Stone Soup for Five: Book Review--The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Book Review--The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Let's talk about this book for a bit today, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I received it from the publisher to review, and was super excited to read it for a few reasons.  One was because it is from a Japanese decluttering super star (and I love all things Japanese) and the second reason is because it's about organizing and decluttering and supposed to be amazing.

It's a cute little hardback book and reads really fast but she really does have some points here that I had never thought of.  Plus, no one that she has worked with has ever gone back to disorganized and cluttered... which kind of floored me.

Okay, so with that in mind, I did my typical pre-read of this book, reading the front, the back and the table of contents and then skimmed the book.

After that, I did my complete read through, stopping quite a few times to try out some of her ideas.  I had to take into account that this was written by a Japanese non-Christian, so a lot of her habits seemed really weird to me.  Like thanking your socks each day for covering your feet, or bowing down in the middle of your house, thanking your house for providing your shelter for the day.  But other than that, there was a lot of good in here.

I think the biggest eye-opener for me was the way she decluttered.  She starts with categories, not rooms, and the first category is clothes.  She suggests that you get ALL your clothes out of EVERY place they are stored.  Closet, drawers, hall closet, dryer, storage for off-season clothes... everywhere... and lay them out so you can see them all (on your floor or bed or entire room).  Then she says to pick up each item and ask if you LOVE it or wear it.  If you don't love it, off it goes.  Go through each item this way.

She suggests the same for books (which hurts my heart! I want ALL my books!), but it works!  I emptied my bookshelf (didn't do ALL the books in the house, as I was still experimenting here) and I picked up each one.  It's funny because there were a lot of books that I had read and wouldn't re-read or refer to again that I got rid of!  She says that if you leave them on the shelf, your eye almost skims over them and ignores them, but if you have them all out, and touch each one, you really see it and think about it.  It definitely was true for me!

Book Thoughts:

Did I like the book?  Yes.  I liked the little insights into Japanese culture a lot, and she truly did have some life-changing ideas in here.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes!  In fact, I already have!

Is it worth the time sacrifice to read?  Yes, especially if you struggle with clutter.  It's such a short little book, and as I'm always looking for one good sentence or thought, it definitely has those, so it's worth it.  Plus, like I said the inside look at Japanese life was fun too!


  1. What timing! Another friend posted about this on Facebook so I got the Kindle version and am now reading it!
    I love all things Japanese, too, so it's a fun read. I really hope to declutter as much as possible since we are moving back across the country this summer and the thought of lugging everything back (especially books!!) is making me ill....

  2. I'm reading this right now!

    Sure wish it came with a little bit of energy too! ;-)

  3. Great book, read it last month!


Join the conversation!