Why the Konmari Book Tidying Method Doesn’t Work

Why Not Put It To The Test?

OK, let’s test the Konmari method of book tidying…

The Method Goes Something Like This

  • Go to your bookcase.
  • Take a book out
  • Hold it
  • Consider it
  • Does it spark joy?
  • No?
  • Chuck it
  • Job done
  • Eat cake

Yeah, yeah, I made that last step up.

Disclaimer: this website and post may contain affiliate links for BlueHost, Zazzle, Society6, Shutterstock, WordPress and Grammarly and if you click on a link and purchase the item or any item on that website I may get a small commission (which will go towards my Art Deco house restoration fund!)

Flaws in Method

Bookcase? Yes, you’ve got a few of those but, Marie, does this include overflowing heaps of books on the floor, on tables, on bedside cabinets, in the bathroom, in the kitchen?

Take a book. You can do that easily, In fact, you can take hold of many, many books… you are literally tripping over books.

Hold it. Yes, you can do that, but Marie, Marie – this is where it all starts to unravel, girl.

You cannot hold a book really without having a good look at the cover, reading the title, maybe turning it over and reading the synopsis on the back. Oh yes, you remember reading this book; you remember who gave it to you, you remember where you were at that time – oh happy happy memories. You remember the beginning of the book but what happened after that? You open it and start reading.

Suddenly you look at the clock. Whoa, what’s happening?

Oh yes, you’re Mari Kondoing your bookcase. Or is it Konmari-ing. Whatever, it is, you’re doing it.

How’s it going?

How’s it going? Great, you’re reached Chapter 5 of this book already. You’re really enjoying it and you’re so glad you kept this book.

Oh, sorry, you mean how is the Kondoing going?

What’s next on her list? Is the book sparking joy? Yes, the book is really good. Definitely keeping it. Thanks, Marie.

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)

You’re sitting on the floor amongst your book pile so stretch over and pick up another volume. Hmm, oh yes, you bought it when you went on holiday to Devon. It was raining and you stopped on the way in a pretty little town and found a bookshop. You don’t particularly want to re-read it but you remember parking in this lovely place and chancing upon the little bookshop packed to the rafters with all kinds of books and the woman in the shop was so nice and it brings back so many happy memories. Marie, the bookshop was down a little cobbled street! This book definitely sparks joy after all. Put that one back on the shelf. I mean the floor.

What’s that book over there – dog-eared, tattered, fly-spotted? That book has been in your family for years, It used to belong to your Dad. You’re not getting rid of that.

How about this one? Clearly unread, it’s by an author whose work you don’t like. You’ll never read it.

Chuck it?

Well, no, because Great Aunt Kate gave you that book and she wasn’t a reader but she knew you were and she thought she’d done so well in buying you this book and it made her so happy to give it to you that you can’t throw this book away. She was such a nice person and the book makes you remember her.

So, have you got rid of any books so far?

Well, no.

OK, here’s one. You bought it yourself, you hated it, you only read the first quarter. Right, that’s it, this is going. You’ve decided. Even if the author has clearly put in months, maybe years, writing this book and it’s been published and you admire his hard work and dedication and success – this book is definitely going.

But you can’t put it in the bin. You could never, ever put a book in a bin! (Has Marie Kondo read Fahrenheit 451?) So you put it in a bag for the charity shop.

Charity Begins at Home

You know what happens to your bags for charity shops. They sit in the corner of the spare bedroom for months until you have time to go to the charity shop. Sometimes you are just too busy. Does Marie Kondo have this problem? Is she too busy?

Well, we know she can’t be too busy reading as she obviously doesn’t like reading. You don’t think Marie Kondo likes books. Marie Kondo definitely doesn’t understand books.

Given the choice – would you read a book or would you tidy your house?

See – this is where you and Marie Kondo differ. She wouldn’t even be sitting here, giving this train of thought house room. No – Marie Kondo would have tidied up her imagination. Her imagination would be packed up, thoughts folded in the Konmari method, shelved and shut away. Vertically of course.

She wouldn’t want any stray thoughts, plans or flights of fancy cluttering up her brain.

Well, anyway, enough of the character assassination – you know what happens to your bags for charity shops? They sit in the corner for months and somehow you never have time to go to the charity shop and then you open the bags and return the contents to their rightful place. Yes, contents, you prefer the word ‘contents’ to ‘clutter’ actually. And if their rightful place is on the floor, then so be it.

Take that, Marie Kondo. CONTENTS not clutter.

But you will take this particular book to the charity shop because someone else may enjoy it.

And if you come back from the charity shop with an armful of hardback books by Jo Nesbo, then that’s not your fault because you followed the Konmari method of tidying books to the letter.

The very last letter.

This is Why You Should Cherish Your Clutter

If you would like to comment on this blog post, feel free. I even welcome comments from neat freaks.

© Michelle Le Grand




Custom Tank Tops



  1. 🙂 It is more than enough time that eBooks took over the world.

    The only space that eBooks take-up is on one’s computer and if you are afraid of losing your eBook collection, you can back them up on a cloud server.

    For the record, I do love the old-fashioned books (The ones that I can actually touch, feel and smell).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hahah, this was a good chuckle! 😀 I’m a minimalist by nature so I don’t need Marie, but still, throwing away books does feel like a waste. The last time I moved, I took a big pile to the local library but it turned out they didn’t want donations! 😒

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to laugh. I work at the library and bring home stacks of books from the book sale. two weeks ago I made the epic decision to clean out the shelves and make room for new. Obviously from your post you know how it went. For the record I love Marie’s theory for everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Found your post on The Snow Melts Somewhere Secret Santa post, and boy, did I pick a good one! I am that odd creature: a total neatnik and a book lover and keeper. It’s not easy! Your post cracked me up, but it also brought back the horror of moving from a large suburban house to a smaller place almost three years ago, a time when SOME books had to go. They did find good homes, which made me happy, and the rest came along and are now happily resting on the wall-to-wall bookshelves I had built the minute we arrived. Well, at least most of them are there … I admit to a few piles here and there in other rooms!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s