So I’m out here in the Midwest, not part of all the trendy coastal things, doing my own happy thing. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t sleep, so I was scanning through the catalog of downloadable books from my public library – can I just say how WONDERFUL that option is? AMAZING! There, on the list of available books, was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
I had not heard the buzz about the book. I didn’t realize the Wall Street Journal was saying there was a cult around it. It looked peaceful. It looked a little silly. Life-changing? Really? No need to put yourself out there on a ledge, Marie! You could have just called it The Magic of Tidying Up or even The Art of Tidying Up, and a lot of people would still read it. Life-changing? Kind of self-helpy for me, I thought, but what the hey…
So I skimmed it, the whole thing, from about 3:30 in the morning until I had to get ready to go to work. Mind you, this happened at the same time my son was obsessed with a home renovation show, and I’d decided to do a quick re-organization of the living room while he and his dad were out fishing as a kind of joke. “Do you like it, or would you lump it?” I asked.
Well, Marie Kondo, you did change my life. I can’t guarantee it’ll be forever, although I’d love it to be, but it’s a start. I especially like the way you look at each thing individually and set aside those that don’t bring you joy. Maybe they did once. Maybe they’ve served their purpose and can move on to someone else. Thank you, black shirt that never really fit right. You can go. Goodbye, coat from an old boyfriend which kept me warm through my student travels around Europe. It’s ok to pass you on.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve cleared out and reorganized and donated and piled up a whole stack of things for the boys to sell in a garage sale. I can be sentimental about almost anything, and I’m still not completely done with the Fisher Price farm my younger brother played with or the dolls I made when I was a teen for which I now have no earthly use. It may yet happen, but those things still bring me joy, even though I know I don’t need the thing itself to remember the good memories I attach to them. And my socks are resting, too. They’re folded in thirds and tucked inside an old shoe box in my drawer, relaxing. That’s really my favorite part.