Lately, the awesome ladies in my circle of awesome ladies have been talking about the Konmari method of tidying as presented in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. When I heard them extolling the virtues of the Konmari method and showing me pictures of the “before” (ginormous clothing mountains that eclipse entire bedroom sets of furniture) and “after” (neat closets with space to spare), I downloaded the book immediately.
I’m not someone who has trouble purging old possessions. My parents are hoarders, and I think it turned me into the opposite. If I haven’t worn something in a while, it gets donated to a local charity. I’ve actually found myself looking for something I wanted to wear and then realizing I already donated it. I am fine with this. If something is no longer serving its purpose on a regular basis, it doesn’t belong in my house. (Do you hear that Bryan? Just kidding. Mostly.)
That being said, I knew I could do better. And I did. After reading this book, I went through all of my clothing in the manner prescribed and ended up donating two giant lawn/leaf garbage bags full of clothing, along with half a dozen pairs of shoes and purses. It’s not even like my closet was overflowing when I started. It was a little crowded, but everything fit. I liked Kondo’s idea that holding onto things that don’t “spark joy” gets in the way of enjoying the things that do. I can get on board with that, especially regarding clothing.
Still, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book. Here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads to explain why. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want to tackle your glut of possessions using the new-agey Konmari method or if you just want to muscle through it the old-fashioned way by loading up on crystal meth and playing your favorite CD on repeat.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This lady is a little out there for me.
On the one hand, she wants you to anthropomorphize your possessions. How would YOU like to be crumpled up and shoved into a drawer? No? Then don’t do it to your underwear. Um, my underwear hugs my ass and genitals all day, so I think it’s happy to get a reprieve from that chore regardless of whether or not I fold it neatly or shove it in a drawer.
On the other hand, I finally found someone who is even less sentimental than I am. I have no problem throwing a greeting card away after I read it and appreciate the thought. But this lady? She wants you to keep almost nothing. Her philosophy is that once you have looked at something once and enjoyed the experience, that item has served its purpose. Old photos and love letters? Cull those fuckers. Never mind that they take up little space. Small child no longer sparking the joy of a newborn? DESTROY IT. (I might be exaggerating a little on that last point.)
Listen, the TL;DR on this book is: Put all your shit in a big pile and get rid of the stuff you don’t need, use, or love. You know you have too much shit. Just fucking do it already. You know you wear the same five outfits every week – get rid of the rest and stop lying to yourself. The end.