Everybody’s Tidying

I am the first to admit that more often than not, I am late to the party.  When it comes to music, fashion, or any other trend, I tend to forgo getting involved until the trend dies down.  It is for precisely that reason that I never read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, upon starting my minimalism journey.  But, as we all know, the Marie Kondo trend never died down.  In fact, it has become stronger than ever with the appearance of her Netflix show.

I’ve never seen the show.

I don’t have NetFlix.  My family and I downsized our television services to Hulu and Amazon Prime some time ago.  It is important that before you read any further you understand that everything I am writing is based on my reading of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Trendy as it is, I did finally read the book.  I got it from the library and dove in waiting for something wonderful to jump out of the pages.  After all, everybody’s tidying now.  It’s on Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and YouTube – all over the internet!  Everybody who is anybody seems to be jumping onboard with the KonMari method.  Surely I would do the same, right?

 

 

Wrong.

I am clearly in the minority.

I don’t think anything Marie Kondo offers is revolutionary.  In fact, many of her ideas for organizing are things I have been doing for years that I didn’t even know were credited these days to her.  Like that store bags in bags thing – I’ve been doing that since I was a teenager.  It’s common sense.

The fact is, decluttering and organizing are nothing new to anyone – and just because it gets put in a book doesn’t make it magical.  Yet, for many people, because it gets a fancy title (the KonMari Method), they will try it out and fall in love.  After all, everybody else is doing it.

Yes, I know I sound so negative.  But really… I’m just not impressed.

 

Spark Joy

 

The entire concept of holding an object and seeing if it sparks joy is something many people do.  We pick something up, ask if it makes us happy, and if not we toss it.

I do this with my things.

I have my kids do it with theirs.

“Does it bring you joy?” is a common question I ask in my house.  Not because Kondo says to, but because it is common sense.  If you don’t find happiness in something, you don’t need it.  And I didn’t need a book to tell me that.  Most people don’t.

 

Declutter by Category

 

Marie Kondo says we should declutter by category.  All clothes at once, all books at once, all this or that at once – not room by room.

No surprise here, friends, but I disagree.

I do not think you should gather every single like item together and place it out on the floor to hold each one and question if it sparks joy.

Yes, I can see where for some people this would work.  For some.

But unlike Marie Kondo, I actually do believe that different people need different methods.  You see, she believes her way is best and good for all involved.  I believe her way would produce a panic attack in me so large that my husband would end up taking me to the emergency room.

I’m a declutter room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer, bin by bin person.  Sections.  I’m all about sections.

 

Give Thanks

 

My next qualm with Marie Kondo is one that is directly related to my Christian faith.  If you don’t share in my faith, you will probably think I am nuts.  That’s ok.

Personification of inanimate objects, thanking them for serving you or getting you through the day or giving you whatever you needed to survive life… this is placing power on material objects.  For Kondo, this is directly related to her Shinto religion.  That’s her faith.

For me, it gives gratitude to something that did nothing.  It is akin to idol worship, and I will not do it.

I will not bow in a house, I will not greet it, I will not ask objects to help me, I will not thank objects for helping or serving me, I will not seek assistance or acceptance from anything of the sort, and I certainly will not set up a personal shrine anywhere.

If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book and find it hard to swallow what I am saying, well, go read it for yourself.  Kondo is not shy about telling where these beliefs come from.  It is a direct result of her worshipping at Shinto shrines.

No thank you.

 

Folding

 

And last, but not least, I get to her now world famous folding method.

Does it look pretty?  Yes.

Is it organized?  Yes.

Will I use it?  No.

I don’t own a dresser.  My closet has box shelves on the side and that is where all of my foldable items go.  Folding them with the KonMari method would require me to go buy some sort of storage bin to put in the box shelves and pull out when I want something.  I find that annoying.

But do I think it would work if I had a dresser?  Yes.  However, I wouldn’t use it.

I like folding things flat.  My kids have dressers and I fold their clothes flat.  It works for my organizing style.  But… and this is important to note… we don’t own tons of clothes.  None of us in this family do.

 

Other Organization

 

I really would like to say that I was impressed by the KonMari Method.  After all, then I could be trendy.  But I can’t.  While she does offer great tips for organization, none of them are new to me.  Her storage methods are simply that – storage.  Using shoe boxes and clear bins, placing items upright, disposing of unnecessary papers… all of this stuff is fairly basic to anyone who has managed a household.

I guess what it comes down to is that some people need to have it said by another before they take action.  Some people need to name what they are doing.  And if that is you, that is ok.  I’m not trying to diminish the value here, I’m just saying that it’s not for me.

In conclusion, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up does not spark joy for me.  I’m glad I got it from the library where I can promptly return it.

7 thoughts on “Everybody’s Tidying

  1. I’m usually late to trends too. I did read the book, but I’m not prepared to pull EVERY single item out to go through. I did implement the shorts folding in my dresser because it makes them easier to find for me, but I hang up the majority of my clothes, so it affected very little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday, I was telling my mom about how Kondo says to pull everything out. She had the most horrified look on her face and said, “I don’t think so!” It made me laugh, but it also made me think that there are a great many of us out there who take issue with that idea.

      My husband is a clothes hanger person. He likes to see everything that way. He’s a visual organizer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you finally read the book! Hooray!

    I do find it interesting that it’s not your cup of tea. It makes me think there is so much more to minimalism, so many layers and different interpretations for each person.

    I find your comment on personification of inanimate objects really intriguing. I had truly never looked at it that way.
    I went to a Christian school but we only learnt the basics – otherwise I’m pretty clueless of the faith, even though I live in a predominately Christian country.
    You’ve made me remember that isn’t worshiping false idols a sin? I wonder how this can be connected with other modern activities.

    I’m not religious myself but I find your links between philosophies like minimalism and religious teachings really insightful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly how I feel about minimalism – it’s unique to each person, each journey, each lifestyle…

      To answer your question, yes, worshipping false idols is a sin. And it can be items in your house, other people, social media, news stations, money, food, etc… Anything that shifts focus off God, anything that places importance above God, anything that we give power to when all power and glory should rightfully be given to God – all are idols. I try in my life to be very mindful of what I give power to. In the past, food and social media have become idols for me. I’ve worked hard to change that, and in our current society it is definitely difficult.

      I find that when it comes to minimalism, I really have to interject my religious beliefs. If I don’t, I run the risk of minimalism becoming an idol.

      Despite your not being particularly religious, it encourages me to hear that you enjoy reading my take on it. Thank you. 😊

      Like

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