Friday, May 1, 2015

KonMari- Identify the Problem 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingFor my birthday, one of the things that Kevin got me was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō. He'd seen some good reviews online and he knew that I had a fascination with organizing and decluttering.

Some of the books I'd already read about organizing and decluttering included: Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Doland, One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good by Regina Leeds, The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. I'd also read many magazine and online articles. But I still had way too much stuff, and nothing felt more organized.

Almost immediately Kevin noticed I was really enthused by the book. He noted that I was talking about the author Marie Kondo nonstop, and that I appeared to have converted to some "KonMari method" cult. Well, you guys, I've seen the light.

The basic premise is that modern people simply own too much stuff, and that this is the result of not being able to get rid of stuff that has been accumulated, and therefore not being able to put it all away. 

Too Much Clothing!
Trying to figure out how to organize and reduce my clothing in 2007.

That part seems obvious, right? It is, but let me highlight how this very obvious point is constantly ignored. For example, have you ever seen the HGTV show "Love It or List It"? The premise is that there are people living in homes which no longer suit their needs and a designer will fix the home to give them more storage space and make more room, and simultaneously a real estate agent will show them homes which are usually bigger and "better." At the end they decide whether to stay in their newly renovated home or move to a bigger place. There are lots of complaints about small closets. Watching the show after applying the KonMari method to my stuff makes me feel like the show should be renamed "Hoarders: Inception."

There are a lot of reasons that people have trouble getting rid of stuff, but one very common reason is that people feel a lot of guilt when they try to get rid of stuff, either because it's a waste of money or because someone gave it to you. This actually makes no sense when you think about it because:
  1. you end up buying more storage items
  2. you can't find items when you need them
  3. sometimes you forget you already own something and buy it again
  4. you're probably keeping a lot of stuff you will never need (like gifts)
  5. you spend a lot of time cleaning, organizing, finding, and choosing the items
  6. probably your gifts are so buried no one will see that you have them anyway
  7. these "gifts" make you unhappy which is presumably is the opposite of what the gifter intended
I will be writing a number of posts about applying the KonMari method to my home. Right in time for some late spring cleaning! I love it so much. Of course, some of you don't have this organizing problem at all. If so, you might want to skip the posts I label KonMari.

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