MS Speaks

OTHER => BOOKS => Topic started by: agate on July 17, 2016, 09:23:36 pm

Post by: agate on July 17, 2016, 09:23:36 pm

Marie Kondo has made a name for herself with her expertise in helping people to solve the problems posed by having too many belongings.  She seems to have had a special gift for organizing and decluttering since she was a little girl. This book of hers has been a best-seller.

She insists that we should keep only those things that "spark joy" in us when we see them. She sees the process of decluttering as potentially transformative. She enters into an almost personal relationship with inanimate objects, talking to her clothes and stroking her plants.  She would say that they probably have a sort of life of their own, for she notes the musty, underused smell and appearance of clothes and linens that have lain on shelves without being touched for too long and concludes that they appreciate being handled and used.

It's a bit whimsical for those who think of things as just things but she has a point. Many of us do hang onto things we don't need and tend to have far too many possessions. Garages and vehicles and basements seem readily available as dumping areas, and the average size of a house bought in the US has increased appreciably in the last few decades.

Her methods are drastic, and I don't always agree with her. She favors abandoning the whole idea of off-season storage of clothes, for instance, but fails to address the problem of moths.  If woolens aren't mothproofed in some way, they are apt to be destroyed by moths. The best way to mothproof them is to put them away for the warmer months in sealed storage units. But that is just my opinion.

She sees no point in saving spare buttons. I have saved buttons all my life--not every button but those that looked as if they'd be hard to replace or those that were special in some way.  My mother also saved buttons, and I now have her button collection added to mine.  I have used those buttons many times over the years. A doll garment, a replacement button for some items of clothing that had lost a button--and buttons take up very little space.

Marie Kondo advocates tossing out all instructions connected with newly purchased items (clocks, radios, toasters, TVs, phones, etc.), asserting that you'll never read them anyway and if you do need to know something you can call the company or go online.

Here again I'd quibble.  The instruction manual online isn't always so easy to find and it may not be quite the right one for your particular product. Calling the company is apt to lead to a series of calls leading nowhere because you'll need to be very  skilled at describing exactly what grommet you're talking about over the phone when you're trying to assemble a cabinet.

Still, I liked Marie Kondo. She seems cheerful and upbeat, and her heart is in the right place. She sees the importance of living a life free of clutter and unnecessary knickknacks. More power to her.
Title: Einstein was known for his cluttered desk...
Post by: agate on May 27, 2019, 08:43:43 pm
Now that Marie Kondo now has her own TV show (which I haven't seen), maybe it's time for an update. From the BBC News (May 15, 2019), an article indicating that decluttering isn't always the best way to go: