Stays At #1

9781607747307_6b486When The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpThe Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, (Ten Speed Press; Tantor Audio) was first published, we thought it sounded downright silly. In a story in the NYT “Home and Garden” section in late October, Penelope Green tried the author’s odd methods (you are asked to assess each item in your home for whether it “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t pass the test, you discard it, first thanking it for its service). A design theorist quoted in the story says such anthropomorphism is familiar in Japanese culture, but not in Western. “Fat chance Americans will go for this,” we thought.

Then it appeared on the Nov. 16 NYT Advice Best Seller list at #4. “Just a blip,” we thought, people buying it as an amusing Christmas gift. We felt justified when it slid down to #10 the next week.

Now, deep into the new year when gift-buying season is long past, the book is at #1, where it’s been for the last month, except for one week when Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet pushed it to #2.

Never underestimate American’s desire to organize their stuff, especially if doing so promises to change their lives.

Stays At #1”

  1. Robin Beerbower Says:

    I’m not one to jump on diet or organizational bandwagons, but this book really struck a chord with me, as it appears to have done with many others. Years ago Elaine St. James’ SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE caused me to jettison a lot of extra things so we could continue to live in our 940 SF house. And it worked. For a while. Now that I’m two days into retirement, the desire to chuck even more stuff has come over me and this book (LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC…) arrived at a really good time. The idea of belongings “sparking joy” is an interesting concept and I think is going to work when I clean out my clothes closet–at least I hope so!