A little followup to my post on Konmari the other day (the Konmari Method of decluttering one’s home and life, from the book by Marie Kondo).
I mentioned that there were a few things in the book that did not fit me culturally. Ms. Kondo, who is Japanese and who also sounds quite spiritual — she says she was a Shinto shrine maiden for a few years — does a few things that I would be uncomfortable with. She recommends literally thanking your clothes and shoes at the end of every day for working so hard for you. She recommends greeting your house — not just the people in it but the actual building — every time you come home. Nope, not for me.
However, she also talked about some things which I found ridiculous at first but which are growing on me. Kondo speaks of many inanimate objects as having feelings and wants. Pshaw, said I. But… wait a minute.
I was decluttering my kitchen. She says to clean by category, not by room, but I was following her suggestion since all my food/cooking things are in the kitchen. I have a metal tea caddy that I bought years ago for its design. I think it’s pretty and interesting-looking. But it sits, empty, on a shelf. In a cabinet nearby I had two boxes of tea bags. Suddenly, when I picked up the caddy, I had this thought: It’s a tea caddy. It wants to store tea.
Now, I do not anthropomorphize my stuff to the point where I think my pots ‘n’ pans run around the house at night, giggling and playing tiddlywinks when no one is looking. But things usually have a purpose. While a thing may not be literally happier fulfilling its purpose, is the space perhaps more balanced, more in harmony? Don’t mean to sound too New-Age-y here.
I put the tea bags in the tea caddy, recycled the cardboard packaging, and now my tea things take up one-third of the space they previously occupied. The caddy is both beautiful and useful.
Kondo also opines that things such as clothing do not want to be stuffed in a dark moldy box and stuck in a cold basement or an overheated attic for twenty years. They want to be brought out into the light and be used, be loved. Makes sense to me. Taking this idea a little further, where does your nail polish want to be? I’ll be Captain Obvious and say it wants to be on your nails. Not, as so much of my polish is, swatched once and stuck in a box in a closet. It’s not bringing anyone joy in there.
I’ll go further and say not only is it not bringing me joy, it’s stressing me out. My nail polish collection has become like the title character of the movie The Blob, growing larger and larger and getting downright frightening. I find myself actually avoiding looking at it, it’s gotten so out of control.
This is just me. Other people may find joy in a big, bigger, biggest collection, and that’s cool. Maybe some of your polish wants to be displayed like a beautiful work of art, and I can see that too.
Again, Happy Thanksgiving!