5 Reasons Not to Practice the Art of Tidying Up
Tidy up or leave it alone?
The Art of Not Tidying Up: Why I'd Rather Not Get Rid of Everything
Love a clean house? Need a little inspiration when it comes to organizing that dreaded hallway closet?
You've probably already started watching Netflix's latest original programming Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. The internet is buzzing over the recent hit and while it's definitely a positive-thinking show, I have some thoughts.
What Is Tidying Up?
Have you heard people discuss tidying up recently? Or maybe you've noticed an abundance of pictures on Instagram or Facebook detailing a new clean closet or organized sock drawer. There's a reason for that. I've heard it too and it makes me want to take part in the Bird Box challenge. Tidying up is just that, cleaning your home and ridding it of things you don't use anymore. But, thanks to Netflix (and the cutest Japanese woman) the phenomenon has reached peak craze.
Who Is Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo is a best-selling author and organizing consultant. A few years ago her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, shot to the top of the charts. People were excited to learn about tidying up. Because her book garnered praise from audiences around the world, Kondo having her own television show seems like an obvious next step.
What is the KonMari Method?
Kondo created the KonMari Method to help ease the stress of purging and organizing overwhelming areas of the home. Simply put, the KonMari Method begins with you gathering your belongings, whether it's cookware or clothing. You then go through the contents of your closet, home, etc. and piece by piece figure out what product gives you joy (or "sparks joy") while cleaning out those that do not. You're letting your emotions decide what brings you joy, what piece of clothing makes you happy, and when you can do that, you can move on as well. With the contents you want to get rid of, you thank them for their service and let them go.
In Netflix's Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Kondo teaches Americans why using the method is helpful, especially if they can't let go of certain items. It has struck a cord with viewers so much so that thrift stores have seen a rise in donations.
Why I'm Keeping It
I appreciate the notion behind tidying up, I really do. I love cleaning, I love a good purge, and I especially love donating clothes to local charities in hopes that they find a new home that will cherish them as much as I did. I don't agree with living in filth or surrounding yourself with so much stuff you can't get out of a room. I've seen the TV show Hoarders and I do not like what I've witnessed.
That being said, I think it's important to hold on to certain things. I think some clutter might make people feel more complete, or even happy. One episode followed a widow who didn't want to get rid of her husband's closet. I understand that. Obviously, there's a healthy medium to hit when it comes to things like that but I think completely getting rid of clothing or sentimental items is too harsh, even if you thank the item before tossing it into a garbage bag.
After all, fashion is cyclical, trends will likely come back. It's important to donate such things to your local shelters, Good Will's, and thrift stores, but how about we stop buying things we don't need? There are so many articles of clothing out there and fast fashion is certainly not helping the cause. We overproduce garments, causing pollution, excess water usage, and textile waste.
Before we start tidying up, maybe we should learn how to stop buying things we'll need to throw away one day?
5 Reasons Not to Practice the Art of Tidying Up
1. Do What You Want, Not Because a Netflix Show Is Telling You Otherwise
Look, I love Netflix, but just because a TV show tells you to tidy up, doesn't mean you have to. I'm obsessed with the show You, but you don't see me stalking a woman in New York City, do you? Of course being inspired to do something positive, by a television show, is a great thing.
2. Learn to Be a Cartoon Character, Not a Pack-Rat
Instead of throwing clothes out, start learning how to shop. Wear the same thing over and over again like a cartoon character and you won't have a huge closet. I'm only half-kidding. Learn to dress your body, learn what brands you look good in, or share clothes with friends and family to eliminate unnecessary garments and shopping sprees.
3. Keep Your House Clean in Other Equally Important Ways
A clean closet is always a nice thing but don't neglect other parts of your house. Tidying up feels nice because you get to attack one portion of your home but what happens to the rest of it? Keep all areas clean consistently and you might not have to say "thank you" to that spatula.
4. You Shouldn't Be the Only One Tidying Up
Cleaning can be a family affair. One person (likely a female family member...) shouldn't have to clean out other people's closets. If you're old enough, tackle various parts of the house, that way you won't flirt with being a hoarder.
5. Don't Rely on Excuses to Get Rid of Things
Again, being inspired is one thing but what happens when you're done binging the show or reading the book? Will you never purge again? Get in the habit of cleaning your house, frequently, and you won't need Netflix to show you how to do it.
5 Books More Helpful Than The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
1. The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams. Buy it from Amazon.
Take it from the Dalai Lama! You'll be able to confront any obstacles you might be facing with warmth and support. This book has it all.
2. The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay. Buy it from Amazon.
If you need to be eased into decluttering your life, this is the book for you. It's a helpful guide when it can seem daunting getting rid of so many things.
3. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson. Buy it from Amazon.
If you want to avoid a cluttered home, stop creating unnecessary waste! Zero Waste Home is a helpful tool in creating a cleaner and waste-free life that you and your family can follow.
4. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders. Buy it from Amazon.
If you need more of a story to understand why people get rid of their belongings, pick up Cait Flander's book The Year of Less. Sometimes it's easy to conceptualize why or how people do what they do with a personal experience.
5. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh. Buy it from Amazon.
Feel overwhelmed with all the stuff you have but don't want to sit down and fold everything meticulously? Peter Walsh will teach you how to get rid of stuff without feeling like you're stripping your home down to its bare bones.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
Have you seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix? We want to know your thoughts!