Are you familiar with the KonMari Method organizing revolution? I watched a couple of episodes on Netflix and soon became skeptical of what Marie Kondo didn’t tell me.
I first time I heard Marie Kondo’s name mentioned was in an awe-inspiring way by my daughter, Courtney, and my son’s girlfriend, Leksy. Since I’m a packrat of the sparkly object variety, I didn’t jump on the KonMari bandwagon, filled with heaps of discards for donation, right away. Then I observed her method of organization in their bedrooms. Whoa!
Apparently, her books on tidying and sparking joy have sold over eleven million copies. I had to watch the show.
Petite and exuding lots of positive energy, Marie descended on a house quite literally, by prostrating herself on the floor and thanking it for providing shelter for its residents. Then she showed her clients how to organize shelves, drawers, and closets, and taught the origami clothes folding technique.
Every time the client held something in their hands that didn’t spark joy, they were instructed to thank it and then toss it into a pile of rejects.
Then she moved onto other disaster areas in the home; books, papers, and miscellaneous clutter including photos, *gulp* junk drawers, kitchen, bathrooms, you get my drift.
Like I suspected, this technique would take tons of time. Who has extra time? I wondered if it would be worth it. There had to be a hiccup, a drawback, or a few landmines in this masterful theory of tidying up. There was only one way to find out. I dismissed my negativity and got started.
With visions of the girls’ perfect drawers in mind, I rifled through my clothes then reloaded my closet like a Gap employee after shotgunning six Red Bulls.
Needless to say, my drawers are lookin’ good. My closet is somewhat pared down and my shelves are glorious, BUT I did have some lingering thoughts and questions:
One of the prevailing customs in the Marie Kondo lifestyle is to thank the item for its joy before adding it to the pile of castoffs ready for donation.
1. What if your clothes don’t deserve a thank you?
Yeah, I have a few items I bought deserve a sarcastic, “Thanks a whole hell of a lot.”
- The shirt I bought in a huge hurry that never fit me well and is way too long.
- The jacket that was super expensive so I kept it around because, well it was expensive. Think of the guilt I experienced every time I looked at it. It didn’t bring me joy, at all.
- The jeans that shrunk after I washed them. Once every few months I would cram my body into them just to see if they would miraculously fit. Unfortunately, as a human, I occasionally need to breathe. Those nasty jeans body-shamed me every time I saw the flab that rolled above the waistline. Nope. No joy from them either.
2. Where did everything go?
The Marie Kondo organization saves time if I can remember where I put everything. My drawers look great, but I switched everything around. Where are my sweat pants again? It’s been two weeks and I still have to open a few drawers to find what I’m looking for.
3. What about my empty closet and drawers?
Yeah, so I got rid of my clothes that didn’t give me joy, but now I have to buy new clothes. That will take time and money. Yikes.
4. How do I stop feeling guilty?
I stopped at my closet. Understanding the KonMari method is making me feel guilty about other disorganized areas of my house. Guilt is not joyful.
5. Who has time?
It took over a month for clients to organize their homes. I realize you save time knowing where everything is, (see #2) but it might take years to even out the cost benefit of going through the process. You would cry if you saw my unfinished basement.
6. Where are the followup episodes?
Are clients still folding everything into neat little rectangles? Have couples disagreed about what brings them joy? Has the strict KonMari method resulted in some unjoyful conversations with family members? “Get your homework done, kids. Then you have six loads of wash to fold and put away or there will be no sleepovers this weekend.”
7. She didn’t talk about the ongoing commitment.
It’s not like KonMari can be done once and you’re finished. Sorry. It has to be adopted for a lifetime. Every load of wash, every book, and piece of paper must be put back with the same care and technique. Sometimes life happens. Piles are created. We’re human, not machines. After going through weeks of reorganization, would slipping back into old patterns become depressing?
Like my clean laundry basket, I still haven’t put away!
What we should ask ourselves:
I’ve worn some clothes for a long time. Instead of asking the question, “Does it bring me joy?” Of course it still brings me joy or I wouldn’t have worn it for so long.
Ask yourself, “Do you want to wear this for the next two decades?” If I answer, “No, or hell no,” I toss the old thing.
All I know is my drawers look fantastic. Will I start on other areas in my house? No way. Folding clothes is my limit.
It might be easier to sell the house with everything inside it and start over.
Did you know about the KonMari method or Marie Kondo? Are you a packrat or an organizer or someone in between?
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