As I write this, I’m about halfway through Whole 30 (detoxing and cleaning up the way I eat), and now I’m about to detox my house.
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo yet, she is becoming more and more famous as the world’s best tidying consultant and expert on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Netflix even has an eight-episode series booked starring her & her methods. I just learned about her a month or so ago when my friend Holly was telling me about how she was reading it and then magically sent me a copy in the mail, because who doesn’t love getting surprise gifts in the mail?
Kondo’s way of thinking about ordinary, inanimate objects is not only peculiar and superfluous, but also thoughtful and comical. There are times I guffawed and had to read sections out loud to Ben. For example:
“Never, ever ball up your socks…Look at them carefully. This should be a time for them to rest. Do you really think they can get any rest like that? That’s right. The socks and stockings stored in your drawer are essentially on holiday. They take a brutal beating in their daily work, trapped between your foot and your shoe, enduring pressure and friction to protect your precious feet. The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest. But if they are folded over, balled up, or tied, they are always in a state of tension, their fabric stretched and their elastic pulled. They roll about and bump into each other everytime the drawer is opened and closed. Any stocks and stockings unfortunate enough to get pushed to the back of the drawer are often forgotten for so long that their elastic stretches beyond recovery. When the owner finally discovers them and puts them on, it will be too late and they will be relegated to the garbage. What treatment could be worse than this?” (p. 81).
Never have I ever considered how I store my socks, and as extra as this mindset is, it did have me feeling a bit sorry for my sock drawer.
Her thesis boils down to this: only keep things that spark joy. Then, have a home base for these possessions, so they know where they belong.
So, with this three day weekend coming up, my goals are to follow her “KonMari Method” which means tackling the task of discarding what doesn’t spark joy in the following order: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and then things of sentimental value.
My friend Claire said this would be a good book to read right before you have to go through that one room in your house that has become cluttered with storage, and she is totally right. That room for us is in our basement, laundry area, and it’s scary down there.
So here’s to 2018: new year, and hopefully new reassurance that we actually only keep things we use and enjoy.