Lets jump on the Marie Kondo bandwagon shall we? Now I know most of you heard of her before the Netflix series took centre stage, but I, my friends, had not. Despite her sailing into our lives in 2014 with her book detailing the KonMari method of de-cluttering, in other words retaining only what “sparks joy”, my order conscious self missed her inspirational overhaul of life. I do love a good reshuffle and I appreciate the motherload of organisation but I must admit, her method of living and loving is not as easy as it looks.
The start of the year is my usual season for taking out the clutter. Last year I got a skip and ended up needing a second and never got around to it. This year, I’m thinking I may need a new house instead. I may very well be a lost cause when it comes to decluttering, no matter how much I love the prospect of minimalism and the functionality of order.
When Marie Kondo popped up on the Trending list on Netflix, I felt an unequivocal need to watch and learn. But it wasn’t for me as much as I wanted it to be. I’m sure so many of us feel a slight panic at investing only in what sparks that little bit of love in you. Sentimentality be damned. What sparks joy in me, is usually order and tidiness. But that order never lasts so discarding of items that no longer sparks joy is hit and miss with me. I would be happier to find more room in my closet but would probably regret tossing the cardigan that is probably ten years old and sees the light of day maybe once a year. You don’t know when something might come back into fashion. And I hardly have the funds to stay on top of every fashion trend so hold on and hold on and hold on, just in case. I have shoes I haven’t worn, jumpers that have shrunk, underwear that is older than my kids. Books that have not been read, CD’s that are scratched and skip when played but still play my favourite songs. Surely that’s worth keeping?
Besides that, I quite like the “just in case” method over the “sparking joy” method. “Just in case” is also another term for the “What if” method which I think we can all relate to. Holding an item in front of me and asking, “does this spark joy” usually ends up with, “no, but what if?”
There is so much junk in our house that a man with a van would not be enough. A skip would be overloaded and rejected. A removals guy would laugh at us for the amount of unwanted, unloved, unnecessary items we have and ask why we still had encylopaedias from the 70s. And yet we still have them. The skip has not been ordered this year even though I am desperate to Kondo my life and dump the clutter.
After Christmas, I overhauled the kids toys. Overhauled them into boxes. A “to be dumped” box and a “to be donated” box. They both sit in the attic waiting for me to take action. I need Kondo to walk me through it and maybe physically force me to dump it all. But “what if” runs around my mind.
What if the kids look for that one toy they haven’t played with or thought about in years?
What if I regret throwing away that toy of significant sentimental value?
What if they have babies in twenty five years and I need toys for when they come visit?
And its not only the bedlam of their playroom that remains Un-Kondofied (It’s a term I’m sure will catch on quick enough). Every single drawer in our kitchen has many unwanted, unloved, unnecessary items. In one way, I’m afraid to KonMari the whole house, otherwise the roof over my head would disappear. I’d have to start afresh because lord knows, 12 years of marriage and 2 kids has garnered far too much clutter in my life. We gather and gather and gather until the sides begin to split at the seams.
Now, if I could Kondo my mind that would be a revelation!