The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Final Discussion & Giveaway (+ October’s Book Club Pick)

Join in on the closing discussion of our September book club and find out what we’re reading in October!

Sifting through the contents of our collective lives is not a task that can be completed in a day. Nor in a weekend. Not even in a month. Yes, one thing that became abundantly clear throughout the pages of Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is that there’s no quick fix for dealing with a messy life, no matter how much we may wish for one. It’s difficult, emotional work but, if you’re willing to put in the time and energy, the effort will pay off in spades. Who knew that a clearer head, less stress…happiness, were hidden beneath the clutter of our lives?

One month in and I still have plenty of work to do (I have yet to tackle my closet of art supplies), but I can confidently say my clothes are still neat and folded. After traveling for the past few weekends without much time to neatly unpack and repack between trips, I was left with a substantial amount of clothes and paperwork to deal with. While I had made a mess initially — one that I’m sure Marie Kondo would take issue with — I was amazed by how quickly I was able to dispatch everything to its place using the methods learned in the first portion of the book. What usually would have taken me at least a couple of hours was reduced to just 30 minutes of work. As someone who was initially skeptical of the buzz surrounding this book, I’m (mostly) now convinced Kondo’s method of “choosing joy” is potentially life-changing. “Mostly” because I largely disagree with her method in regards to discarding photographs. With no grandparents to relay the history, the huge cache of family photographs — and the notes included with them — my family has stored have been an invaluable resource in tracking our history. While yes, it may be wise to discard those blurry scenic photos taken while driving or the likely large amount of failed selfies on your phone, I believe a bit more care and forethought should be taken with family photos, especially old ones.

In the coming months I’m looking forward to slowly and methodically tackling the remaining categories of stuff in my home. The box of beauty samples, under the kitchen sink, my messy and disorganized pantry, these are the places I always intend to organize but never seem to get around to…until now.

I’d love for you to share your experience with this book in the comments! Did you participate in September’s book club? What are your thoughts after putting Kondo’s methods to use? And for those who are interested in learning the methods we’ve been discussing, we’re giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader! Check out what we’re reading in October and then scroll on to learn how to enter.

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset

October’s book club pick: M Train by Patti Smith

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset

Despite telling myself that I wasn’t going to choose another memoir, having just finished up Kim Gordon’s fantastic Girl in a Band, here I am, Patti Smith’s new book, M Train, in hand. But M Train isn’t your average tell-all — in this quick read, Smith vacillates between dreams and reality as she traverses the process of artistic creation.

We’ll be discussing a few chapters each week throughout the month, so be sure to grab a copy and join in!

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset

+ We’re giving away a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up! For your chance to win, sign up for our weekly newsletter and leave a comment on this post!

Follow FPJulie on FP Me and Instagram


  1. oh…it ended already? I kept waiting for the next book club post not realizing it would end right now, I thought that like the previous posts we would go through the others chapters :( I did participated in the September book club, I don’t think I would ever have picked the book myself, I was too sceptic about it. While reading it I’ve discovered that mostly her approach to declutering and organizing are similar to my own (in theory at least), I’m still reading the book but I think that is food for thought but lacks some emotional support :) or at least some more on point simple emotional tricks to organize life. But I’ve come to discovered that the “spark joy” question is really valuable in a lot of areas of our life that are not objects but as Khalil Gibran once said in a poem, our sadness has deep value too :)

  2. I don’t know how I’ve been missing out on this all this time! I will definitely be getting the next book and joining along but I’d love to read the previous one!

  3. Rita – I agree that there is a lack of emotional support in her practice. It’s easy to say ‘oh, just throw away those photos that don’t spark joy’ (for example, obviously the photo thing struck me) but there’s often much more to it than just ‘joy’ or ‘no joy’, especially when it comes to family things.

  4. Quite an interesting coincidence, or maybe not a coincidence at all. I work at a community coop in the Health and Wellness area and I am lucky enough to acquire so many free products ranging from herbs, tinctures, natural body care products , essential oils etc. I’m quite new there and sometimes I leave with a whole grocery bag full of free stuff, a lot that I probably will never use. When I asked one of my coworkers why she wasn’t going to take anything more than the few items she grabbed, she told me that she had read The Life changing magic of Tidying Up, and that it has changed her life. It made me think twice. I feel I’m constantly wanting more, but I know it isn’t the right way. Maybe less is more after all :)

  5. I’d love to read this book! I jus recently moved into my first studio apartment and even though it’s small I know I just have to find ways to clear up and space. Seems like this would be the perfect book to get started with organizing. Hopefully I win! :-)



