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Obsessive, gently self-mocking and tender toward the life cycle of, say, a pair of socks, Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic. Have you worn it in the last year? Does it still fit? Where did the time go? So is anything baggy, droopy or with a flared leg. Of course, after 10 or 12 hours of this, you get a bit silly. You forget to thank your discards.

Country music can help. Try George Jones and Lucinda Williams. And my glasses, too. How to distinguish one black turtleneck from another? Why would anyone buy purple tights? What is joy, anyway?


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But I was ready to fold, the primal act of Ms. Set these upright in your drawers. The S. What Zuckerlwerkstatt calls rock candy is about as far from the American version as it gets. A Bon o Bon is a milk-chocolate shell over a crisp wafer filled with a flavored cream. Every day, factories in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil produce 3, of the sweet treats every minute, and 70 percent of production is exported throughout the world.

In , the brand helped establish Sweetness Week in Argentina, a clever marketing campaign that encourages candy lovers to exchange confections for kisses.

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It worked: Candy sales in Argentina rise about 20 percent for a week every July. Pastillas are popular milk-based candies, originally from San Miguel in the Philippines. In the Bulacan region, the wrappers, called pabalat, have become a bit of an art form with cut-paper designs. Pastillas are a celebratory candy and are often given for birthdays and weddings. According to lore, what a 19th-century candy maker meant to be a jelly bean ended up looking more like a baby, so a confectioner called them unclaimed babies — like the ones frequently left on church steps in the era.

Edinburgh Rock, a confection that looks like a stick of chalk, was invented by a Scotsman known as Sweetie Sandy in the 19th century, when, as the myth goes, he found that old trays of candy developed a pleasingly crumbly texture. But a local businessman named James Anderson stepped in, and Edinburgh Rock is still manufactured in Scotland. Flavors include peppermint, raspberry, orange, lemon and vanilla.

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Cadbury has produced the candy in Lagos since Cadbury reigns over the chocolate market in Pakistan; in , Mondelez, its parent company, accounted for 66 percent of sales, in part because of the ultrapopular Dairy Milk chocolate bar. But CandyLand, the biggest candy company in the country, owns half the market for other confections. An animated commercial for the candy has real-life kids swirling animated clouds and rainbows to create the pastel-colored sweet. The traditional version of gaz, a Persian nougat studded with nuts, gets its sweetness from the excretions of a bug called the tamarisk manna scale, which is found on tamarisk trees in central Iran.

Originally, people believed the excretions to be sap because they dried on tree branches. Not so. Good news for the squeamish: Most versions you find now are made with other sweeteners. Lacta chocolate started in the s as Galacta, named for gala, the Greek word for milk. It received 1, stories and made a minute video, with more than 11, people voting online to choose the actors, character names and wardrobes; some even served as extras. Today Lacta is one of the best-selling milk chocolate brands in the country. Wedel started making the treat at the family factory in After the invasion of Poland, the company was forced to produce chocolate for the Germans, and Wedel was sent to the Nazi camp in Pruszkow.

He survived the war, but the E. In autumn, they are cafe latte and peanut butter. Trade Kings, a Zambian-owned company founded in , manufactured Boom Detergent Paste and imported foreign candy. But when its trade partnership fell through, the company decided to produce its own candy in Zambia. Now, its Amazon Pops are a signature product, and the company manufactures tons of candy a year.

The pops are also popular in Tanzania and South Africa, where Trade Kings claims that it opened the largest candy-manufacturing line in the Southern Hemisphere in The treats come in flavors like black cherry, strawberry and pink lemonade. He needed to figure out what to do with a bunch of leftover pineapple-flavored marshmallow from another product, so he covered it in chocolate and christened it the Pineapple Chunk.

Over the years, Pineapple Chunks — or Pineapple Lumps, depending on the manufacturer — became a classic candy in New Zealand, and Cadbury manufactured its own version until ending production of it in the country earlier this year; now Rainbow Confectionery makes Pineapple Lumps. Tamarind, a pulpy, sweet-and-sour fruit, is a common flavor of candies in Latin America. Pelon Pelo Rico hit the market in and sells several hundred million units a year in Mexico. Today the candy is also distributed in some countries in the Maghreb region North Africa and in parts of Europe.

Taichiro Morinaga, the founder of the company behind Hi-Chew, grew up poor in Japan. In , at 23, he moved to the United States, where he experienced candy for the first time and decided to become a candy maker. Eleven years later, he opened the Morinaga Western Confectionery Shop in Tokyo, and in it was the first Japanese candy company to produce chocolate. Years later, while searching for a gumlike candy that you can actually swallow so as to avoid the rude act of removing food from your mouth, he came up with the predecessor of the Hi-Chew, a Starburst-like candy with a softer texture.

Since , more than Hi-Chew flavors have been on the market. The company was originally started by a Lithuanian immigrant who began his business making chocolate in the s. Originally available only in licorice flavor, the packs of candies now come in four varieties. Centuries later, monks in Flavigny began making candies with the seeds, attracting fans, including, reportedly, Louis IX. Today, the process is basically the same, with candy makers covering a single, two-milligram anise seed with layers of sugary syrup until it builds up into a hard candy that weighs a gram.

Shokolad Para, which translates as cow chocolate, was introduced in as Shamnunit but in the s was renamed because of the picture of a cow on its wrapper. Originally only available with milk chocolate, it is now available with everything from nougat to puffed rice to popping candy. Elise Craig is a freelance writer and the managing editor of Pop-Up Magazine. At one point in the article, Strode visits a Finnish town near the Russian border and meets the local sheriff. For sentimental reasons, this sheriff carries around a dagger, which he hands to Strode.

Apparently a previous owner used the blade to fend off six attackers. I saw the finish of the fight — it was a glorious display of sisu. The sheriff slips the knife back into its leather holster and gazes to the east. I smiled at the pleasing symmetry. Granted, my surname does not double as an active verb, not even in Italian. Also, I was going to Finland to report an article on salty licorice.

But otherwise, our tasks were not dissimilar. Strode had introduced his readers to a word that explained a distant country and its underlying values. I would try to do the same, only with a really weird flavor of candy. Or umami, for that matter, This adds. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.

Certain brands packaged themselves like breath mints, in stylish cardboard packs, to appeal directly to adults. Which is saying something, because tiny Finland tends to punch far above its weight when it comes to candy appetites over all. A study by the London-based market-research firm Euromonitor International ranked the country fifth worldwide in per capita candy consumption.

Three other salty-licorice countries, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway, placed third, ninth and 10th. Americans, meanwhile, came in at a dismal 18th. Correlation does not mean causation, but come on, this is totally causation, right? All those salty-licorice countries clustered at the very top? Annala had offered to arrange a salty-licorice tasting for me in Helsinki, as well as convene a meeting of the F. The first gala took place in , shortly after the founding of the F.

What can I say? We dug whips. By Nordic standards, however, my licorice palate lacked sophistication. The house specialty, fried Baltic herring, comes stacked like kindling on an oversize plate.


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  5. Annala greeted me from a booth. In picturing him, a middle-aged professional obsessed enough with his favorite candy to start a fan club, I expected some combination of zany and plump, but he turned out to be a trim man with a neat, graying beard, pale blue eyes and a slight air of Nordic melancholy. He apologized for his low energy: He was just recovering from the flu. In the book, Annala traces the origins of salty licorice to earlyth-century pharmacies, when chemists in Finland and parts of Scandinavia began selling salmiakki as a cough medicine.

    Ammonium chloride acts as an expectorant, which adds credence to the commonly cited theory that the people in certain colder climates were initially drawn to salty licorice for health reasons. The salmiakki most often came in powdered form in little envelopes, though syrups and diamond-shaped lozenges were also available. Salmiakki , like traditional licorice, is made from licorice root, which is mixed with wheat flour and turned into a paste that is generally dyed black.

    The natural color of licorice-root extract is closer to the ocher shade of powdered salmiakki. Even before the addition of ammonium chloride, licorice root had been used as a respiratory and digestive aid for millenniums. After our meal, Annala unzipped his backpack and removed a jar of salty licorice produced by one of his favorite salmiakki manufacturers, Namitupa, a small-batch label out of Ilmajoki, a town in southwestern Finland.

    The licorice was in powdered form, in the old pharmacy style, which Annala adored.


