Top positive review
Pleasant continuation from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2016
Mari Kondo's first book covered her method pretty thoroughly, so I wasn't sure whether this one would be worth the purchase. If you aren't sure which to buy first, I would say the first book does a better job of explaining her attitude towards tidying and this book has better practical advice.
In a nutshell, the konmari method involves getting rid of anything in your life that doesn't spark joy. Starting with clothes, you go through each item and decide what stays or goes based on whether or not it sparks joy when you hold it. Joy is the only criterion: 'If it makes you happy, then the right choice is to keep it confidently, regardless of what anyone else says.'
The illustrations are charming, but there aren't very many of them. The most helpful shows her famous folding method, which is something I didn't understand simply from reading the first book. (Youtube videos helped.) This book has around 10 diagrams for folding dresses, shirts, odd-shaped clothes, camisoles, parkas, etc. Apart from the folding instructions, the other images are simply cute images of rabbits putting things away, a perfectly tidied closet, etc.
One of the criticisms of the first book is that it seems geared mostly towards people cleaning up their own mess, and that hasn't changed. For example, the section on handling stuffed animals is talking about your own plushies, not your children's. I wish there were more discussion of handling items belonging to family members and how to inspire them to tidy up too. Family is covered in one small section, and the main advice is simply to set a good example and accept others – easier said than done!
Overall this is a fun read but not substantially different from the first book. This book has more explanation of the original advice, but if you understood it the first time around, you may not need it. There is a lot of repetition between the two books. However, it's an enjoyable read and may give you that last bit of motivation to tidy up once and for all. In addition to the extra folding help, it has more specific advice about handling certain types of items such as greeting cards, dishes, photos, etc.