kondo-a-tude-a-thon day 2050: tidying up

So, the other night I was watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix and my husband walked in. He plopped down on a chair and joined me and after a few minutes said, “This is ridiculous.”  Ridiculous or not, we both sat, transfixed by the 4’8 Japanese speaking tidying magician, who only wears white tops and looks like she might double as the tooth fairy. We watched a few segments before finding a movie, but Peter, who could care less about tidying or organizing and does not share the calmness it creates in me when things are in order, laughed about whether or not our dinner “sparked joy.”10kondo4-articleLarge-v3.jpg

The next morning, I thought I must be dreaming, when  I woke up to find Peter, who has no interest in cleaning anything, unless I literally BEG him, knee deep in the three shelf spice cabinet. “Take a look at this,” he said. “I Kondoized it!” I was happy even before coffee. On he went to the junk drawer, which very well might have been hiding Amelia Earhart. When he was done, he called me in for approval. I gave it to him. After 31 years of marriage, this was an entirely new and exciting act of foreplay.

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The next day, he went on to “Marie” the shelf outside the kitchen, overburdened with cookbooks,  financial papers, eight lint rollers. On to the downstairs closet. At this point, I began googling neurological diseases that had tidying as a symptom.

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He has since done the pantry cabinet, the everything-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-in-the-kitchen cabinet, the refrigerator, the drinks cabinet, and the tool cabinet. I’m considering sending him out on assignment and charging a small fee.

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So, if you doubt that Marie Kondo has some magical powers, I can tell you that I think she might. She got my husband to do something that I haven’t been able to get him to do in three decades. And he likes it! Oh yeah, I’ve got gratitude alright, of course, if I’m not careful with it, Peter may very well tidy it right out of the house.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 557: tidying up the place

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Yup, I read it in South Beach. There was something about the warmth and idea of getting myself organized that was incredibly un-winterish. 

So, I gave in to the buzz about the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and actually read it while I was on vacation (I am fun like that). I am on a constant search for the ultimate answer to the question, “How can I be more organized?” So, I would pretty much read a book my dog wrote if I thought it would simplify my life and make my house look like Mary Poppins was at the helm.

I’ve gotten much better. I have. But organization does not swim around my gene pool. Just the opposite. Open any drawer in my parent’s house and you could find any number of things. An old license, a scribbled address on the back of an envelope, a key. We had a lovely house, and my mom always did a nice job of keeping it in order, but just under the surface were those drawers.

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Marie Kondo, a disciple of tidying since she was five.

Anyway, the KonMari method is interesting. Very interesting. Marie Kondo, who says she has been studying “tidying” since she was five (which is terribly frightening, if you ask me), basically claims that we have too much stuff. She says every house has enough storage space, but the people in it have many more things than they need. She says that nothing in your house should be there unless it brings you joy. And while that may sound a little kookoo, it’s also a smart way of approaching this issue, if you have hoarder tendencies, like me. This idea really made me consider what I live with and what I could and should live without.

The other piece of new information I took away from Miss Kondo is a way of organizing, that I’d never heard before, and I am going to try. She says we have too many places where one category live in our homes, and we should really only have one place for that category. So, when you are organizing, she urges you to take all of a category, say cleaning supplies, and put them all together, sift through them for what is a repeat (this woman is not a Costco girl, she does not like duplicates), and then store them all in one place, not multiple places. Now, this made some sense to me. And I am looking at my space differently because of it (I have 200 places where I store bathroom/costmetics/medicine/soap/etc. and I see how it would really help me know what I had, if it were all in one place).

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I’m not sure I could ever get pared down to this, but a girl can dream.

Anyway, it’s a little extreme, and I’m sure I could never totally KonMari my life, but I have to admit that this book, unlike so many others on my shelf (which are not bringing me joy) about organizing, made a lot of sense to me. Here’s to slimming down the stuff, and living with joy (although really, I’m not so sure that cleaning supplies will ever get me all that excited).