How did it get to be Wednesday already? I’m missing a day somewhere. “Here, Tuesday, Tuesday! Tuesday, where are you?”
If you’re like me, you’re focused on preparing for this weekend and holiday celebrations. But I wanted to take a step back from that for a moment, (I mean, really, how much laundry and dusting can one woman do? If you say, “You missed a spot,” I may become homicidal, jus’ sayin’…), take a deep breath, and think about stuff.
No, literally: stuff.
Do you have a lot of stuff? Man, I sure have a lot of the stuff. Stuff in here, stuff over there, stuff stacked on top of other stuff, hiding yet more stuff that should go where that stuff is sitting because I don’t have room for all this stuff!
When I was in the bookstore a few months ago, I picked up a copy of a book that looked interesting, not realizing that it had become something of a social discussion and meme: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. Now, if you think you’re familiar with it, please bear with me. If you haven’t heard of this, grab a cup of tea and get ready.
Here’s what I like about her approach: rather than making cleaning and decluttering be something that we live with all the time, she has you do it in one, giant, marathon session, and be done with it.
Yup. That’s what she says. And here’s the thing:
I’ve tried it with a couple things and the stuff I cleaned has stayed organized. I heard someone use “Konmari” as a verb the other day in relation to yarn, “Don’t Konmari your stash,” and it made me laugh. I think that Americans, in typical enthusiastic fashion, have misunderstood it to be a system of throwing out everything we own. That’s not what I got from her book at all, (and if you like to read, definitely check it out; it’s well-written, engaging, and you’ll breeze through it fairly quickly). What I got is only keep the stuff that, as she calls it, “sparks joy.” (That’s her term for it in English.) I love that idea!
I’m currently fighting with my files. I have three four-drawer file cabinets plus a two-drawer cabinet upstairs and one downstairs, and as a writer and instructor I have a LOT of paper. I’ve been at this a long time.
But do I really need class materials from masters classes that I took over six years ago? If it’s stuff I need now, I’d have to research it over again anyway to make sure what I’m using isn’t out of date. I actually got rid of a drawer and a half of stuff I’d saved from getting my masters.
So here’s my question to you, Dear Reader, and be honest: if you’ve heard of the KonMari Method, what do you think of it? If you haven’t, what might you consider culling in favor of having order in your home?
– E.E. Cummings
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