Have you ever experienced a euphoric moment right after you’ve finished cleaning the house? You know, that moment when you finally sit down on the couch, curl your feet up and just revel in the fact that you house is spotless? You don’t feel guilty about relaxing because now your home is clean – in fact, you feel as though you’ve de-cluttered mentally as well! I’ve definitely felt this – but I’ve always experienced another moment a few days later … a moment of taking a look at the same house that was spotless only to find that clothes aren’t where they should be, dishes having been put away, there’s smudge marks on the table, and where the heck did I put my earbuds!? If we haven’t experienced the former, then I’m pretty sure we’ve all at least experienced the latter!
In her book, Marie Kondo takes her readers through the blissfulness of the Japanese style of de-cluttering – why you should do it, how you can do it, and how to maintain it so that you’re not finding yourself in the same mess (no pun intended) days or weeks after.
I “read” this through an audiobook and I admit that I was very skeptical about spending time with this book. I mean, am I really going to listen to someone teach me the “art” of tidying up – is there even such a thing? I must admit, some of the things that she says in her book actually make sense. I resonated with her explanation of sentimental items and how there are some things we just can’t get rid of. We either hang on to them or tell those we love (in my case my mom or my grandma) that I’m thinking of getting rid of somethings and if they wanted it. Out of guilt, they’ll often say “sure, why don’t you bring them over” and lo and behold, the clutter goes from my home into theirs! Marie talks about the ‘Konmari’ method of cleaning and I have to admit, she makes sense and I have adopted some of what I learned – like her folding techniques! All of a sudden I can clearly see what I wear and don’t wear, what I need and probably more importantly what I don’t need. Points to her for making the process of de-cluttering seem a little less daunting.
All was going well until I got to the last quarter of the book where she insisted that we treat our things with respect. This included (but was not limited to) thank each item we used that day (ie. while taking off her earrings, she thanks them for their role in her day … whatever that means, or while taking off her jacket, she’d thank it for keeping her warm, etc). I understand the rage of being mindful and thankful and just taking a moment to appreciate the things around you and their function, but I did find myself rolling my eyes a heck of a lot when I got to this part.
Overall, there were some practical and easily implementable ideas to making your space feel less cluttered and change your mindset on what to keep and what you can safely get rid of but the end was what killed it for me.