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    6. The F. Annala unscrewed the lid, instructed me to hold out my hand and tapped a modest pile into the center of my palm. Then he shrugged, apologetic. Not so aesthetic. I glanced around anxiously, feeling as though we should have maybe skulked off to a toilet stall before getting into this part of the interview.

      The powder was extremely fine and looked like ground cumin. But then a friend heard about the article and ended up bringing some Dutch salty licorice — a gift from a Scandinavian ex-girlfriend — to a bar one afternoon, so I broke down and tried it. Having seen a series of YouTube videos involving non-salty-licorice-country children being tricked into eating salty licorice, I have to admit: I expected worse.

      The Dutch candy, a coin-size black disc, had a mild saltiness that canceled out the licorice flavor, but just barely, leaving me feeling as if I were gnawing on a savory leather button. Quite strong stuff. Had I expected things to proceed more in the fashion of a genteel tasting at a Lexington whiskey distillery and less like, say, a scene from a William S. Burroughs novel in which the characters ingest weird, made-up drugs? Yes, I had. I licked it. The salmiakki tasted as if someone had made a bouillon cube out of a briny licorice stock, then crushed it into a powder. My tongue immediately tingled.

      It was pungent, in a saltier-than-salt way that brought some heat. Across the table, Annala seemed lost in a reverie. Over the course of the next seven hours, at multiple locations, we consumed a considerable, perhaps unhealthful, amount of salmiakki. I tasted brittle black tokens strong enough to make my eyes water.

      Annala placed a mixed bag of loose salmiakki in the center of the table and tore down its sides so they looked like the petals of a giant flower, the pile of licorice now a teeming black bulb. Choosing a subtly flavored Swedish fish, Annala twisted it between his fingers, then took a bite and nodded approvingly. And the structure is very good and playful. But a reliable defender on the team. Annala tried one and determined that the belly was, in fact, marshmallow. No one else does it. Tar candy!

      Finns add tar, derived in their country from wood rather than coal, to various foods as a smoky flavoring agent. He had pushed up the sleeves of his cardigan and was rooting around in the licorice pile. At a certain point, I hit a wall. When someone shook a couple of strong salmiakki mints into my hand, I popped only one of them, palming the second and slipping it into my shoe while pretending to scratch my ankle.

      Someone brought up a move by the European Union to sharply curb the allowable per-gram amount of ammonium chloride in food, which would have effectively banned salmiakki and possibly triggered a Finnexit. A Finnish E. Annala invited the bureaucrat to the F. Fazer is the unofficial candy brand of Finland, the national equivalent of Hershey or Cadbury. His father, a Swiss immigrant, worked as a furrier, but Karl, the youngest son of eight children, always loved baking with his mother, and after an apprenticeship in St.

      Petersburg, he opened a French-Russian confectionery shop in Helsinki in The country achieved independence from Russia five years earlier. The company remains in the hands of the Fazer family, with 15, employees worldwide. Fazer is also the largest producer of licorice in the country. In , the company bought a British-Finnish biscuit-and-licorice company and released its signature line of sweet licorice the following year.

      Looking back, it is easy to say that we moved far too late. All these treats are made at the Fazer complex in Lappeenranta, two hours from Helsinki by train and about 16 miles from the Russian border. The factory is a century-old redbrick building with a series of modern additions, built along the shore of the largest lake in Finland. It has employees and runs three to five shifts, depending on the candy needs of the nearest holiday. The factory was very much a typical factory in certain ways vast, noisy and more specifically a candy factory in others my shoes stuck to the floors from the sugar, and there was a pleasant, lingering odor of fruit more or less wherever I went.

      Stamping presses pounded candy shapes into sheets of starch powder; licorice or sugary fillings were squirted into molds; robot arms hoisted trays onto drying racks. In one room, a lone human employee manually plucked misshapen candies from a conveyor belt, tossing them into a plastic hopper at his feet. I found myself hoping the belt would accidentally speed up and force him to begin gobbling candy, Lucy-and-Ethel-style. Hawaiian poke is no longer served solely on the Big Island; Detroit-style pizza has migrated well beyond Eight Mile Road.

