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Community, Motivational

Marie Kondo – Because of you

Geraniums

Dear Marie,

My husband, (aka MOTH), is not happy.

Because of you, our house will never be the same.

Because of you, my house is tidier.

But the MOTH – The ‘Man About the House’ – is frustrated!

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, it may be that you don’t have a TV set or haven’t stepped inside a bookshop, of late. Marie Kondo, a Japanese lady, advocates the Kon-Mari method of Organization. Through her TV show and book titled, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying,” Marie has brought a new wave of organizational and tidying techniques to the world.

Marie’s particular brand of household magic involves a range of vertical storage solutions, lots of folding strategies, and sorting one’s possessions into certain categories. The central tenet behind her de-cluttering techniques is to hold each item in turn, to one’s heart, whilst asking yourself the question, “Does this item spark joy in me? ” If the answer is yes, the item is kept; if the answer is no – the item is gratefully thanked for its job in one’s life, and then promptly ditched.

Gympie shopping

I began to read Marie’s book and then this happened –

The process of sorting and folding begins

Like a thrift shop’s sorting table, this was a scene from my house shortly after I started to read Marie’s book.

Around about that time my husband started to “lose” things.

I was reading Marie’s book and he was uttering a variety of indignant lamentations.

“Where is that hard drive I left on the desk,” he demanded, as I perused Chapter 3. Midway through reading Chapter 5, he asked me, “..Those batteries I had beside the TV, what’s happened to them?” By the closing chapter of Marie’s book, the crescendo of laments had reached a point of desperation, “Just where ARE my shoes?” he cried.

(They’d been moved to their new ‘spot,’ of course, at the bottom of his wardrobe).

I have to say Marie: – Because of you, papers are now never left to pile up on desks; shoes are regularly moved from under beds and chairs, and miscellaneous items are no longer stored, “to hand”, as a visual reminder.

But the MOTH cannot find anything because it is packed away neatly in cupboards and drawers, in places he never looks! So, he is definitely not happy with Marie.

bird-talk-yell

Marie is also to blame for the careful rolling and folding of every piece of clothing I own. She’s responsible for the discarding of lots of my unused “stuff.” It is also, though, her fault for my having increased capacity in storage cupboards; a strong ability to locate those less frequently used items faster, and even to blame for me being capable of selecting coordinates in a blink of the eye.

marimekko shop helsinki

For Marie is right.

A lot of that “stuff,” we accumulate over time, sits at the back of storage cupboards, and will most likely never be worn, or used.

Then there’s that feeling of guilt I no longer have for buying extra clothes, or purchasing things I won’t always use. Prior to reading Marie’s book, I used to admonish my daughter for throwing out so many new-ish clothes and goods, in so short a time after their purchase, thinking her a wee bit wasteful.

Up-cycling a T shirt into a plaited belt

I am was a big up-cycling and recycling advocate, who could always find another use for any item. To throw out clothes that might be re-fashioned was akin to sacrilege.

But Marie believes that tidying and de-cluttering is a way of taking stock and finding out what we really do like. And Marie’s advice is spot on when she stated many of those so called ‘rescued and re-fashioned items would simply accumulate in storage, only to be thrown out years later, without ever being up-cycled.

Well, I did recycle a few items from my stash, but probably much less than half, I have to admit.

Where am I

Where does this feeling of wanting to buy and keep material goods come from?

After spending a lifetime tidying and honing tidying into a fully fledged international business, Marie has an explanation for this behaviour. Marie says:-

We amass material things for the same reason we eat – to satisfy a craving. She insists that through tidying and de-cluttering, people come to know contentment.

A new way forward for my things

Marie’s method is a way of respecting and organizing our possessions, caring for them and appreciating what we have and what we choose to keep. By employing the Kon-Mari method, Marie frees us from the burden of accumulating more and more ‘stuff,’ and in this way, tidying becomes a a life-changing experience.

And what happens to the MOTH’s shoes now that I have finished the book?

