Get Organized by Joy – Book Review of “Spark Joy”

Tidying quote Marie Kondo

I like order. My mind is more peaceful when my surroundings are. I see God easier when things are in harmony rather than chaos.

So I like books on organization.

And I particularly like this one, spark joyby Marie Kondo.


Whether or not you’ve read Marie Kondo’s first best-seller, the life-changing magic of tidying up, you can pick up this second book spark joy and get to work immediately with a plan and do so with delight.

Consider Her Subtitle

“an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up”

Two words you need to notice:

  • illustrated
  • art

Because this book contains many illustrations, you can see exactly what Kondo means when she tells you to store your thick winter clothes for the off-season or how to fold odd-shaped tops or how to fold cloth and plastic bags.


And because Kondo considers organizing “an art,” you hear words like these sprinkled throughout the book:

“Pause to say “thank you” to the clothes you are wearing, to your pen or computer, your dishes and quilts, the bath and the kitchen. Without exception, the things in your home long to make you happy. Once you see that they are there to protect and support you, once you realize that you have enough even now, then you can resume tidying.”

(Well, as in the first book, some of it seems over-the-top for our western minds, but her premise is that we are more content when our homes are straightened up. I agree with that.)

As in her first book, Kondo reminds us that we likely need much less than we have. So first we discard the extra. Only then do we organize.

“Only two skills are necessary to successfully put your house in order: the ability to keep what sparks joy and chuck the rest, and the ability to decide where to keep each thing you choose and always put it back in its place.

The important thing in tidying is not deciding what to discard but rather what you want to keep in your life.”

I wasn’t sure if I would benefit from this book since I did read the first book and had already implemented several changes (my sweatpants are now stored vertically; I cleaned out and tidied several drawers; my photo project is well underway).

But I did need this book to keep me going and fill in some gaps. I like the drawings to show me how to take her suggestions, and I appreciate her encouragement to continue discarding things that don’t bring joy.

Three Parts of Spark Joy

  • Part I: KonMari master tips
    Honing your sensitivity to joy
    How to fill your home with joy
    Everything you need to know about storing joyfully
  • Part II: The tidying encyclopedia
    Tidying clothes
    Tidying books
    Tidying papers
    Tidying sentimental items
  • Part III: Life-changing magic
    A home that sparks joy
    The things that come when you’re done

You may not need or use everything in this book (sometimes suggestions were too harsh for me), but likely there are several areas you could benefit from.

More tips from Spark Joy

The best way to identify what does or doesn’t bring you joy is to compare. In the beginning, unless your feelings are very black-and-white, it’s hard to decide if something brings joy when you look at it by itself. When you compare it with a bunch of other things, however, your feelings become clear.”

~ * ~ * ~

‘It might come in handy.’ Believe me, it never will. You can always manage without it. For those embarked upon a tidying marathon, this phrase is taboo.”

~ * ~ * ~

The rule of thumb for storage is 90 percent. Full but not stuffed.”

~ * ~ * ~

“The four principles: fold it, stand it upright, store in one spot, and divide your storage space into square compartments.”

~ * ~ * ~

“The basic rule for papers: Discard everything.” [This one I cannot do!]

~ * ~ * ~

“If you want a kitchen that you can enjoy cooking in, aim for one that’s easy to clean. The best way to do that is to make sure you put nothing on the counters or around the sink and stove top.”

* * *

Have you read any of Marie Kondo’s books? Is spring cleaning in your near future? Please share your tips in the comments.

My thanks to Blogging for Books
for the review copy of this book

14 thoughts on “Get Organized by Joy – Book Review of “Spark Joy”

  1. Jean Wise

    I read her first book but hadn’t seen much yet on this one, so thank you. Love the quote and the illustrations. will check it out. I love reading and doing organization stuff too. A real junkie topic for me..

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This book is very similar to her first one, but goes more in depth. I personally found it worthwhile to read both books, but I’m like you and am a junkie for this topic. 🙂

  2. Karen

    I read the first and read some of the second before having to return it to the library. I think I preferred the second because of the concrete explanations of what to do with things. I may just buy the second one.

    The whole thanking items for the joy they once gave before tossing them seems a bit much to me, but I am all for getting rid of things that bring me no joy. I’ve managed to send a large bag to The Saving Way recently due to that purge.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I agree—if I was just going to get one book, it would probably be the second one too because of better explanations on how to do it. I’m sure the Saving Way appreciated your purge. I’m about to the point that no one would want my leftover purges now. ha. I need lots of uncluttered space to breathe!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I agree, Beverley. I think I could have understood with just the second book. But I have the first one on my Kindle, so I got the second one as a “real” book because I needed to be able to flip through it and see it at a glance.

  3. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! “It might come in handy” is my husband’s mantra. If something breaks, he wants to keep it. Because you know… Drives me nuts!

    Interesting idea to thank your clothes. I guess that sounds a little silly, but in a way, it teaches gratefulness, which is not a bad thing.

    Wishing you a peaceful home!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I confess I’ve used “it might come in handy” too many times myself. ha. But I’m getting better at it! My emptier closets are proof.

      You’re right—saying thanks to our stuff may seem goofy in practice, but the theory is definitely good gratitude. Thanks, Ceil.

  4. TC Avey

    I love being tidy. My “hobby” is cleaning. Bring organized brings me joy. Having kids has taught me to be flexible and how to maintain joy even when things are not as tidy as I’d like them.
    Thus sounds like a fun book for me. I need to add it to my reading list.

      1. TC Avey

        I’m not sure they would completely agree 🙂
        While they enjoy a clean house and always knowing where to find things they don’t like having to help. But I figure my future daughters-in-law will appreciate that my boys will know how to clean up after themselves.

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          Most definitely your future d-i-l’s should be very grateful for the way you’re raising your boys! 🙂 I don’t know how my husband turned out to be so neat (he wasn’t particularly trained to be), but I am so glad he is.

  5. June

    “The basic rule for papers: Discard everything.” ACK! I think I just had a heart attack, lol. I’d get this book for my mom, but she may not take it in the spirit intended. I definitely need help in some areas, like tidying sentimental items. Right now we’re in a small, one bedroom cottage so we’re pretty good at keeping things to a minimum. But that just means they’re in storage, ha! Great review, Lisa, thanks!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That rule of discarding all paper didn’t sit well with me either, June. ha. It would be impossible for me to do, and I wouldn’t consider it wise either. Granted, I could probably safely eliminate 95% of paper things that I’ve saved, but there are always SOME things that I want to keep in paper.

      I can think of people, too, that I’d like to give this book to. 🙂 But you’re right that it’s probably best not to. Enjoy your time of minimal clutter!

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