I own too much stuff. I’m a middle-class American, so no one should be surprised at that statement. I own so much stuff that I don’t even remember a lot of what I own. If I went to the storage room in the basement of our Denver home and began pulling things off the shelves, I’ll bet there would be 10 or 12 things that I even forgot that I own. Wow, when did I buy not one, but two, covered Chinese dumpling steamer baskets? I wonder when I felt the need to purchase these two metal things that stick into the ground and hold wine glasses that I’ve used exactly zero times at exactly zero hillside concerts? Of course there’s the punch bowl that I use whenever I make punch, which is never. And doesn’t everyone own three — count ’em — three ice cream makers?
The situation is bad enough in Denver, but at least there I can say that we have had nearly 27 years to accumulate things, plus we have a lot of storage space in our basement in which to hide our guilty purchases. But our little house here in the desert is becoming precariously full of unnecessary accoutrements. For example, taco salad tortilla shell makers…..
Or these taco plates…..
(At least my unnecessary purchases seem to have a Mexican theme here in AZ.)
The other day, I turned on the Netflix original program called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. I had been hearing and reading about the program that involves an organizing consultant who helps families clear out their homes of unused items and become organized. Apparently the program is so successful that second-hand stores in certain parts of the country are becoming over-loaded with donations.
Her so-called KonMarie Method of decluttering involves putting your items — clothes, for example — into a pile on your bed. You then pick up each item one at a time in your hands. You decide if that item SPARKS JOY. If it does, you put it in one pile; if it doesn’t, you tell the item thank you for all of its service to you and put it in another pile for giveaway.
I can embrace the notion of going through all of my clothes, and I can even wrap my arms around the notion of seeing if the item sparks joy (although I would rather look at each item to see if there is any chance that it will ever fit again and/or come back in style, e.g. a size 4 Neru jacket). However, I am trying hard to understand the concept of thanking a piece of clothing for which I probably paid too much money to begin with and it made my butt look fat.
The KonMarie method also includes carefully folding the shirts and pants that you keep in dresser drawers in such a way that they stand up on their sides in the drawer. I like the idea of being able to find a shirt at a glance as opposed to the process I have used for 65 years of stacking the clothes one on top of the other, thereby necessitating the need to dig through piles of shirts in an effort to find the one you want, usually unsuccessfully.
Frankly, however, now that I’m retired, my organization method should be minimalization — owning one pair of jeans, two shirts that can be worn with the jeans, a pair of brown shoes, and a pair of dress pants with a blouse that coordinates. For the kitchen, one skillet, one quart pan, two plates, two glasses, two coffee cups, two knives, two forks, and two spoons. Oh, and one martini glass.
It’s called the MacKris Method.
This post linked to the Grand Social.