They are still placed neatly under the chair, each evening.

I guess Marie should address MOTHS in her next book.

Something to Ponder About


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78 thoughts on “Marie Kondo – Because of you”

  1. Ι have seen in Netflix all the series of her and I’ve dumped half the things from home … but I have not gotten to the clothes while I had to start from them first … lol!!
    I really appreciate her method about organizing the things in our houses!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to do this!! The first thing i have done (and the most difficult for me and for Marie) was the small things that we keep us our memories ….

        As i managed this i will manage to do the same with my clothes that i keep since i was teenager lol!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Efi! It sounds like you have a huge job on your hands. But think of all the good those clothes could be for someone else. The sentimental items, I also found were the very hardest to toss, so you are doing very well.

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  2. Ha – I’ve been thinking lately I need to do a de-clutter. I saw Marie Kondo’s method of folding clothes a few years ago, but things have been becoming a little more hap-hazard lately. I’m off now to do a clothes sort Amanda, will let you know how I get on in few hours. And yes, a book is DEFINITELY NEEDED FOR THE MEN ABOUT THE HOUSE!

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      1. All sorted, my clothes and shoes, and Pauls clothes. Mine were easy as I sort reasonably often, but I did a more meaningful cull this time. Results from mine was quite a big bag of stuff for the bin, and an even bigger bag of stuff for the charity shop. Paul’s – well that wasn’t so easy, especially when I piled all his clothes on the bed. All resorted now and tidy in the wardrobe and drawers, and small pile for the bin, and charity shop. Small steps…. He’s very huffy though, even though nothing went out that he showed even a hint of doubt over. He’s a shocking hoarder, which has always been a bone of contention between us. He definitely inherited the post depression, ‘it might come in handy one day’ attitude from his parents.

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      2. Great to hear that you were able to create some more space and feel less burdened by the hoarding tendency of hubby. I wonder what his ‘shed’/garage workshop is like? That depression era mentality lasts forever, it seems. My parents are like that, especially my father who fills the kettle in the laundry to save on hot water travelling though the pipes. It is true! Well done to you, Chris. How did you find sorting the sentimental items?

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      3. I’m not sentimental over many possessions. I keep photos, a couple of framed pictures, my collection of Father Christmas tree ornaments, and a collection and of jasper wedgewood. Most of the wedgewood is boxed and stored, and I don’t know if it’ll ever come back out to be displayed again. I wouldn’t like to ditch it though. As for Paul’s shed – not to messy, but far to much stuff in there for him to know where anything is. He regularly has to buy something knowing he has it stored in his shed somewhere. My argument with him is always if kept less stuff he’d be able to re-use more because he’d be able to keep it all organised. Falls on deaf ears though!

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      4. Marie really has a tough fight on her hands with the likes of Paul and his shed, Chris! And keep the jasper wedgewood in its box. It is more valuable there apparently. I had some of the royal blue and light blue wedgewood and tried to sell it without success in garage sales and on gumtree. Noone wants it anymore and yet it was prized so highly years ago. I love the sound of your Father Christmas ornaments. I have boxes of Christmas decorations, some I have purchased in Scandinavia, where they really know how to celebrate Christmas in a big way. I had to ditch some when we moved, but still have to decrease that stash somehow when we get into the new house. Until then, it is in storage out of sight, out of mind!

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      5. I know the feeling about trying to sell the Wedgewood, not that ever tried to. I would probably be able to when it comes back into vogue, but that’s when it’ll probably come back out onto display.

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    1. It did help me to de-clutter something I sorely needed after moving to a smaller place? I think the book is much better than the netflix series, Ineke. I could send you my copy, if you can’t get it at your local library/shop.