      Nashville hot chicken, East Harlem chopped-cheese sandwiches — we could go on. Why not salmiakki? We were eating bowls of salmon soup in the cafeteria of a different Fazer facility near Helsinki, a building whose curved glass walls and blond wood ceiling made it look like a U. He told me Fazer was planning to introduce a line of premium dark chocolate called Nordi in the United States next year and gave me a sneak preview of the bars.

      The sleek packaging nodded toward chic, aspirational Scandinavian lifestyle trends, featuring scenes of Nordic splendor: pristine mountain rivers, the candied glow of smoke from a cozy sauna. I kept pushing on salmiakki. Secretly, I pictured a series of alternate sleeves for a Nordi brand of premium salty licorice, scenes that might reflect the darker side of Scandinavian culture, thus preparing potential buyers for what they might be getting into.

      A black-metal band burning down a church? Max von Sydow playing chess with Death? He shrugged. The worst licorice I tasted during my epic night with the Salmiakkikonklaavi turned out to be a candied heart. It turned out to be the saltiest and most abrasive item on the menu, a flavor assault only heightened by the dissonance of the delivery mechanism. Reijo Laine, the founder of Namitupa, the producer of the hearts, had recommended that I make a present of the candy to my wife. That had struck me as a poor idea.

      But back home, as I struggled to account for the appeal of salmiakki , I thought, again, about sisu. Was the defining Finnish attribute really as noble as Hudson Strode made it out to be? What if, in fact, it merely represented a national tendency toward masochism, some understandable but aberrant quality born of endless winter nights that wound up manifesting itself in a fanatical love of saunas and Turkish Peppers? To pathologize such a love felt narrow-minded, unfair. So maybe the answer hinged on flipping the question. Forget about the salty-licorice countries for a moment: Why does salmiakki feel like such a category error to the rest of us?

      And was the answer to that question right in front of my face? Could one of the secrets to Finnish happiness simply come down to not always expecting hearts to be sweet? Dumping the bag of licorice onto my desk, I began to dig around, pushing aside a Super Salmiakki lollipop, a packet of Dracula Piller salmiakki with a creepy vampire mascot , a box of peppered salmiakki pellets actually called Sisu!

      And what do you know? I mean, certainly no worse than any of the rest. I resealed the bag of hearts and replaced them in the shopping bag. Like any good immigrant, I know on which bodega shelves to find the food portals to my childhood. But the one food item I cannot find in San Francisco is the candy of my childhood. I grew, as we say in Colombia, a punta de Bon Bon Bum.

      In much of Latin America, the phrase has become shorthand to describe a body type big butt and skinny legs , and all lollipops, no matter the brand, are known as bon bon bums. Shakira has been known to carry a few Bon Bon Bums at all times in her purse. At the start, 20 workers were responsible for the production of four million lollipops per month. Today, in that same factory, workers produce more than 40 times as many.

      The first candy was a flat sucker made out of cane sugar and natural juices. My father liked them, but his absolute favorite was the caramel drop infused with Colombian coffee. For my older sister, Francis, the palm-sized plastic tray of chocolate-hazelnut and vanilla spreads was a necessity. She spent half an hour with the tiny spatula, meticulously eating and selectively mixing the halved creams.

      For my little cousins, the powdery marshmallows that looked like soft, pastel corkscrews were the most fun. They waved them in front of us like fishing poles until we caved and took a bite. Colombina was born in the Cauca Valley, where the land is hot and humid. The air smells of sugar cane and pineapple, which grow abundantly in the region. The vision for Colombina came to the founder, Hernando Caicedo, in the s as he tended his small sugar-cane mill. It was at this mill that the idea of candy with a tropical flair took hold.

      In just a few years, Caicedo rounded up the funds, readied a warehouse and traveled with a flat lollipop machine from the United States to the town of La Paila. The factory in La Paila has become perhaps the largest hard-candy plant in all of South America. Two thousand three hundred people work there, and it is not uncommon to find families where three generations have worked on the factory floor. Colombina provides day care for its workers, offers student scholarships and even holds a national soccer tournament where, this year, 34, young players had the chance to be scouted by the professional clubs.

