Saturday, February 6, 2016

KonMari - clothes

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I'm awful at book clubs. I'm too fussy a reader and generally devour assigned reading or never start it at all. So I started The Un-Book Club on Facebook. (Come join us!) The idea started with a meme about 12 books to read in 2016, and grew.

One of those 12 books is a book that intimidates you. I thought I was going to need to find a book on dead war generals or finance on my husband's book shelves. But then I was enjoying my coffee in the book store and this was on display:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Well. That strikes fear into my heart. 

My house needs this. My family needs this. I need this. Even though we just went through a few huge weeding out cycles, we also went through a million holidays. And quite frankly, I'm tired of the crap everywhere. 

So I started to read. Right off the bat I was combative with the author. The first 30 or so pages are pretty much her detailing out every OCD moment she had as a child that led up to refining this method interspersed with anecdotes about hoarders of her past. The author also has some clear control issues, but if her method works as well as she claims, then the least I can do is follow her method in exact order and timing. She only stresses the importance of this every 3 pages. Finally, I reached something to do. Clothes. Excellent. 

The KonMari method involves gathering everything you own of one type in one spot and going through each piece while considering the emotion it invokes. If it doesn't bring you joy, get rid of it.

I moved all the toys, vacuumed the floor, and gathered every last article of clothing except the few pieces in the laundry (which the author allows for) right in the middle of my home.

All my clothes. All. Shoes, coats, purses, underwear, everything.

Now I understand why this step is important. When you see ALL of it in one spot it is a bit overwhelming. It makes getting rid of stuff easier, though. I mean, look at all of it! That giant grey bin behind the couch was full of maternity clothes, too. She said gather every last piece. So I did. 

This is what I kept. Now, here is my gripe with this chapter. The author says you are to hold each piece and if you don't feel joy, discard it. 

What about Spanx. Spanx give no woman joy. But you need them. I also hate wearing stockings. But I need them. The author alluded to discarding an item you don't love as soon as it has fulfilled its purpose. I don't need Spanx but a few times per year, but I'm not going to toss them out every time and get new ones as needed. So be practical. In reading, you may get the sense that Kondo's family had enough money to make this type of living sustainable growing up, and her method has ensured she can buy new Spanx every day for the rest of her life. That is all well and good for her, but it takes a bit of realism out of the whole purge thing. (More about that in BOOKS.)

The KonMari method comes with a folding method, too. This actually makes sense. Look at all the neat rows! So organized! My Wannabe Type A Complex is so happy.

Before I did this, my wardrobe was crammed into two dressers and my half of a generous closet. Shoes were everywhere. It was all a mess. I could have placed all of my clothes in my larger dresser, but I spread it out over two, considering the space my New England winter sweaters consume. Still, they can stay there all summer if they want. I have that much space. 

I did not rectangle fold my Spanx. Sorry, Kondo.

I am fairly certain I'm not going to do all of this correctly. But looking through Instagram, even the ones that are failing pretty hard are improving in some way. Uplifted by the 8 kitchen garbage bags of clothes, shoes and bags that I purged, I set up a donation time with a charity that collects in our area and read the next few pages to see what we were scouring next. 

Books. Oh boy.

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