Marie Kondo the renowned Japanese organizing consultant and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2010) presents a radical approach to decluttering. Her philosophy challenges us to reassess the value we attribute to our belongings and discard anything that fails to “spark joy.”
However critics argue that Kondo’s minimalist approach can detach us from sentimental attachments and oversimplify the decluttering process. They particularly question her suggestion of limiting books to a maximum of 30. Yet Kondo emphasizes that her approach is tailored to her own preferences and that the critical aspect of tidying is discovering our individual sense of value. In a recent interview with IndieWire Kondo explained,
The most important part of this process of tidying is to always think about what you have and the discovery of your sense of value what you value that is important. So it’s not so much what I personally think about books. The question you should be asking is what do you think about books. If the image of someone getting rid of books or having only a few books makes you angry that should tell you how passionate you are about books what’s clearly so important in your life. If that riles you up that tells you something about that. That in itself is a very important benefit of this process.
Ultimately the purpose of decluttering is not to let go of possessions that hold meaning for us. It’s about creating space for the things that genuinely bring us joy and contribute positively to our lives. If your personal library brings you happiness there’s no need to limit it.
Idea for Impact: Sort sentimentality from satirical simplification. If certain items hold sentimental value such as mementos a record collection or family heirlooms it is perfectly acceptable to keep them. The important principle is to let go of possessions that no longer serve a purpose and make space for what holds greater significance in our lives.