Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

Leave Marie Kondo the F*ck Alone


Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

What has happened to the world? There is a very tiny lady out there trying to help you. And every day there is a new plethora of Marie Kondo subtweets and articles designed to shame you if you say KonMari, even under your breath.

What did you say? You didn’t say KonMari, did you?

Of course not. What’s that? {hides The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in back pocket as not to shame the whole family}

God forbid you want a well-designed plan to get rid of all the sh*t you’ve been carrying around for the last fourteen years. Screw you for even thinking of parting with the box of birthday cards from all the kids you hated in junior high school. Why are you so mad, bro?

She just wants to help you. Sure, KonMari has become synonymous with curating your life by tidying your house. Hold up, where is the problem? I know, I’ve read all your hyperbolic tweets, but they don’t make sense.

She never told you to throw out all your books. It’s like no book hoarders had the chance to read her books before this show came out. Keep the f*cking book if it sparks joy. If not, give it away. Give it to a school. Give it to a library. Give it to a friend. Give it to a shelter. Just because the book doesn’t spark joy doesn’t mean you have to rip it up on the courthouse steps or burn it in a bonfire in the backyard and invite your neighbors (both librarians) to watch.

Relax. I think you’ve got this twisted.

Boiling It Down to Basics

Why do you want to keep anything in your life that doesn’t spark joy? Take a picture of it. You’re just going to put that photo in a drawer and never look at it. Just like you’ve had that same item that you can’t bear to part with in your garage for eight years and four moves. You don’t even like it. You’re just trying to control the situation.

I like my house like this. I know where everything is.

Where’s the iron?

Lift up that box. Then open that drawer. Push the paper aside. Move the hairdryer collection. No, under that other box. There it is. See, I know where everything is.

The basics are simple. You don’t need all the stuff you have. None of us do. So why are you going batsh*t all over the Internet because Marie Kondo made a television show?

Who are you mad at? You can’t really be mad at her. She is so nice. So respectful. So understanding. I know it’s a television program, but do you really think she goes home at night and doesn’t act like that? Stop talking sh*t.

Basics. What looks and feels better? An organized room, with labeled drawers, and space to move around or a room with boxes piled on top of each other that you can’t see into and don’t know what is in each of them. It’s not the latter.

Why You Can’t Spark Joy

Because you are a control freak. And agreeing to get rid of anything scares you. Because you might need those nine rolls of tape for a school project, even though your kids are out of college and don’t even come home for Thanksgiving. And of course, the tape sparks immense joy.

You can’t spark joy because you don’t want to. You like stacking your clothes on top of each other so you have to lift all of them up to see what’s there. Totally efficient. And you like having a garage that is an unscheduled yard sale. But you won’t schedule that either because you might need four leaf blowers. You know, Fall is coming.

You can’t spark joy because you’re angry about other things. Of course donating 23 t-shirts isn’t going to feel good because your partner is a complete a**hole. Purging your garage makes it more empty and that makes you feel more empty because you are lonely. But that stuff all around you isn’t companionship. It’s stuff.

You can’t spark joy because you are blocked. Blocked by death. Blocked by life. Blocked by divorce. Blocked by control. Blocked by time. Blocked by space. Are you really not interested in a chance to unblock yourself?

You can’t spark joy because you think it’s silly. Silly to say thank you to your underwear that doesn’t even have the elastic anymore. But you still have them because they served you well. Don’t they deserve a little love on the way out?

When You Are Looking For a Reason

Your subtweets are trying so hard, but they aren’t succeeding. Because I can guarantee you that Marie Kondo doesn’t care. She’s on a different plane. Every house she goes into to tidy, she greets. Yes, she sits on the floor and pays homage to the house. She doesn’t care about your 81 followers who saw your joke of the century.

When you are looking for a reason to tear someone down who just wants people to enjoy the space around them more, you have something else going on. You are resisting something. You know you have too much sh*t. It’s hard to face the fact that you don’t need it all. But you need to.

Personal Experience

I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I tried to start, but it was overwhelming. I was too stubborn to put all my clothes in one place. It seemed like too much work. So a month later I still had 17 jackets. I wear the same one every day in the winter.

But I did switch the way I folded all of my t-shirts. And it made my life so much easier. I could suddenly see all of them. And it reminded me which shirts I never wear. So I pitched them. And the first act of getting rid of clothing I didn’t like anymore, started the process. Slowly.

I read Spark Joy. I tried to start again. And I got better. And I made a lot of piles of stuff to offload. But then came the process of figuring out what to do with it. Laziness ensued. I’ll wait until I have more stuff and have a yard sale. That never happened. So I had more organized mayhem.

But then I upped the ante and hired a decluttering company. And this changed my world. Seriously. They put everything in piles so all I had to do was say yes or no. Then they put everything back, perfectly organized and labeled. And they did this over and over again.

They called for pickups. They put stuff on the curb and alerted the neighborhood. They handled some quick Facebook Swap Group sales. They figured out better ways to organize every room in the entire house.

They helped me get rid of one entire truckload of garbage. I donated 23 boxes to the Vietnam Veterans of America. I donated five boxes of books (I didn’t burn them in an angst-ridden anti-literature ceremony) to local schools. I donated old suits to a human needs organization that would find people who needed them for job interviews.

You’re right. All of this sucks. I never should have done this. Who am I to want a tidy house? Who am I to discard something with thanks? You are doing it better. With your stacks in the garage. And all the sh*t under your bed. And your pantry with more expired products than a bar in an episode of Bar Rescue. Yeah, you’ve got this.

Leave Marie Kondo the f*ck alone. No one is forcing you to spark joy.

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