But Does It Bring You Joy? Reflections on “Tidying Up” & Marie Kondo

January 16, 2019

Today I sat down to watch the latest binge-worthy Netflix series, “Tidying Up”. For those that are unfamiliar, this is a new show on organization. Japanese consultant and award winning author, Marie Kondo, uses her “KonMari” method to tidy up people’s homes and lives. It is basically the tame and sophisticated version of Hoarders.

The KonMari method is the process of decluttering your home by constantly asking yourself, “Does this item bring me joy?” Now, while I find Marie Kondo herself to be inspiring, knowledgeable, and an absolute delight, here are a few things I’ve learned while watching her show…

This method just isn’t for me. While it did inspire me to get up and start organizing, it did not have me thanking my clothes and utensils for their time and use. Call me crazy but I don’t find joy in most of my kitchen accessories. I have no emotional attachment to the spatulas that I use. Nor do I think my ice cream scoop is the most joyous in the land. However, if I walked around my house looking for only things that bring be joy, I’d be throwing a lot of very useful items away and most likely ticking off my kids and husband along the way! Comic books, GONE! Toy you’ve only played with once that I found in the hallway, GONE!

Next, her method of folding, is absolutely out of my league. I am lucky to do a one second fold before one of my children comes barreling through complaining about something their sibling has done. And who am I kidding? Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean MOST of the time, the clothes go straight from the dryer to the clean clothes holder. The clean clothes holder is also known as our bedroom chair. It’s basically the clothes time-out chair. They go there and wait to be wanted, needed, and eventually folded, if not selected to be worn before that. So, there it is. I’m basically too much of a hot mess for Marie Kondo’s intricate folding.

I’m just not a good KonMari candidate because, well, “This Momma Ain’t Got Time for That!” I am the owner of a junk drawer in the kitchen with items that certainly do not cause joy. In fact, most of these items have absolutely zero use. I’m the owner of a cute “Mail” container to store daily mail. Realistically this is where most of our mail goes to die because it never gets looked at or opened once placed there. I’m the owner of a miscellaneous container in the cupboard that has anything from candy to outdated applesauce pouches that my kids never ate. I’m organized, sometimes.

But here’s the thing:

So tonight, I’ll toast to those moms out there putting clean laundry on a chair because they just can’t comprehend folding it. I’ll toast to those moms picking up useless garbage from the counters and hiding it in a junk drawer. I’ll toast to those moms sipping wine from cups that don’t bring them joy unless filled with fermented deliciousness. Because let’s face it, our house might be chaotically organized, but that’s still organized. Right?

Thanks, Marie Kondo, I’ll try again in 20 years. Maybe then I’ll be ready and less of a hot mess.

**And for all of you KonMari success stories: Step up and host the family gatherings, friend get-togethers and social parties. Clearly, your house is ready to entertain and it will take the rest of us hours to look even remotely presentable. We appreciate you, and secretly admire from under our hot mess and piles of laundry.

xox, Chels

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2 comments so far.

2 responses to “But Does It Bring You Joy? Reflections on “Tidying Up” & Marie Kondo”

  1. Melissa M says:

    Ha, love this 😆 nice review and rejection of this practice – I feel the same xo

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      So glad I’m not alone! HA! I’ll just sit here drinking my glass of wine, while everyone else folds their laundry into perfect rectangles. xox

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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