, and was published in the U.S. in 2014. While it certainly moment back then, the recently released Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has brought KonMari tidying back into pop culture.
Like everyone, I had heard “spark joy” but I figured there had to be more. Enter “The Life Changing MANGA of Tidying Up” – a 187-page illustrated story about Chiaki, and how her life is transformed through tidying! Chiaki is in pretty bad shape when we meet her, with an apartment full of stuff and garbage piled up on her balcony – a couple weeks’ worth. It’s so stinky that her cute neighbor comes over to ask her to take care of it. That’s the wake-up call Chiaki needs to take care of her messy apartment. She calls KonMari! Over the ensuing chapters, Chiaki tackles the daunting task of tidying her apartment, and by extension, her life.
At this point I feel like I should reiterate that this is a comic-book style story, and Chiaki is a made up character. Nevertheless, as Chiaki tackles her lessons each week, readers learn about different aspects of the KonMari method, and yes, there is more than just “Spark joy.” The book can easily be read in an afternoon, but it gave me a much better sense of the complete underlying philosophy of Kondo’s methods. I learned about tidying by category (not room) and that you should “wake up” your things when you pull them out of closets where they’ve been stored for years.
So if you want to know a little more about tidying, but you don’t want to commit to 213 pages of nonfiction, this is a good start!
As an aside, “The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up” was one of the Graphic Adaptations up for consideration in our CMPL Madness Graphic Novel Tournament! It didn't make it out of Round 1, but you can vote for your favorites in Round 2 now!