by Diane Yannick

There is no rating low enough to compensate for the way this book has ruined my life. Whatever you do, don’t read it as it will haunt you. This is a long review but it behooves you to stick with it.

To begin, you have to touch each and every possession and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to be discarded. Do you know how hard it is to summon joy for beige underwear or Neosporin? Yet summon you must. I like my carrot peeler but is joy too strong a word?

It gets tougher. Not only must you “apply hands” to every piece of clothing while checking for your joy response, you must fold your clothes in very specific ways in order to find each piece’s “sweet spot.” I never knew that “Every piece of clothing has it’s own ‘sweet spot’ where it feels just right.” This will lead to an historical moment when “your mind and the piece of clothing connect.” Don’t forget to thank your clothes for protecting your body. Thank your accessories for making you beautiful. “Express your appreciation to every item that supported you during the day.”

Never, never “ball up your socks” as they can’t get their much-deserved rest that way. They need to breathe a sigh of relief. You must visit your off season clothes to “let them know you care and look forward to wearing them when they’re next in season. This kind of communication helps your clothes stay vibrant and keeps your relationship with them alive longer.”

Everything must be stored standing up rather than laid flat. “Stacking weakens and exhausts the things that bear the weight of the pile. Just imagine how you would feel if you were forced to carry a heavy load for hours?”

You must empty your handbag every day. “Being packed all the time, even when not in use, must feel something like going to bed with a full stomach.” When you get a new phone, it is kind to text your old one with a message of thanks for its service.

Every single thing must be in its assigned place before you go to bed. “Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have no fixed address?” It is equally important for our possessions to have “that assurance that there is a place for them to return to.”

Every single thing must be in its assigned place before you go to bed. “Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have no fixed address?”

If we greet our house properly it will “be happy to tell me what the family no longer needs and where to put the things remaining so that the family can be comfortable and happy in this space.” Not sure if you do this before or after applying hands and checking your joy response. It did come near the end of the book, if that helps.

So what do the things that get discarded for not sparking joy feel? “I think they simply want to leave. Lying forgotten in the closet, they know better than anyone else that they are not bringing you joy.”

The people who tidy as this book recommend experience a change in their appearance. “Their figures are more streamlined, their skin is more radiant, and their eyes shine brighter.”

Unfortunately, my eyes are crossed, I’ve gained 10 pounds, and I feel hives ready to pop. I had no idea when I picked up this pretty little book that it was going to necessitate my search for a live-in psychiatrist. I had NO freaking idea that I was squashing the self-esteem of my possessions. I can NOT find those folding sweet spots and everything in my drawers is in a mosh pit. My handbag looks sad every time I walk by its nightly fullness. My socks are falling down. I’m not sure why. I hate the word joy now. I’m sleep deprived. My possessions call out to me for help but I don’t know if they want me to summon joy or if they want to leave. The other day my husband heard me thanking my underwear for staying up all day. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be married.


Diane Yannick lives fairly happily in West Chester, PA with her husband and two small, yappy dogs. She taught language arts in public schools for 33 years, and she now tutors reading in her basement classroom. Her husband lives in perpetual fear that he’ll feature in her tales at her local Story Slam. She has had her own book club for the past seven years, but they will never read the tidying book with the long name because she has enough leftover childhood Catholic guilt. She has an 11-year-old granddaughter who plans to move from NC to act on Broadway and famously support her grandmother, however, she’ll need to finish middle school first.