Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Kon-do or Kon-don't?

Japanese organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo is all the rage right now. Her 2011 book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is an international bestseller, and she has a new show on Netflix. Her method, called KonMari, involves these six initial steps:
Image result for marie kondo meme funny.
  • Commit yourself to tidying up.
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  • Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.
  • Tidy by category, not location.
  • Follow the right order. (I don't know what that is, because I haven't read the book.)
  • Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
The crux of the process is getting rid of items that lack value, and (in the case of clothes) goes like this: 
  • Take everything out of closets and drawers.
  • Make a big pile.
  • Consider each item individually to determine whether it sparks joy.
I am intrigued by the sparking joy part, but I also know that I don't have the stamina right now to KonMari my life. If I were to make a pile of all my clothes, in a few days, I would have...the same pile of clothes, but with a couple of helpings of guilt and irritation on the side.

Image result for marie kondo meme funnyBut that doesn't mean I can't take small steps toward "life changing magic," so my Take It or Leave It for last week was to clean one shelf or drawer every day. This was in addition to the routine household tasks that somehow need to be done approximately every six minutes. 

Although I didn't go full Kondo, I actually made demonstrable progress. Most of my projects took less than ten minutes, and it was pretty satisfying to throw stuff away. (BTW, I didn't ask if the old underwear sparked joy; I just pitched them.) 

I look at this week as practice for a time in the future when I'm willing to commit to a big KonMari purge. But maybe if I wait long enough--decades, hopefully--I can jump right into Margareta Magnusson's book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, which, in a nutshell, involves getting rid of all my crap before my boys have to deal with it.

This mini-KonMari Take It or Leave It is a Take It, but probably only two or three times a week instead of daily.  

I'll leave you with this quote from Beauty and the Beast Marie Kondo: 

It is only when you put your house in order that your furniture and decorations come to life.


  1. I could never do it her way. Especially the by category bit. I have to do it by the space it is in. And no way would I be thanking it for its service. That just seems bonkers to me.

  2. Tidying by the space seems more logical to me, as well! I would no doubt overthink the categories.