Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has led to social media being flooded with posts. Inspired moms are posting pictures of organized homes on social media, which I love. Any movement that inspires people to organize is always good in my book. Marie Kondo has helped many people with her show and book. Being disorganized can be overwhelming. The show is practical and focuses more on the homeowner than Marie. Tidying up with Marie Kondo showed people a different way of cleaning up.
Organizing your home can transform your life. It’s easier to find the things you need and love. Being home is a more peaceful and fulfilling experience. Many people with messy homes or who struggle with keeping their home tidy feel a lot of stress. People looking to simplify things will watch television programs for inspiration and tips.
Take hoarding and organizing shows on TLC and A&E for example. They tell home owners to purge a lot. The yard has three areas for sorting. One for trash, one for donations, and one for keeping. The keep area was the smallest. Perhaps that gives the impression you must get rid of most of your stuff to get organized.
These hoarding shows have days, not months. They must do things fast. You cannot compare a hoarding situation on tv to organizing the typical home.
Someone posted on Facebook about how terrible Tidying Up is. That it forced poor people to part with things they would need to re-purchase. I knew this woman had not watched the entire show or wasn’t paying attention. Marie never says to throw anything away.
Instead of explaining what decluttering and organization is I am defending Marie. The problem is people are bashing Marie’s methods without giving Marie a chance. Some confuse decluttering and minimalism. They tarnish Marie’s method and scare away people who could use Marie’s help. I understand Marie’s Methods are not for everyone. Still there are plenty of valuable lessons to be gleamed from Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Even if you dislike Marie the results speak for themselves. Many people learn to fold and organize.
Even if you do not want to try Marie’s method, the show represents many ways of clearing clutter. Most of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is following the families with the clutter issues not Marie. It shows their journey of de-cluttering which appeared to take weeks if not months. Decluttering works best when you take your time.
Clutter is about being disorganized. Anyone can collect a massive amount of anything. Money or not. Your drawers can be cluttered with items you swiped from McDonald’s for free. Or your drawer can be full of expensive stuff.
We define clutter as a crowded or confused mass or collection. If you get offended by de-cluttering thinking it’s for rich people, you need a reality check. There is a difference between clutter and disorganization. I have heard a lot of grousing that the Kondo method is for the rich.
The concept is helping people tidy their homes so they can live their best lives. They tell no one to dispose of items they need.
My husband doesn’t spark joy for me most days, should I get rid of him then? My vacuum doesn’t make me happy, does that mean I should give it away? No.
The bottom line is, de-cluttering is about getting rid of what you no longer need. Too many possessions make it harder to find the items you need. Organization is about making sure the items you need to use are accessible so you can enjoy them.
If you organize there is no reason to toss or donate anything. There are no rules with organization. You can keep whatever you want. Those are your items.
Marie’s method of asking if an item sparks joy is a good way of helping people decide if something is worth keeping. It also ties to her spirituality which you should respect. If someone scoffed at your religious beliefs, it would offend you.
Honestly, if you needed something it would be where you can find it. You would use it and benefit from it. If you like most of what Marie is doing but hate the sparking joy concept, then do not use it. Instead ask yourself, am I going to use this?
My philosophy is if you find something when de-cluttering you forgot you had, it’s likely you can part ways with it. That item should be stored or donated.
The whole point of de-cluttering is getting rid of things that are no longer used. Then you can find and use the items you need.
Organization is arranging your possessions in a manner so you can find and use them. Privilege or your net worth play no role. To imply social class plays a role in organizing shows bias on your part.
If you have a roof over your head and possessions in that space you are privileged. If the suggestion you dispose of stained or broken items offends you Marie is not the one with the problem.
If you have internet access and the time to worry about organizing your home, I doubt you’re that bad off. I spent more than half my life living below the poverty line. A single parent raised me in section 8 housing. I was homeless. People easily offend these days. We need a reality check. Items that belong in the trash in the grand scheme of things are not worth a moment of stress.
If Marie Kondo offends you, you have missed the point. As someone who writes about cleaning and organization, I want to help people. I cannot help you if I do not tell you to get rid of things that are no longer useful or unhygienic. If you have no space sometimes you have to get rid of stuff. That is the reality of organization. If removing damaged items offends you, there is a deeper issue. You are not ready emotionally to de-clutter yet. The mess will return.
To declutter and organize one must look beyond the physical possessions. One must break the emotional attachment that forces one to hang onto things you do not need. If you feel old stained or broken items you can never use again are worth keeping there is a long road ahead of you. These things weigh us down. Both physically and emotionally.
Organizing is arranging what we appreciate and being a responsible owner. By organizing our things we can use them for their true purpose. After a declutter and organization cycle you should be proud. Which makes the long slow process of going through everything you own worth every moment. Life is better. You will clean less and spend more time enjoying life.
If you need help to declutter your home read my post on decluttering here.