I [don’t] love mess

Over the past few weeks there has been a name floating in the air.  That name is often heard in the form of a verb, and always accompanied by a low key haughty sense of self accomplishment.  The name I speak of is no other than Marie Kondo.  Her methods have seemed to reach cult status.  Tidying as the new religious experience.  In place of church, a Pinterest board for KonMari method folding techniques.  If de-cluttering is next to godliness, what does that make the bulk of us?  Surely, I am something demonic, because I can tell you one thing—God certainly did not bless this mess.


Jokes aside, I decided to do a little research into the cult of de-cluttering.  I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.  Once I realized that Netflix had recently released a Kondo-centric series, all of the buzz made perfect sense.  The series, Tidying Up, is based on Marie Kondo’s KonMari method, which takes an emotional approach to appraising one’s  material goods, and a mastering of organizational techniques to sort them.  The all-important mantra being, “does it spark joy?” Any object that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling can stay, anything that sparks something less than joy can go in a box to the left.  Seems simple enough.  I decided to give it a try...


I am not a band wagoner.  This was for science.  Lucky for the experiment, my closet was a nightmare.  The KonMari method can be applied to more than just clothing, but for the purpose of this article, I limited it to the closet.  Also, I don’t think I have it in me to go through every single one of my possessions and decide whether or not it sparks joy in me.  There’s just not enough time in the day or wine in the kitchen.  


I thought I would ease into the process by starting with my pajamas and farting-around-the-house clothes.  I have far more of them than I should have.  I know this.  It’s just nice to be able to randomly grab a tank top and some sweat pants off the shelf whenever I want and not have to worry about my only pair being in the dirty laundry.  A comfortable pair of sweat pants is forever, right?  I mean, you don’t just get rid of things because you have an abundance, do you?  Hmmm, maybe this is why I own clothes that are older than my coworkers.  Not because they’re vintage, but because I bought them at Wet Seal in the early aughts.  Yikes.  I was able to junk some older and less comfy tops and maxi dresses.  Don’t worry, my Juicy Couture era velvet sweats remain on my shelf.  Those things definitely spark joy and comfort in my life, and they’re holding up remarkably well given they are well over a decade old.  With the jammies relatively in check, I moved on to the actual closet.


It is especially hard to go through the garments in the closet.  This is due in part to  the fact that the closet also serves as a long term storage space for event wear, like gowns and sequined dresses that are a little more extra than my regular fare.  I try to keep these pieces in plastic or garment bags to separate them from the pack.  The bags also make it easier to forcefully shove them back into the recesses of the limited closet space.  Somewhere in there, I still have my prom dress, which cost far too much money to have only worn it once.  I do plan on knocking the dust off it and wearing it again, perhaps for New Year’s or something fun like that.  The problem with a lot of my clothing is that it also fits the sentimental object category.  A lot of emotion and history are linked to the things I own.  Tangible objects make me feel safer and comforted by just by having them.  I’m just not well adjusted enough to let things go.  I know I’m not alone in this, but thankfully the person with whom  I share a living space is of the opposite wiring.  Which is great, because if we were both hoarders, I’d be writing this from under a towering pile of crap, moments away from being crushed to death by the weight of a million old magazines ::actively dumps a stack of old Vogues into the trash:: ahem.


I was able to extract a small amount of dresses and tops that I liked, but just don’t spark joy anymore.  I took the clothing into the living room to ready it for a consignment drop off.  Looking around for a bag to transport said objects, I set them down on a paper bag.  Realizing this would be a good bag for my goodies, I moved my things and peeked inside.  Much to my surprise I found, already nesting inside, a group of things from the last time I swept my closet.  After blinking hard and closing my eyes in disbelief for a moment, I added the new clothing to the bag.  Note to self: it might be a good idea to go ahead to apply the KonMari method to the rest of the house.






Sarah Seals