Monday, December 15, 2014

Kondo Crazy

I am amused to see that all the self-improvement type decluttering fans have gone Kondo crazy (see, the New York Times,Chris Guillebeau, etc.). Marie Kondo, that is, the author of the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up". But why wouldn't we? It's life-changing!

Well, it has the potential to be, anyway. I have only been folding my clothes for 4 weeks. I suppose I could jump in a little deeper water, and I intend to soon.

Her basic premise is that you reduce clutter by category, all at once, by giving respect to your possessions, handling them all (!!!) and seeing if they spark joy in you, as a condition for staying in your life. Otherwise, you thank them for their service, and send them on their way (to another recipient, Goodwill, a landfill, whatever.)

I LOVE this idea. Because to be surrounded by only things that you love... where would the struggle be? And if you needed more things, you would only buy things that you loved, right? Because there's only so much room in your house.

And I do recommend you read the book, if you are inspired by my synopsis, because there's so much more subtlety and a shocking disregard for sentimentality. "But I could never get rid of all my paper!" you think. (She gives a pass to your old love letters, so relax.) Everyone has a weakness or lame collection somewhere (I suspect it could be craft items for me. Or old journals.)

And I also love that she asks you to visualize what you will experience when you have completed the project. How will it make you feel? What will it allow you to experience?

It still feels odd, wildly throwing away boxes from new appliances (what if I have to move? How will we pack the coffee maker? This seems like a semi-reasonable question until you consider that I have lived in this house for 17 years, am not looking for new housing, and coffee makers are not especially fragile and could probably be wrapped in larger moving box anyway.) Now, multiply this thought process times 5,000, which might not even been a good estimate of the number of items in my home. Does it make me happy? Yes, or no. The end. Oh.

Ah, but what to do about the husband's stuff? She has some adorable stories about her precocious teen years, raising the ire of family members by decluttering for them, but doesn't provide a clear solution for the reader. Perhaps he will be jealous of my joyful room. Perhaps he won't notice that 10 years of music magazines stacked in the bathroom (and soaked in microscopic urine and fecal spores, if there is such a thing, which there probably isn't) have ended up in the recycling bin.

But there's nothing as compelling as a before and after picture. Here is my "sweatpants" drawer before:
(There's some shorts in there, too.)

And here is the same drawer, all refolded, with the horrible hippy skirt, random white bustier, and other non-lovable items removed:

To be continued.....