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      1. Wow I would love it if you could send it. The library has it on a long waiting list. I’ll email my new address to you. I was digging in my quilt stuff and there is a lot I should get organised. I’m a hoarder when it comes to material and scrapbook things!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have recently discovered Marie’s tv show on netflix and after watching a few episodes I was inspired to get cracking on my own house! I am amazed by how good I feel after I’ve completed a task…and I am now folding and storing my clothes the Kon-Mari way and it’s so much easier to find stuff! I am going to check out the book, maybe that will spur me on to do more…I have piles of paperwork that need sorting out!!

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    1. The book is written in an easy conversational style so I would recommend it. I found it better than the series, but I only saw one show. I guess the show complements the book. The book gives more reasons and rationales for tidying I think. One of my work colleagues found it great for sorting paperwork.

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  4. I’m not 100% onboard with Marie and her ideas. I agree that you need to know why you keep what you keep, and I agree that if you don’t want something in your home then give it to charity, but I think that having some extra stuff around, just because, is comforting and practical. I grew up in a midwestern family whose de facto motto was: waste not, want not. Tossing things aside because they don’t spark joy in you seems frivolous to me. Just my take…

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    1. I know what you mean, and I struggled with that too. That is why I have still got some gear here. It seems very anti-environmentalist to me, however, if the goal is de-cluttering and minimalism, then I feel it works. If the goal is upcycling, and reusing, then it is wasteful. Apparently thrift shops are now throwing out ‘stuff’ themselves as they are becoming way over capacity with donations, since Marie’s show started airing on TV. It just goes to show how much excess we have, but better not to buy in the first place, than buy and throw out. Waste not, want not, indeed. That phrase is very familiar to me from my upbringing too, Ally. But then seeing my M-I-L who is a bit of a hoarder makes me shudder and assent to throwing away gear. We cannot possibly keep everything can we?

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      1. No kidding! I didn’t know that about thrift shops. Oh, I agree with you about not being a hoarder. That kind of creeps me out. But I don’t want to be spending money on something a few years down the road when I could just keep it now and use/repurpose it later. There’s a balance to be had when it comes to stuff, the tricky part is finding that balance.

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      2. ‘Finding a balance.’ That is true in many respects of life, and no less in this regard, Ally. I just made the comment to Pooja of an alternative option of collecting a bag of useful items you plan to toss out, and leaving it for, or giving it directly to a homeless member of society to do with as they will. Marie advocates throwing out all those samples of hand moisturizer, shampoo and body wash that the hotels give to guests, however, this is something that I occasionally do use so this was one area that I did not follow Marie’s advice. But now I think about it, the homeless would possibly find these more useful than me, especially if thrift shops are indeed overflowing (and it may have only been a problem here in Oz). The detrimental effect on the environment is another key concern for me. I don’t want to think about contributing to landfill needlessly, when I could re-purpose an item. That is whole other level of guilt.

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    1. The folding method is effective, isn’t it, MOSY? I am still surprised at how much more I can get into my very small underwear drawer. And I never thought I would ever fold socks, but it works! How did your MOTH react?

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      1. I’ve chosen to leave him alone. I do my own clothes and I’ve switched my boys over to the method (their cupboards needed sorting anyway) but the Husband is not easily converted to new ways of doing things so I’ll let him do his own thing, at least for now.

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      2. Probably best not to ruffle his feathers, based on my experience! Lol! It seems that Marie has really saturated the market based on the comments here. So the reports on the thrift shops are potentially true.

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  5. I have heard about this book for years now, just haven’t gotten around to buying it. I watched the first episode on her new series on Netflix, and she does have some great points. De-cluttering and organizing is so satisfying! I can’t think of a reason to not do it other than laziness, after all it makes life so much easier and on a deeper level teaches you about contentment. This weekend my agenda is to put an online listing of all clothes/shoes I no longer wear and try to sell them. I am so tired of gathering too many things. I think it’s a common problem in today’s world, especially in Western society.

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    1. It is almost shameful to have to admit we have too many things, Pooja. First world problems, hey? That was part of my rationale for throwing away things. I had to counter my ambivalence and concentrate on the benefits my stuff might be to others. if a charity shop is overwhelmed with stuff, I think a great idea would be to visit an area where homeless people reside and leave a bag of useful stuff – warm clothing, excess toiletries for them to make use of in any way they can. What do you think?

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  6. Read most of the book, but haven’t watched the Netflix series. When we did our remodel last year, we had to move almost all our stuff into the garage. We sorted, discarded, donated and boxed up things we weren’t sure about. It’s been almost a year since we did that, and haven’t missed many of the items (mostly books and kitchen stuff) we removed. We really like not having so many things and have been slow and deliberate in deciding what comes back into the house. Right now we’re deciding on putting our art work back on the walls and even with that we feel less is more! I love the mostly clear surfaces and space on the walls. It’s freeing!

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    1. This liberating feeling when one downsizes the amount of belonging we have, is surprising, but very welcome, Sabine. I never thought it would happen but I think the minimalists have won me over!! What are you going to do with the unwanted art works?

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      1. The art work is nothing fancy! Some we’ll rehang, others we’ll keep to maybe change it up sometime. I’m also letting one of our kids pick out some for his new apartment. I like the minimalist life too, but not to extreme!

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      2. Letting kids or friends choose something for themselves is a great way to re-distribute stuff. I would hate to think my kids have to deal with a large load of my possessions most of which they will ditch, after I have gone. I would like to reduce and get lighter and lighter in terms of possessions (and optimistically my weight too – LOL), as I age.

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      3. When we did our wills a number of years ago, we asked our kids if there were any specific items each of them wanted in case we’d ever fall out of the sky. We were surprised by their answers, as one really wants a set of wine glasses (dark blue with the moon and stars on them) and the other one wanted the patio swing (we sat on it as a family for many, many years). The rest of the stuff they could figure out themselves. Since we’ve moved so many times over the years we’ve always kept possessions under control, but even more so now. When my mother-in-law died my husband had to go clean out decades of stuff. We don’t want to do that to our kids, especially since they’re not necessarily interested in most of our things. Hopefully I can lighten up my weight as well, along with the rest! 😉

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      4. We are on the same wavelength here, Sabine. What a great idea asking the kids. I might do that too, next time we are all together. I don’t want to be leaving them stuff they don’t want, nor throwing out things they might indeed want. I already ask my daughter if she want this or that before I take it to the charity shops, and invariably the answer is no. I used to accept a lot of stuff my parent gave me, and some I would toss shortly afterwards, some I would store in the cupboard for years feeling guilty about throwing it out, and others I might use for a time. But these possessions are things someone else liked and chose, not mine. So of course, I don’t have any great attachment or, in the words of Marie – joy in or from them. It is more of a duty to the environment that I should make use of them and to my parents. I think reading Marie’s book has given me license to discontinue this behaviour. The weight is something I alone must deal with.

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      1. Yes – likewise for me and that is where the MOTH and I differ. He likes it to sit around- and I don’t. I might get him to watch it on Netflix…. it might have a small influence….

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  7. I have not read the book or watched the show but I think my kitchen cupboards definitely need to be some decluttering! We got rid of so much stuff when we moved around three years ago but its terrible how quickly it piles up again.

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    1. I know, right? What to do, but re-read a chapter in Marie’s book to get inspired to tackle that plastic/tupperware drawer. That is the worst part of kitchen equipment I think. And my MOTH can’t or won’t stack, so it is always a jumble. Do you have tupperware/plastic storage over your way?

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      1. Hahah yes I definitely have Tupperware/plastic storage. In fact, I was a Tupperware consultant in my 20s for a short while 😛 I still have some of the equipment from that time!

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  8. Hi, Amanda – I’ve been using Marie’s method for a long while now. One thing that helps is that we have a monthly Ladies’ Auction in our small time, where each participant brings up to ten items to rehome. Items are bid on — usually at a very low cost. At the end of a successful auction, I walk away with a bit of cash for me, a bit of cash going to charity, and ten less items in my home (those that I hesitate to dump in a charity box). But ad the end of a bad night, I’ve bought more than I’ve sold! 😦

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    1. That sounds like a great plan Donna, but I am afraid that I might be tempted to do the same as you. Buy more than I sell. That is very tempting. Do the other ladies have the same problem?