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      When the company bids the old year goodbye, it does so in a nearby coliseum, with the help of a salsa brass band, a generous spread of nourishments and refreshments and much dancing and revelry. A look inside the Colombina plant shows how this old-fashioned corporate philosophy extends to the factory floor. In part to keep more workers employed, many of the hard candies at Colombina are still mixed and prepared by hand. The large vats, where workers stir cane sugar until it boils and takes on a glowing amber color, date back to before Bon Bon Bums had been created, as do the iron caldrons where the fruit extracts and amber sugar combine into highly pigmented neon globs.

      Workers in white aprons and brick-red rubber gloves hand-turn the candy — called caramelo at this stage — with long rods in order to cool them. The neon goo will be used to make Bon Bon Bums and Fruticas, candy drops sometimes shaped like hearts and lemons. Machines — a mix of old and new — take over once the caramelo has set. Never, ever tie up your stockings.

      Never, ever ball up your socks. Who the fuck cares about how they fold their socks? I'd love to scribble all over Kondo's walls just to see what she'd do. An organized closet sparking a "thrill of pleasure"? I'd recommend another human being or a battery-powered Well, that's I had an altogether different experience. When I upgraded to a new apartment a few months ago, I organized my hall closet. Afterwards, I stood there wondering if I'd accomplished anything or just wasted a bunch of time. When my 6 year-old wandered up and, near tears said, "When you clean, we don't get to play," I went ahead and decided on the latter.

      This is the routine I follow every day when I return home from work. First, I unlock the door and announce to my house, 'I'm home! I say, 'Thank you very much for you hard work,' and put them away I put my jacket and dress on a hanger, say 'Good job! I put [my handbag] on the top shelf of the closet, saying 'You did well. Have a good rest. She's talking to her stuff. And why are Americans so quick to dismiss Kondo's talking to inanimate objects as some cultural quirk?

      No one talks to their shit in Japan unless they're certifiably nuts. Anyone who has kids or a general understanding of life knows that this is an impossible task. I mean, give me a break! Going all slash and burn on your life, save for items that "spark joy? Obviously, if your mountain of junk makes you miserable, your stuff owns you. But if you Kondo-ize your house until you only have things that "bring you joy," your reduced pile of stuff still owns you. Face it. If you're looking for joy in the material, you don't need Marie Kondo--you need to reevaluate your life.

      Okay, fine. Maybe I'm being unfair. People are indeed affected by their environment, and decluttering can feel satisfying, even cleansing. But look who's telling you how to go about it: a chick whose childhood obsession with cleaning came from trying to please others, whose sole work experience includes selling junk at shrines, and whose descriptions of "joy" include rules, repetition, ritual, and talking to inanimate objects. They make medication for that. At this point, I should pick up Marie Kondo's book and ask myself whether it sparks joy.

      Well, no, it actually sparks rage. To the trash with it, then! Sep 11, Petal X rated it it was amazing Shelves: misc-reference , reviews , humour , reviewed , books-reviewed-but-not-read. I so agree that it is life-changing magic when everything has been tidied up. But I don't need to read the book as I already have this magic. Her name is Cynthia and she comes every other Thursday morning. Admittedly she costs a "bit" more than this book and wants a computer lesson during her time but she Fabuloso's my floors, the airing cupboard is stacked with neatly-folded linens and once in a while we go at a place like my son's room that lacks 'magic' and garbage-bag everything.

      This is a I so agree that it is life-changing magic when everything has been tidied up. This is a boring job alone and I can't bear to throw things away. But Cynthia can. She has no emotional attachment to anything and couldn't care less if my son might object to having something or other thrown away.

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      Not that he ever remembers when he comes back from college. I bet you with all the money the sales of this book engenders that the author will no longer be cleaning and tidying up her house herself but also get a magic Cynthia of her own. View all 31 comments. I think the word "tidy" or "tidying" was used in the book at least a times, and that's being conservative.

      Talk about some clutter Anyway, I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. And I certainly didn't enjoy this as much as The Joy of Less. Maybe it was the fact that I had read that book prior to this or the fact that I have been reading a lot of minimalist blogs and sites that already extrapolated the best parts of this book and the KonMari Method I can definitely appreciate the message and the process here, but listening to her talk about how she was in tears as a 5 year old when she couldn't figure out the best way to organize her closet had me like And don't get me started on the suggested anthropomorphism of my underwear drawer Oct 26, Nick rated it it was amazing.

