Wellness Wednesdays: Make Room for Joy

I am still in a declutter and discard frenzy. The photographer is coming Tuesday for photographs and then the house gets put on the market. Since I want to downsize to a condo I am trying to get rid of stuff and simplify my life. I became aware of the book by Marie Kondo, the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing from one of my favorite bloggers.

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Kondo believes you should declutter in one shot. Take everything from everywhere in the house that falls into a certain category, eg clothing, pull it all out and pile it in one place. Then you can sort and discard, only after this can you put back and organize.

Her one criterion for choosing what to keep: take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.

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She’s really into touching your stuff and showing gratitude to it. I think this is where the “Japanese art” of tidying up comes in. Animism is a big part of Japanese culture. Eventually towards the end of the book she tells us she once was a Shinto shrine maiden.

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I have no trouble touching my things. One of the reasons I hate online shopping is that I like to touch and feel, and sometimes even smell, the merchandise before I decide to buy it. I went ahead and pulled out all my clothes and threw them on the bed in the spare room. Then I made piles by category: tops, bottoms, jackets, socks, underwear, bags, accesories, special items like swimsuits, shoes.

It was pretty easy to discard many items since they, er, didn’t fit – wouldn’t button or zip or just wouldn’t even go over those damn big hips and thighs. Oh well, moving on.

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Kondo also doesn’t believe in storage solutions. It just means you got too much stuff and should discard more. She’s sort of right. So I did my best, but there was this one pair of cute capris that just might fit if I lose 5 pounds and just looking at them gave me joy. So I tucked them in my ‘seasonal’ box. Yes, another no no. I shouldn’t need a seasonal box. All my stuff should fit in my closet and dresser. Oh, will this damn little book get off my back already. I really don’t need to have my snow pants taking up inventory in my closet.

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I failed at getting everything done in one shot. Now I am all over the place in a panic trying to just get it done and out of the house. That’s usually how I roll. I don’t get it done unless there’s a fire lit under my ass.

The book is small and short. In my opinion, she could cut, edit, declutter and discard much of it and just publish a pamphlet.  I could have done without all the annoying anecdotes of her adolescent expeditions into the world of organizing and tidying up. I’m sure it appeals to someone, but I just wanted advice not a history of how she became obsessed with tidying up and putting all the square pegs in the square holes and building intimate relationships with inanimate things that she so easily discards.

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Her method of folding is proving too advanced for my addled brain. Even youtube videos were of no help. My clothes just do not stand up in a tent and I had a system of folding them (or not, I gave up folding underwear about 2 years ago) so they fit in my cramped space. And Mr. Obscure and The Boy both gave a thumbs down to folding the socks the Kondo Way. They want them balled up. I hope the socks can forgive me.

I hope my underwear don’t feel underappreciated! I should go tell them how thankful I am for their service.

I think I’ll do like Sinatra and do it my way.

 


all giphs from giphy.com

videos via youtube

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7 comments

  1. You gotta take that stuff with a grain of salt lol I’ve been to Japan and everything is super little over there with very little space to move so I’m sure her tent folding thongs are required 😉

  2. Thank you for the kind shout-out!!!
    Yes, Marie Kondo’s book was life-changing for me. I’m currently reading her “Spark Joy
    An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up”, also awesome.
    Great post and thanks again, much appreciated and the best of luck with the clutter. 🙂

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