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  9. Hahah, such an enjoyable read, Amanda! So well written! I haven’t acquainted myself with Kon-Mari though I’ve obviously heard of it plenty of times. But I’m already a minimalist 😊 I keep nothing, I don’t collect. Even messages promptly get deleted on my phone and from my email, which I sometimes later regret!

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment on my post, Snow. Somehow no matter how much I proof read it, when I go back and look at it, I still find errors… Ugh! I can imagine you are a fully fledged Scandi minimalist, so Marie can’t teach you anything! I wonder if Marie has a program about deleting old photos and messages. Do you delete old photos too? I collect so many of them…. Happy Easter, enjoy the fun with the little ones.

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    1. Selling online is a fantastic idea Colonialist, and I have done that as well. I sold a bed and a TV in just under half an hour of listing it on Gumtree. Do you have Gumtree in SA?

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  10. As the saying goes, Amanda, “you are preaching to the choir” here. I read her book and didn’t like it at all. But then my son suggested I watch it on Netflix so my daughter and I did. As soon as she kneeled in the house to introduce herself to it, I was sold. To thank the house for its support and care made me realize she “got it”. We watched every episode and became more entranced. I wish there were more but they take time to make and she has young children that come first. Getting everyone ‘involved’ in the process like MOTHS, helps everyone keep up the momentum. No one wants someone else tossing their stuff or controlling it. I know I don’t but after I watch the show, we turned this place upside down and I’m still doing it. For different reasons, certainly. I love her intention for the tidying up. I’ve been away a week and have company (my son and his SO (significant other) are here to help). By the end of next week, I’ll try to catch up a bit. Maybe let all know the changes here too. You are doing a great job and let’s hope hubby gets to the point he loves it as much. There has to be a benefit for him in it. I’m so glad you liked her too. She really wants people to love what they have and care for it like it has feelings. Such an interesting way of looking at things. Thinking of you. M

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    1. It is a novel approach Marie has, Marlene. Ascribing emotions to inanimate objects sounded pretty far fetched to me at the start, and still to some extent does. But I interpret it in the way of taking care of one’s clothes and showing respect and that makes sense for me.
      Nice to hear that you have company over Easter and hope your health is holding up. Enjoy your time with family. Happy Easter from me.

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    1. Most of the item one considers ‘maybes’, Marie tells us should be ditched. Sometimes it is a sentimental attachment or a memory. Marie insists it should be a joyful feeling when one holds the item, not a half hearted one if you really want to de-clutter. I tended to run the gauntlet with these but don’t tell Marie that, Alejandro.

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  11. Hihihih.

    Well, how can I say this…

    I’m on MOTH’s side. 😀 (And what an excellent abbreviation!)

    But I’m also happy that you’re happy because this is the most important thing. Because I remember how happy I am when I do choose to declutter. Which happens every time I move. And I’ve moved three times so far. 😉

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    1. I was thinking on my walk this morning, that I should have said the MATH – Man about the house, or Man At the House bu that would confuse things. But I have seen MOTH elsewhere so I can’t claim that as my invention. I used to move quite a lot but haven’t ( as you know) for about 35 years! So it was sorely needed. And it is okay that you are with the MOTH/MATH because everyone is different. If that works for you and you are happy, then there is no problem. The clutter or should I say, things left lying around in arm’s reach makes me feel lazy when I see them. They are constantly talking to me saying – you should tidy this place up!! LOL! And yet, my desk at work has clutter all over it most of the time. Recently we were given a directive to store extra therapy toys and supplies ( of which we have heaps) in one box by our desks. That was torture for me. I found a way to keep a little bit extra! So whilst I can follow Marie, it is only to a point.

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