  6. I think what I learned is that my health keeps my life messy. You can tell my emotional and physical state by the state of my apartment. For example, I cleaned my kitchen out, which was great. Then, I caught whatever cold has been going around my university campus, and was sick for two weeks. And today I begin the kitchen process anew. There’s mold growing in the fridge and dishes piled in the sink. I just couldn’t put in the effort to put everything away while I had a fever. Who can?
    Anyway, I think there’s a lot of emotional work that goes into the KonMari method. Maybe more than is explicitly explained in the book. (Part of me wonders if that has to do with translation and consumption across cultures. In modern Japanese culture, is there a different understanding of the way our emotions are linked to our everyday lives? Because in the US, they’re assumed to be separate unless otherwise noted. Maybe in Japan, the emotional work seems like a given, so it’s not a surprise to the reader when they attempt to follow the method in the book?)
    Lastly, I’m working on it. I’m going to guess that I can have a calm, clean living space by this time next year. We’ll see if it happens.

  7. I’ve been meaning to get around to this book – all the fuss over it actually dissuaded me until the posts of FP. Thanks for the chance! xxo

  8. A londoner, in need of holistic change and this book could aid me with this fresh new start! Been a subscriber since free people first started.

  9. I loved reading this book, though I agree on taking more care with family photographs. And I’m excited to start in on a new memoir, Patti Smith is a favorite of mine.

  10. I would love to read this book – I often try to simplify the external so that I have a larger spirit of kindness, peace, and love on the inside. Always seeking completeness, always seeking growth.

    And, there’s a 100 person hold on this book in my library so winning a copy the coolest!!!

  11. I’d be so excited to get this book! I did a lot of reading about feng shui and it was very helpful. Helped me understand more about the energy that I definitely feel exists in our environments. I am someone who CANNOT work in a cluttered room or workspace. This book is so for me!

  12. I really want to read the book now. I am such a scavenger, and I am too sentimental. I think I would find a feng shui book quite helpful.
    I love the book club!

  13. I’d love to read this book!!!!! As a current college girl, life is hectic and this book sounds like it could be quite the life saver for me :)

  14. so happy about the weekly newsletter – love being reminded to read all of these fantastic blog posts. can’t wait for the next book!

  15. I would really like to read the book. My Bachelor paper is about decluttering and I am really looking forward to read another and new perspective on this topic.

  16. I would love to read this book to learn how to pare down my life a bit! I have it currently on request at my local library, but who knows how long that could take with a popular book like this one!

  17. I would be so thrilled to read this book I love reading and this sounds like a wonderful next book gahhh I love books lol I buy soooo many

  18. I’ve been interested in picking this book up for a while because I could really use some help on decluttering. I have the hardest time letting go of things, even stupid little things, if they were given to me by a loved one. Hopefully when I finally get the chance to read it, it’ll help me to let go of all the clutter!

  19. I live in a small dorm room with a roommate. Would love some advice on keeping our space tidy and breathable :) This book looks awesome!

  20. I’ve been wanting to read this book! I’m trying to transition from someone who holds onto everything with sentimental value to someone who is able to let go!

  21. Ahh, I’ve heard so much about Marie Kondo’s book (it’s definitely on my wishlist)~ I really feel like I need some help in organising and decluttering my room, it’s honestly a mess and I keep holding onto things that I know are useless (old toys from McDonald’s that I’ve owned for at least 5 years for example haha).

    M Train by Patti Smith seems really interesting though, I’ll have to check that one out! I don’t think I’ll be able to get it this month but maybe putting it on my wishlist wouldn’t hurt..

  22. I would love to own this book! It is always checked out from the library, and I would love to read it A.S.A.P.

  23. I also believe that there is a lack of emotion throughout the book, I love to keep so many little memories! But all-in-all, reading these book discussions have really help me organize my room and my life! I definitely need to read this book!!!

  24. I have natural pack-rat tendencies, so would definitely love a chance to read and learn from this book & see if it works for me! Plus I love how many people in these comments still use a library- that’s pretty awesome.

  25. i keep seeing this book everywhere and I enjoyed reading all the fp discussions. I can already think of s few places in my apartment that need some tidying up!

  26. I wanted to thank you for introducing me to this book. I have begun the process of tidying and purging in my home and the difference is astounding. What a good pick!

  27. I’m just starting this book and hope it helps eliminate the.clutter in my life. It sounds like it helped and motivated many people to do so. My wingwomen who share culture athletics and just plain fun group is reading it for our first inaugural motivational /self improvement book club. I have a separate coed book club as well. Your blog is great and I’don’t love to receive your nresletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.