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The life-changing magic of sharing housework

The life-changing magic of sharing housework

A de-cluttering trend is sweeping the nation. Old sweaters and unread books have been put on notice: They're not safe in the attic anymore, they're destined for the curb, and it's all thanks to a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo. In her bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” published in English in late 2014, Kondo elevated the annual closet purge to a Zen-like experience. Last week, she published a companion text called “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.”

Although Kondo — who refers to herself as KonMari — and her fervent fans certainly spark feelings within me, joy is not among...