Reading Matters

Kondo’s ‘Tidying’ tops non-fiction bestseller list

I hope you noticed that my favorite non-fiction pick of 2014 leads the New York Times bestseller list.

Yes, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Knodo has now sold 2 million copies worldwide.

The Feb. 27 Wall Street Journal turned over its Arena section’s front-page to a spread on Kondo, complete with her instructions for folding sweaters.

If you don’t know the book, I have to ask: Where have you been?

This is the tidying manual whose message is this: If an object in your home doesn’t spark joy, toss it.

Within a week after reading the book last fall, I rid our house of about 600 books. Clothes were next. Papers I intend to tackle in the new year. (It’s only March).

Here’s what Friday’s feature said:

Tidying Up has quickly developed a cultlike following. Fans share photos of their underwear drawers. They’ve started clubs and Facebook groups. And they use the author’s name as a verb that can refer either to purging or meticulous folding: ‘Waiting for the kettle to boil ... So I Kondoed my recipe books,’ Elaine Colliar, a family-finance columnist for Scotland’s Sunday Mail, proclimaed in a recent Facebook post, with a photo to show her handiwork.’”

Also, according to the Journal, more clutter books are on the way: This month, Stuffocation, by James Wallman. It stresses experiences over possessions. A year from now, look for New Order, an illustrated decluttering guide with illustrations by Fay Wolf.

Kondo’s U.S. published has plans for three more Kondo titles. For a master class in tidying, there will be The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up No. 2. The other is Experience the Pulsing Magic of Cleaning Up Every Day, with full-color photos of Kondo’s folding method. The fourth will be a guide to dealing with work-related papers.

The Journal quotes Kondo: “I would like to tidy up everywhere on the planet.”

Dannye’s blog: