Most times when something hits the media big it instantly turns sour to me. It’s probably the rebel inside that doesn’t allow me to join the masses and rave about the popular subject or person. I can’t help it. I obviously know that just because something becomes popular it doesn’t mean it’s bad, most of time what happens is, I don’t identify with the majority in most things so I assume, that if they like it, I probably won’t.
Well, I heard about Marie Kondo a few years ago, when the book first came out. People talked about her but now with her show on Netflix, people can’t stop talking about her. After reading the book then I realized I didn’t agree with her, it wasn’t for me, but I just let it go. There are lots of organization books out there people. This is where my problem lies, people assume whatever is popular in the media is the best. People aren’t searching for other organizing methods and seeing what works best for them. If something is popular it means is the best, and so all the sheeps go. Sad.
Once the Netflix show came out I gave it a try, I love watching people organize. It’s my kind of fun. I used to organize my friends closets as teenagers all the time. I would actually beg them to let me to do it. I was never able to stand a mess. I even quit many jobs because I couldn’t handle how my bosses kept the place. It’s my number 1 source of stress, anxiety and anger. Messy spaces. By now you probably realize I don’t have much in common with most people. Anyway, I watched a couple episodes and it just brought back all the reasons why I don’t agree with Marie’s method for tidying up.
Don’t get me wrong, Marie seems to be lovely, a true example of a good human being, grateful for each item in life, that I think is a lesson we can all learn from her. Thanking your things for all they did to you, that is gratitude in its best, and we can all be more grateful. But here is where the problem with her method in opinion starts: If you keep something just because it brings you joy, you are not putting in consideration the item’s function. You can love a t-shirt you bought in college because it brings you amazing memories and joy. But it doesn’t fit you any longer. This t-shirt should be discarded in my opinion, at least to a memory box in your storage. That is problem number 1.
Problem number 2, folding doesn’t make you love a piece of clothing more. In my opinion is the opposite. Something we learn very fast in fashion design school, fabrics need to breathe. If you can hang your clothes, you should do that. All that crazy folding she wants you to do in my opinion is just crazy. It means you still have too many items in your closet and you just don’t have space to hang everything. You can probably get rid of more. You don’t need 20 t-shirts, even if they all bring you joy.
Problem number 3, you don’t need multiples. How many of the same item do we really need? 2, 3 max. You don’t need more than 1 pair of sunglasses (maybe 2 so you keep different styles), same with watches… keeping one of each item makes life a lot easier, you have a favorite anyway. Obviously all within reason, you need multiple pairs of socks for example. I trust that you understand me.
Problem number 4, aesthetic. I will always fight for beauty. It’s who I am. If something is comfortable and brings you joy like that pair of sweatpants you love but it has holes in it, it’s been worn a million times, it’s time to let it go.
Problem number 5, your space. The amount of things you have, need to be related to the amount of space you have. If you live in a studio but owning a library with 10,000 books makes you happy, you either need to let go of everything else or accept that you can’t keep all your books. It’s just that simple. People stuff their spaces, big or small, with so much, making their lives so full of clutter, I don’t know how most people breathe. Look around you and be honest.
Problem number 6, your bank account. Decluttering for most people is a hard process, but especially if you are on a budget. Be realistic. If you get rid of your current things, could you replace the ones you need with better ones? If not, wait until you can. Most of us don’t like the things we have but we can’t just go buying all new ones just for the sake of joy. Let’s be responsible first. That will bring you more joy in the long run.
Problem number 7, your environment. If bikinis bring you joy because beaches make you happy but you live in NYC, getting rid of all your warm gear and keeping the bikinis isn’t logical. Keeping party dresses when you work from home, lots of yoga pants when you are a runner, etc. Really think about the function of your items, that’s the only reason you need them.
Problem number 8, happiness. Attaching happiness to objects in my opinion is a big mistake we all make. Not wanting to let go of things because they make us happy tell us our values are in the wrong place. A dress can remind you of a great day but what makes you happy is the memory not the dress. You can let go of the dress. The memory will stay with you. We aren’t our things. Things should only support us, not become us. If they took all your things away, wouldn’t you still be you? Or do you depend so much on your things that your identity would be lost? Let’s put the value of objects where they belong. True joy comes from within. From seeing a loved one smile. Not from holding a Chanel bag. Can bags be fun? of course! I went to a fashion design school! I love fashion! But only if fashion supports me in who I want to be, my clothes don’t make me who I am. I love my books, my computer and even my clothes, but I see them for what they are, just things. And if makes logical sense to get rid of something, then I do it. Clutter is the real villain here.
Here are three books I recommend instead: Classic Style, Essentialism and Curated Closet.
Thanks for reading.