      Because I have such admiration for the Japanese aesthetic, I picked up this book with interest. In fact, I was delighted to discover that my lifetime habits of tidying are roughly in line with Marie Kondo's, the expert's, except for a brilliant bit of advice relative to clothes that I can't wait to try. Kondo's basic mantra is "keep things that bring you joy; discard everything else," and that is so cool that I'm going to try it, because it goes further than what I had thought, but along the sam Because I have such admiration for the Japanese aesthetic, I picked up this book with interest.

      Kondo's basic mantra is "keep things that bring you joy; discard everything else," and that is so cool that I'm going to try it, because it goes further than what I had thought, but along the same lines. My goal is to have a house as clear and clutter-free as a Japanese tea-ceremony room or house. I've got a ways to go, but lots of joy to discover. If you're a pack rat, read this book now, and get started. If you're already on the tidy brigade, this book will help you up your game. Additional thoughts: there is a third category, beyond "things that bring you joy," and "things that don't," and that is "things that you gotta have but can't really be expected to bring you joy.

      They don't bring me joy; they bring me chores, occasionally. But I would be foolish to get rid of them. I wish Kondo had addressed this third category. Much as I delighted in this book, and appreciate its goals, it seems utopian now after wrestling with the ideas in it for a few weeks.

      View all 22 comments. If you took the words, tidy, tided, and tidying, out of this book you would be left with a pamphlet. I have this thing called misophonia and I made the crucial error of listening to this book on audio. Repetitive stuff can really get under my skin and there were a few instances when listening to this book that I had to stop myself from throwing my phone out of my moving vehicle.

      Do it! So much crap accumulates around a house over the years and it starts to make one feel a little anxious. I thought that maybe this book might have some helpful tips to get it done. The whole damn house must be done in one go. Hahahaha 2. You have to touch each item you own and ask yourself if it brings you joy.

      Riiiight 3. Fold all your clothing, no hangers of any kind EVER! Store things vertically. Women, always choose pretty clothing to wear even while lounging around the house or going bed. Um, no Seriously, how much time does this woman have? As a experiment, I started going through my stuff. I worked diligently, though I took breaks here and there, and after two days of sorting, purging, loading up the car and running the stuff to be donated, I got trough….

      View all 66 comments. Jul 08, Jenna rated it it was ok Shelves: can-i-have-those-hours-back , lifestyle. I give this one 2 stars because I took a few things from it that I think are great ideas to help me organize. But about a third of the book was spent repeating itself and when it wasn't doing that I wondered at times if the book was satire or a memoir of OCD disguised as the middle child syndrome. Some examples that had me wondering if this was satire or not include: 1 She talked as though inanimate objects have feelings or as though they are alive so you have to say g I give this one 2 stars because I took a few things from it that I think are great ideas to help me organize.

      Some examples that had me wondering if this was satire or not include: 1 She talked as though inanimate objects have feelings or as though they are alive so you have to say goodbye to them and a nice thought before throwing them away. You don't want to hurt their feelings since they no longer bring you joy. She thinks that socks shouldn't be balled up because they deserve to rest comfortably since they are a medium being rubbed between your feet and your shoes.

      Poor socks. Basically she and the room connect at an intimate level before she goes stripping it down to its bareness. Oh, and she wears a dress and blazer when tidying to show respect to the house not its occupant and thinks you should too. Sweat pants are a big no-no ladies! And don't forget to clean out your purses on a daily basis. No bloated purses for you. She claims that it clears the skin and trims the waistline. So don't be alarmed if after purging you get a pimple or your belly starts to rumble. She said that after one of her clients tidied up her space she immediately had diarrhea yes, she went there as though her body was purging its junk out too.

      When she did this, her phone that always worked properly died and never worked again. It was like it knew it's job was done. I would have probably taken more from this book if there was less of the above type of examples. Now I just think the book is a bit kooky. View all 44 comments. Dec 02, Lianne Downey rated it it was amazing Shelves: very-special. I have just experienced the life-changing magic of discarding two-thirds of my clothes, shoes, and accessories! One category down, a whole house to go. It's so fun to get dressed now; all I have to do is reach in and anything I pull out "sparks joy" in my heart.

