The magic of tidying up your money

ClutterFor the uninitiated, it probably seems weird that a book with the unlikely title “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” can be a New York Times bestseller–or that the introverted Japanese author Marie Kondo is now so famous she can no longer ride the Tokyo subway for fear of being mobbed.

Kondo contradicts a lot of the accepted wisdom about the best ways to organize, urging marathon sessions and encouraging people only to keep what “sparks joy.”

Here’s how the New York magazine writer Molly Young describes the appeal:

In theory, Kondo should translate poorly to American audiences. We don’t like being scolded, we don’t like foreigners telling us how to live, we don’t like our sloppily balled socks treaded on. We don’t like paying $16.99 for 224 pages of nagging. Our roommates and spouses do that for free.

But Kondo doesn’t nag. Instead, she urges a kind of animistic tenderness toward everyday belongings…Kondo’s thesis—that the world is filled with worthy recipients of mercy, including lightweight-microfiber ones—is as lovely as it is alien. It’s empathy as an extreme sport.

While reading the book, it struck me that while you may not want to apply all Kondo’s principles to your stuff, they actually work pretty well when applied to your money. For more, read my DailyWorth column, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Finances.”

 

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