crazy konmari stuff

In an effort to put some pre-emptive brakes on the anxiety train that is sure rev up as soon as school starts, I've started to "konmari" my house.

Based on the book:  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the konmari approach virtually guartanees that I'll never have to really clean my house again.


But hey, I'm open to new ideas, so I'm giving it a shot.  The process starts by aggressively discarding stuff.

A lot of stuff.

O.K. most of your stuff.

Again, I am cool with this, because clutter stresses me out.

The whole trick to this konmari thing, is that you don't clean by room - you clean by category - which is brilliant - freaking brilliant. This is why: Whenever I tried to clean my closet before, I was completely forgetting about the clothes in the dresser and the laundry. Plus, I ended up reading old journals, flipping through pictures the kids had drawn, going through my first grade scrapbook, soon I was sucked into a vortex of nostalgia and it was never really clean.  

Fast forward to clothing day. I took every article of clothing I owned (The book says to pretend that whatever you don't bring to the purge you have to throw out if you find it - so I played by the rules and really dug for stuff.) I dumped all of it onto the living room floor. I picked up each piece and asked if it brought me joy, and if the answer was no - into the goodwill bag it went. After clothing day, I donated four huge hefty bags of clothing. FOUR BAGS - which is ironic, considering I always thought I had nothing to wear.  I did the same thing in Yoda's room, and even there I ended up with two large garbage bags to donate.

Bear in mind, I still saved things - baby clothes I'm saving for potential grandkids or college quilts - it's all still there, but the drawers have our favorite stuff inside - and that's all we need. Now they look like this:

Not that I'm saying this whole thing isn't without it's weirdness. The author suggests that the more grateful you are for your belongings, the better they will serve you. She says that you should thank each item before you return it to it's home.

That's not gonna happen.

I don't have time to thank the bag carrying my fries from the drive thru window to my car, let alone the 5 minutes it would take for me to meditate with my hoodie before hanging it up on the hook (on which I'm also supposed to bestow blessings). I wasn't crazy enough to subject my whole family to this - just Yoda and I, but one of the big kids saw the results and did show me a dresser full of properly folded clothes - so there's hope.

I've finished clothes, books, papers, toys - now I'm getting into the trickier stuff - kitchen, mementos, etc. Who knows how this will end up - but we have kept up the intricate clothes folding technique for a month, and so far so good. Now if we can just get the frog spawn, baby turtles, and small herd of caterpillars off the front stoop, our house might be clean.


Treats said…
I bought the book a few months ago and thought it was brilliant - until it freaked me out and is sitting in the basket in my office (under a pile of junk). Keep me posted.
j said…
So far - everything I've cleaned has stayed clean. We'll see how that pans out once fall kicks into gear. I also freaked out a bit when I realized I was supposed to praise my wallet and freaking EMPTY it every day so it wouldn't get exhausted or feel unappreciated.