I am a purger.
It brings me great pleasure to get rid of things. I love the idea of minimalism and keeping only what is utilitarian. Twice a year I go through our clothes, toys, bullshit papers left on the bar, the junk drawer, the garage and every other nook and cranny to get rid of shit. I’ve always heard that if you haven’t used or worn the item in a year, you should sell it, donate it or trash it and believe me, I’m on board with my hair in a ponytail and my Glad bags in hand.
Enter: The KonMari Method.
Marie Kondo, an angelic looking Japanese organizing professional introduced us to the KonMari Method in her how-to books The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. [God, even the names of her books are exhausting!] And immediately, I was into it. Based on the description alone, I was crushing hardcore and was ready to grab my book and box of garbage bags to “declutter” and change my life.
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The method is the new(ish) way to organize and declutter your clusterfuck of a life.
But seriously? Is this bitch nuts?
Everything is centered around the idea of joy. But joy can’t be bad, you say. What’s wrong with JOY?
First, you’re supposed to take all of your shit and throw it in a big pile in the middle of the floor. Or in my case – the floor, the bed, the dresser, my two nightstands and the closet floor until I cried over the mess. If you haven’t felt overwhelmed today, I suggest dumping all of your shit out on the floor.
Next, you’re supposed to hold each piece of clothing, feel it and determine whether it brings you joy or not. Well, fuck. Nothing I own brings me joy except the same load of fucking laundry I wash and wear every four days. These pants that are two sizes too small but were never worn? No joy. This shirt from when I was in my “beads and bling” phase? Nope, no joy. Underwear with all of the holes in the crotch? I. FEEL. JOYLESS. Sure, those things are easy to get rid of.
And I was on a roll. Trashing things, throwing them across the room and seeing them dance into garbage bags like little Japanese ballerinas to my organizing and decluttering music – Aimee Mann, natch.
So you feel for joy and toss everything that makes you feel mediocre. That sounds great until you realize you have literally thousands of dollars of clothing in the donate pile and two pair of jeans, four t-shirts and one black blazer in your Joyful Keep pile. And wait – no underwear. And certainly no bras. Those fuckers don’t bring anyone joy.
So once you have your one drawerful of clothing left, you have to fold it using the KonMari Method. That is, you are supposed to “feel the piece of clothing with your hands and communicate affection and gratitude through your palms.”
I’m sorry – What? I don’t even do that with people and I’m supposed to thank my ratty old t-shirt?
Thank you, old Hanes black t-shirt, for always being there for me when I wanted to put on my eatin’ clothes and hole up on the couch. I appreciate you always matching jeans and for never prematurely giving up on life and growing a hole in the armpit like so many of my other, less loyal clothing.
And while folding them into these tiny little thirds of standing cloth origami or “packets,” your clothing will feel loved and appreciated and, I don’t know, last longer? Unless, of course, you’re not a size zero like little Kondo and your clothes end up like big balls of tent you’ve thrown into your dresser. Then they just feel shitty.
And yep, you use it for everything – bras and underwear included. My bras will not fold into thirds! My cups are bigger than the entire shirt she’s folded on the instructional video. What do I do, KonMari? There’s even a method for folding your socks but fuck socks because who gets joy from socks?
So thanks to Marie Kondo I have no bras or underwear and enough clothing to last about four days. But I’m feelin’ the decluttered joy. Hey, do you think she’s in cahoots with the garment industry?