I finally finished the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Marie Kondo is crazy! I respect her, and she knows her tidying stuff, but I find myself unable to achieve her kind of perfection in tidying. There is somewhat of a cult-like following of her method, and I can totally see why. Maybe if I lived in a different universe, I would be in on it too. But here are my reasons why I cannot employ the KonMari method of tidying.
- Anxiety. What is this “spark of joy” she talks about? To start tidying, I picked up a fairly easy shirt that I loved. I did feel some joy. But after that, with each additional piece of clothing, I started just feeling anxiety. What if the next shirt I pick up doesn’t spark joy, and I have to get rid of it? What if I really like that shirt? For those of us with mood problems that are heavy overriders of other emotions, something as ethereal as a spark of joy may be hard to come by.
- Money. I feel like you have to be decently well off to have the luxury to simply abandon clothing based on the amount of joy it gives you without a shred of worry. Or maybe this brings me back to #1. Anyway. I have a set of clothes that I use for interviews. Frankly, I don’t think any of those clothes will spark joy. They are boring and blah, but they are professional. Currently, I am not working in a professional field, but I can’t afford to get rid of them to buy new ones that do spark joy when interview time comes around. The same goes for fine merino wool sweaters that are in bright colors which I bought using points. I probably will never wear them without a jacket over them, but I can’t imagine tossing it away and having to buy a new wool sweater when I go to a colder climate. Mom always said I had expensive tastes. The items I wanted always ended up being the more expensive ones, even when I did not know the price ahead of time. If I judged everything by whether it sparked joy or not, seriously, I would be spending too much. Happiness here cannot be the measurement for everything. Throughout the book, Marie makes the argument that if you end up needing something later, you can always buy it. I suppose if you’re free from care about the past or future, then you wouldn’t worry about whether or not you’d even be able to later. I get it, but I can’t totally embrace it.
- Sensitivity to soft materials. Marie Kondo’s method is all about handling the clothes. I am, however, predisposed to soft fabrics. I love the feel of anything soft, and my roommates will tell you about how I used to carry my pajamas up to my face as I went to shower for the night. My pajamas include an oversized Google shirt and gym shorts. Marie Kondo suggests “If you are a woman, wear something feminine and elegant as nightwear. The worst thing you can do is to wear a sloppy sweat suit. If sweat pants are your every day attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact on your self image.” But I love soft fabrics, and sweat suits are generally softer than feminine and elegant things. And cheaper (See #2.) OK, this is definitely taking her out of context, as her point is really that we shouldn’t downgrade clothes that do not spark joy into loungewear. I’ll give her that.
So there you have it. I feel like this method is kind of an all or nothing method, so it’s stressing me out a bit. I’m going through my clothes, and we’ll see how I do. Maybe instead of looking for the spark of joy, I’ll just have to use other tidying methods. I was looking forward to the book, based on the reviews, but seriously? Tidying is not the purpose of my life. Marie Kondo, and I say this with as much respect and admiration as I can possibly convey, is, crazy. You’re pretty awesome. I think I will leave the awesomeness to you.
OK, closet partially tackled. I have to admit, I’m surprised by the sheer volume of clothing I stuffed into drawers, never to be seen again. Maybe there’s something to this, after all. But STILL. I will provide myself with exceptions.