tidy up and earn billions

On Friday (Feb. 27), the Wall Street Journal ran a full page article and picture on the front of the Arena section. The Arena section is about books, movies, tv, art, music, theater, etc. For a book to land on the front page is pretty fantastic and the publicity would be like having a recommendation from Oprah.

I was completely surprised to see this little book:

I bought my own copy of this book about three months ago when I saw it on Amazon. When it arrived, I read through the first two chapters, then the next two, bonked my hand on my head and said to myself, "This is going to take some serious discipline AND a serious think-outside-the-box attitude. I laughed as I thought, "I can just picture Scott and me in the storage room, going through boxes, holding each item in our arms and asking each other, "Does this spark joy?" And then thanking the items for their service to us as we throw them away. 

For the author, Marie Kondo, a professional organizer, the criteria for getting rid of clutter is not to decide what things you don't like and throw them away, but rather to decide what things bring happiness and joy and keep only them. (Then, throw the rest away.) It's an inside out method that she says works.

The author of the WSJ article mentioned, and I agree, that the approach is very Japanese. But it has caught on in America to the point that fans have started clubs and social media pages to share their tidying up successes. The article says, "They use the author's name as a verb that can refer either to purging or to meticulous folding...as in: "I Kondoed my recipe books from three shelves to two." There are also YouTube videos including this one showing the author working with a magazine editor in New York City. I loved watching this video and especially the Japanese bows at the end.

Here are some of Kondo's suggestions:

Tip #1: Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. 

Tip #2: Gather every piece of clothing you own...every last piece from all over the house...and place it all on your bed. Divide the clothes into categories. Go through the clothes and decide which items give you joy. Donate or discard the rest.

Tip #3: Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore.

The book goes on to explain how to store the clothing you keep. Marie Kondo believes in folding most clothes rather than hanging. The Wall Street Journal shows her step-by-step method for folding a sweater and then calls her a global publishing phenomenon. 

So...I have to wonder, why is this book and author becoming such a sensation? I'll have to finish reading the book before I come up with an answer. But it's fascinating.