I am not Marie Kondo.
I could be Marie Kondo.
Nah, just kidding.
I will never be Marie Kondo.
For one, she seems to be everything that is quiet and calm and zen, and – though I am very capable of being quiet and spending days doing it – my head is not remotely zen. It is never zen. I am now worrying about how quiet and zen my head is not, and… huh… also wondering why I overlooked the Santa hat on my flying desk pig when I put my Christmas stuff away and maybe I should take a photo of it for you and…. well, you get the idea).
Also, here’s the dang photo of the Santa’d flying pig (I’ll never finish writing if I don’t put it here):
The second reason I will never be Marie Kondo is that I am five foot ten. Marie Kondo is only slightly taller than my dish sponge (and not nearly as wide).
I am telling you, this woman is seriously capable of being organized.
Did you notice that I did not say, ‘This woman is seriously organized’? Well I did that on purpose because I am being cynical and I like to imagine Marie Kondo as being very good at telling me how to organize myself whilst she is secretly a compulsive hoarder.
Yes, that makes me feel better about myself.
Because do you see that photo up top? Well, that is my junk drawer.
Ha! I’m just kidding.
That’s one of my junk drawers.
And it is only there… heck, I only even opened it and looked at it because frappin’ Netflix decided to feature a series on Marie Kondo’s organizational strategies this month. And, yes, I happened to click on it in a fleeting organizational strategy-related delusion of grandeur.
For those of you who are now shouting, “Jesus Chr*st Lisa, WHO IS MARIE KONDO?!”, first allow me to remove the rock you have been living under. Second, Marie Kondo is the best-selling author of that Japanese-style organization book called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Did you catch that?
Being a manipulative marketing genius, Marie Kondo stuck ‘art’ right before the words ‘decluttering’ and ‘organizing’.
As if those soul-crushing chores were actually ‘fun activities’, like finger painting or decoupage.
News flash: They are not.
I know this because, though I did not follow Marie’s specific method of tidying up my house, I was indeed inspired to… well… tidy up my house.
Mostly this was because I am best friends with Procrastination and, together, we decided that I was not going to, A) Work on pages due to an editor at the end of the month, B) Plan the expansion of the blog and my writing work, and C) Nurture a nascent book idea into an outline.
Anyway, my oppositional reflex was firmly at the helm as I decided exactly how I would tidy, and I found that my brain (and arms and hands and knees and stuff) were adamantly against using Marie’s method. And I think you will understand why when I tell you that…
She first greets a house by kneeling silently, ending with a gentle sweep of her hands in a semi-circle on a very clean floor. This is odd because it is clear that each person or family she helps falls somewhere along the compulsive hoarding spectrum (just like Marie), and yet they all have astonishingly clean floors.
We – my arms and hands and knees and stuff – did not greet The Inn in this manner, as our own floors are carpeted in dog hair which sticks to us, and then self replenishes.
She, Marie Kondo, puts categories of stuff in piles and then lightly taps them to ‘wake them up’ before embarking on tidying.
We just opened up a random drawer or cabinet or pantry or closet and shame the contents for their indiscriminate reproductive behaviors. Hangers, books, clothing, shoes, ball point pens? Trollops. Every single one.
Marie then picks each item up and decides whether it ‘sparks joy’. She says that it is the same feeling you get when you hold a puppy (one that holds enough electrical current to spark you). If not, Marie then thanks the item for its service to her to before donating it or giving it away.
We picked up our clothes and asked them if they still fit. I don’t feel comfortable sharing what happened when they are too small, but suffice to say that – if they were indeed puppies – the Maine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would be at the side gate along with Clarice Starling and probably the Dragnet guy.
There are other activities that Marie Kondo is fond of, and they carry far less likelihood of jail time, such as storage and folding. I won’t go into them, mostly because I didn’t do them, but I will say that the folding thing is supposed to result in your shirts and pants and underwear being able to stand on their sides in your drawers. Kind of a cross between origami and yoga, but even more frustrating.
So, again, I was inspired to tidy up (if not exactly in the Marie Kondo way). And, for the better part of two days, I opened drawers and doors and emptied and sorted and organized their contents.
I cleared out the space around me and I found that I was feeling pretty good about it. As if I could think without distraction…
Like, breathe a little bit easier.
It feels like the energy in The Inn is positively charged, but also calm.
I feel like I’m ready to take on those procrastinated tasks with a newfound energy that feels something like…
Oh you have got to be kidding me.
It feels like joy.
Nope, it really does.
Marie Kondo is little and way to zen and also diabolical… but she might be onto something.
This is going to take a while.
I have to go hold each of my bazillion long sleeve tees to see if they spark joy.
And also pray they don’t electrocute me.
Thanks for readin’.
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