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Go ahead and mock me—I love orderliness. Maybe it’s the Scandinavian in my DNA, but a sparsely furnished, freshly vacuumed room brings my blood pressure right down. (If I should happen to faint, whisper to me gently, “Kay! I washed the windows!”—and I’ll come to immediately.)


Before discovering the KonMari Method, the best I could do was periodic grand purges, accompanied by unsustainable efforts to “organize.” Marie Kondo’s  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a nutty book in some ways: if you take it fully to heart, you may find yourself talking to your handbag and socks to let them know how much you appreciate them. But something about Kondo’s overarching philosophy—does this object spark joy?—has worked for me.

Am I living clutter-free? No. But as God is my witness, I will never knock over half the bottles in the spice cabinet, cussing and looking for cardamom, ever again.

KonMari has given me a way of thinking about stuff that has made this January feel a lot lighter than last January, and all previous Januaries. This year, I have no teetering piles of paper, no doomed intentions of getting yet another pack of hanging folders and labeling everything meticulously to set up the year ahead. Enough said: if this is a problem, try KonMari. Talking to your socks just might work.


Look on my spice drawer, philistines, and despair.

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  • I have not read the book, but I read enough commentary about the book to have picked up on the “spark joy” philosophy. I am a highly messy packrat who needs everything in plain sight or I will forget about it. Something about that question, “Does it spark joy?” really hit me where I live. Asking that question makes it immediately apparent to me whether an object should stay or go. It also allows me to to keep treasured things that may have outlived their apparent usefulness but they still spark joy. Turns out most of the stuff in my basement is totally joyless – who knew?? I’m also a rather ADD messy packrat, so the spirit of Kon Marie comes and goes, but it has totally changed my life in terms of letting go, And as a person who tends to anthropomorphize everything (each year I have a hard time buying a Christmas tree because although I want the lush, green, fully needled one, my heart is tugged by the little spindly one whom no one will buy), I have no problem thanking my purse for it’s years of service. It makes letting go a little bit easier.

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