Tidying up with Marie Kondo.
Watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix has been a bit of a guilty pleasure for the past few weeks. Eight episodes of this joyful, pint size Japanese lady (and her equally lovely translator) entering people’s home and teaching how to declutter their living spaces which ultimately help them to declutter their lives has been thought provoking at least.
The programme cleverly focused on different scenarios each week, an expanding family, a recently widowed lady trying to move forward, gay couples and a couple eagerly awaiting their first baby. Her methods seemed to work for them all and although they found the Marie Kondo process tough, they all made it through to the other side.
Marie Kondo advocates that you shouldn’t go room by room, cupboard by cupboard, instead the best way is to work methodically category by category.
For example with her first category ‘clothes’ find EVERY item of clothing regardless of which room it is in and put it all in one place so that you visualise how much you have. Then go through each item and if it ‘sparks joy’ or you can see in your life going forward keep it, however if it doesn’t spark joy or it holds you back in anyway, first thank it (yes really) for its role in your life and then discard it.
Once the clothes are done there are four other categories to deal with.
4. miscellaneous and lastly
5. Sentimental – oh yes very simple.
The reason for this blog?
Frustration! I had high hopes for this programme and unfortunately it didn’t quite cut it and certainly didn’t answer my questions.
I don’t mind decluttering, I actually find it quite therapeutic, I loved her ideas and was quite excited about trying out her ways of folding clothes etc. I am not that sentimental about most things (ok let’s not discuss theatre programmes) and I believe we CAN live simpler lives with less junk so I was all set to try her methods.
BUT…damn it, there is always a ‘but’ isn’t there?
Decluttering is all very well, I could in theory, fill bags and bags of stuff that we don’t wear or use very much. Here is the rub, what do you do with it? On the programme they just bagged it all up and took it to the dump or to the charity shop and as a result their lives were perfect. If you are like me however and the concept of ‘waste’ and sending things to a landfill site is hard to stomach and remembering that all this ‘junk’ was initially bought with hard earned money, you cannot afford to just give it away, not matter how worthy the cause, what do you do?
Hundred of toys that the kids have grown out of, plastic, expensive and in perfect condition. Carboot sales / Ebay / facebook marketplace may be the answer but as I have discussed before they are time-consuming and can be disheartening. Pennies for items that cost 50 times the price.
So I declutter, but end up moving things up and out! Up into the attic or out into the garage. Storing all this ‘junk’ for a time it may come in useful, books I may want to read again, toys for visiting children to play with. Answer that Marie Kondo!
There may be no way on earth you can get another box in the garage, let alone a car and I am surprised my roof doesn’t cave in but hey. No waste.
Saying that I am determined to give the Marie Kondo methods a go. See how far I get. Will items actually leave the house? Or get stored for a later date? Watch this space.