      After going up three sizes and then back down again within the last 2 years, you'd think I wouldn't have anything left to discard, but that wasn't true. So many items were hiding the good stuff, dragging me down with bad memories, worn o I have just experienced the life-changing magic of discarding two-thirds of my clothes, shoes, and accessories! After reading a few chapters, my husband has already begun with his own clothes, and miracle of miracles, he immediately bought some new work pants in his own style, of his own choosing , the kind that "spark joy" for him.

      And this man hates to shop. So, life-changing? Does the book coincide with everything I've learned in the last 40 years of studying the energetic nature of human beings and all life as we know it? Do I love this book? Am I the kind of person who, even though I recently undertook another de-cluttering project, still lived amid stashes of things that weighed me down with guilt and obligation and insecurity? My husband and I experienced some scary poverty years early in our lives together. It's been difficult ever since to resist the urge to keep more than we need.

      As the youngest in our respective families, we also shared the habit of accepting whatever was given to us, hand-me-downs that might or might not have suited us. The concept of wearing, using, or keeping only items that "spark joy" makes brilliant sense to me now, and feels like wonderful liberation. I am very excited and inspired by Marie Kondo's work, and I'm equally enthusiastic about continuing throughout the house until we are living a much smaller, less encumbered, joyously infused material existence here in our happy home. I love the way she characterizes the impact of our thoughts on our things, and vice versa.

      I just love her entire outlook. Oh yes, one more life-changing aspect already : I hated to fold things. Just like she says, after following her instructions and watching her demonstrate on YouTube it's become a fun game for me. Weird, but true. You have to experience this to believe it. Aug 31, Bark rated it liked it. I know a secret. All of it. Well, nearly all of it. Well, never mind then. This author wants you to be absolutely ruthless with your possessions and do it in one fell swoop I know a secret.

      This author wants you to be absolutely ruthless with your possessions and do it in one fell swoop. I had way too much crap lying about and it was driving me crazy. Broken crap, ugly crap, gifted crap, crap that had been there so long it was invisible to me. Step 2, you see, is books. Who needs clothes taking up space that could hold a few books? This was easy, thought I. My closet was done in an hour or so.

      Everything culled, sorted and color coded and folded all nice and tidy-like. I could blow through this, thought I.

      [SUBS]Theory Thursday: Break A Universe - BTS Blood, Sweat and Tears Japan. Ver. MV Explanation

      A zen and clutter-free life was within my grasp. I had this. Then step 2 happened and I was instructed to rid myself of all of the books I have loved before but may not love again and all of the books I have not read yet. Uh oh. I was told to remove my TBR pile s from my life. And almost always. I was instructed to touch each one and see if it sparked that apparently not-so-elusive feeling of joy within me. Trouble is they all kind of did.

      I suppose I am broken. I tried folks, I truly did. I took pictures and even posted them online in an attempt to humiliate myself into following through. I even went so far as removing a gigantor bookshelf, stocked three piles deep, floor-to-ceiling, from my room as well as an armoire I no longer needed. I have to admit my room looks and feels calms and free and spacious.

      The bookshelf now neatly resides in my basement. Better they be a little lonesome on my shelf than DEAD, right?! Instead of tossing them into bags, I started arranging them by color which she wants you to do with clothes and then I put all but a dozen or so back up on the shelves. They look happy and pretty and they brighten the back wall of the basement. I have decided that I am keeping them. They are my one and only vice and I work hard. They are not clutter. I think I shall pretend that step 2 was nothing but a fever dream.

      After I was revived with sniffing salts I got back to business. It is so much easier to clean my house now. She has a nifty way of folding clothes that helped me fit everything into a few drawers and will keep me in check if I decide I need more yoga pants. This stops you from getting stuck on pictures or mementos which are left for the end and forces you to deal with an entire category and actually finish the job so you never have to do it again.

      She also tells you to start with a clear vision of your end result. That bit of advice has helped me tremendously. The author clearly has an obsession with tidying. She does not deny this. This makes the start a bit of a slog. View all 19 comments. Dec 06, Mia rated it it was amazing Shelves: japanese , , psych-and-self-help. I hesitated to read this book because I thought it might not have much to offer beyond what's written on its back cover: get rid of any belongings that don't "spark joy. No American book would advise praying to your house before tidying it, for example, or suggest that objects just want to help you and that, once released from your possession, they w I hesitated to read this book because I thought it might not have much to offer beyond what's written on its back cover: get rid of any belongings that don't "spark joy.

