Review: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo is really inspiring. I would say the hardest thing about the book was trying to hold off on implementing the recommendations until I finished reading. The way the author describes the end-result is incredibly appealing.

Kondo is repetitive in some sections, but not in an irritating way. She reinforces the concepts she’s trying to convey by referencing them multiple times throughout the text. The way that the author refers to things in a house and houses themselves was confusing and a bit odd until I understood that this was a reflection of her Shinto beliefs regarding divine essences being present in all things. When she talks about things having energy or life or greeting your objects, that’s part of her religious belief, but it makes sense to take care of and to value and appreciate your belongings. The better you care for them, the longer they’ll last.

What did I get out of this book? It helped me to reevaluate the way that I surround myself with things. It helped me to think about my apartment as a place for living rather than for storing. Do I really need these old knick-knacks from 5 years ago? Do I even look at them? When did I see this pair of pants last? Should I hang onto this shirt because I spent money on it and haven’t used it much, or get rid of it because it isn’t something I enjoy wearing?

Kondo encourages her readers to treat the places they live as living spaces rather than as storage spaces. She wants people to understand that surrounding themselves with just those things that bring joy will improve their lives. She also thinks it can help provide direction for people’s lives because, when you pare down your possessions to what you really value, it can help you discover what you’re genuine interests are.

KonMari (as she is often called) made me think of what’s really important to me and inspired me to turn my living space into a place that I really enjoy being in. I don’t expect my screwdriver or every undershirt to spark joy in my life, but as much as possible I want to limit my possessions to just those things that I derive joy or inspiration from.

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Obsessive Compulsive About Blog Organization

I was just looking through some old posts and I realized that I moved this blog from Google’s Blogger to self-hosted WordPress more than a year ago. During that process, a lot of the images didn’t transfer properly. There are just broken image placeholders in a lot of the posts, which is really a shame since most of my older posts were about visiting places in Asia and the photos are fantastic. Well, they’re fantastic and the posts don’t make sense without them.

I’ve been trying to get around to fixing these broken images, but it seems like things just keep coming up that I have to get done. I suppose I’ll get them fixed eventually. Maybe this summer? Maybe if I just start doing one or two each day they’ll all be fixed before I realize it. I certainly can’t just put off classwork to fix broken links.

I really need to get this done. Self-hosted WordPress is fun but expensive. If I ever decide not to stick with it, I need my blog data to be all put together so I can export it to some other platform. I’d rather not do that, but I want to be prepared.

I spend so much time trying to put this blog together or get it organized the way I want that I haven’t put much effort into actually writing posts over the past year or so. That is partly because I’ve been busy with school, but also because every time I open the post editor I think of how the blog isn’t the way I want it to be, the posts aren’t fixed, images are broken, my blog keeps going down because some script is eating up too much RAM on the server, categories need to be rearranged, etc.

I’m too much of a perfectionist. Maybe if I just find a really nice, minimalist theme that has nice color accents and incorporates the newest features of WordPress, I’ll be happy with it and just stick with it for a change. I suppose I’m not particularly happy with how 2014 looks and besides having those broken images, I’m dreading the amount of time it’s going to take me to find a theme that I like that suits a personal blog with a bit of personality but isn’t completely dumbed down.