      No American book would advise praying to your house before tidying it, for example, or suggest that objects just want to help you and that, once released from your possession, they will continue reflecting their helpful energy back to you from wherever they are. It seems that these suggestions make Kondo unusual even in Japan, but her Shinto-influenced outlook is so much like what my mother raised me with that it was exactly what I needed to work through the guilt that keeps me clinging to objects I don't use or even particularly like.

      Because she spoke my language, I decided to take her suggestions literally, even the odd ones. So I lit some incense, clapped a couple of times, and prayed to my apartment. A breeze blew in through my crappy vertical blinds, and I could imagine my apartment feeling glad for the recognition.

      View all 11 comments. Dec 04, Erin added it. Notes as i read: Things I like: -the idea of tidying by category -the joy factor -"we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of. Do i need them for when i am seeking a new job? Not in a totally offensive way, but in a noticeable way. I can't really apply her theory to my art supplies. I mean, i can to a point, but hello The studio is off limits to her. This assumes you have the money to replace what is broken but still usable or not hold onto outgrown kids clothes that could be used for the next kid.

      I'm not going to take her method to gospel but i do think that I will give it a go, esp. It's mostly charming, though there are things I'm just not willing to let go of and that's ok too. It's my choice View all 13 comments. What will I take away from this "life changing" book on tidying up? If you name a method after yourself, you conjure up instant credibility as an "expert".

      If you are a neurotic nutcase with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, try to turn it into a virtue, or even better, a lucrative career. If you use the words "spark joy", "feel happiness" and "reduce anxiety" enough times, people will want to follow your lead and pay you good money for your advice. Well, don't ever think about moving to Japan, unless you are ready to throw out everything you have, and that probably includes your children. Yeah, you guessed it, this Marie Kondo won't be coming to my house in her frilly dresses any time soon to have that dialogue with my house, clothes and handbags about how hard they work for me.

      No thanks. I rather continue to live happily with all my clutter and mess. View all 10 comments. Dec 06, Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing Shelves: essential-references. The Office Kat brought this book to my attention, and it became my plane read for a trip to Australia in November Doubtless the Kat had an ulterior motive the office is a stacked up mess but this book offers more than tips on tidying.

      The author, Marie Kondo, has made tidying up her life since she was a small child, and shares many anecdotes about her early days as a stealth clutter-control operative in her family home, as well as some of the false starts she had on her way to her tidying The Office Kat brought this book to my attention, and it became my plane read for a trip to Australia in November The author, Marie Kondo, has made tidying up her life since she was a small child, and shares many anecdotes about her early days as a stealth clutter-control operative in her family home, as well as some of the false starts she had on her way to her tidying method.

      I will not steal her thunder by revealing her unorthodox methods, but will say it has already worked a magic on one kitchen that I used to dread entering. If one has the will, the method works, and she is also right that I have no desire to go back to my old ways in that kitchen. I think I will apply this method to my clothing and office. Books and papers?

      View all 6 comments. Jun 11, Lola rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , self-help , audiobook. That is perhaps only possible for people who have achieved or strive to achieve self-actualization. View all 9 comments. Dec 18, edh rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction , adult. I've read a lot of organization books over the years, but this is a book that might actually change your relationship with your possessions. Instead of focusing on categories, fiddly buckets, or accessories from Bed Bath and Beyond, Marie Kondo asks us to reevaluate the way we relate to our homes and belongings.

      The question, "does this spark joy? By the end of the book, you'll understand that we keep thing I've read a lot of organization books over the years, but this is a book that might actually change your relationship with your possessions. By the end of the book, you'll understand that we keep things that don't enhance our current lives because we are not fully living in the present - that we cannot let go of the past, or are not yet ready to make room for something new in our future.

      A transformative look at consumerism and its discontents in the 21st century, with extremely helpful tips to help you make deliberate decisions about what to keep, and what to thank and let go of. View all 3 comments. Jan 26, April Aprilius Maximus rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites ,