At 66 years of age, I know who I have been in the past and I know who I will become and who I am now. With all the wisdom that six decades can impart, I have UN-KONDO'd!
In the spring, after reading Marie' Kondo's best seller, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I had religion. I couldn't wait for the promised serenity that would arrive from throwing out half of what I owned, the peace of knowing each day where to put everything, and the joy of seeing all my possessions in perfect, harmonious order. I started with our bedroom and my possessions, as Kondo advises. Jeans were rolled, not folded as she describes, in nice little stand up rows in my dresser drawers. Undies were folded and stacked perfectly in organizers that perfectly matched their folded sizes. Everything I could wear was touched, questioned about its joy provoking abilities, and tossed, donated or kept. Most of my goodies were donated.
Here I am six months later and I have had it. As our seasons change and as I get ready each day for work with a wardrobe choice, it was clear this was not working for me.Here is why and I will first tell why not and then what I thought did work.
Kondo has no idea what it is like to leave in FOUR highly contrasting seasons. We have the current Fall with its need for lighter, windbreaking and rain resistant jackets, shorter boots, and lighter weight scarves. Then there is winter, oh, winter! Does she know those fall boots don't work here in winter? Does she know I and my friends get the 50º below zero boots for winter and wear them every day? Does she know we need lovely weather boots for winter party dress and therefore various colors and styles? All these boots need a spacious home and are not summertime wear. Does she know when visiting up here it is polite to bring a pair of slippers in your bag to change into so as not to drag snow, salt and slush into the homes of friends? We need slipper storage! We are also serious layer people up here. Every sweater or blouse worn in winter has some sort of underneath thing going on, like a tee or turtle. And if we are going to be outside there are thermal undies under that. Let's see. We wear special socks, special gloves and mittens and layers even under our jeans and work pants. In her perfectly aligned closet there is none of this. Oh, she has you consolidate all seasons into one closet, Spectacular fail there! Not to forget Spring, there are muck boots for outside till the mud season subsides, and those lighter jackets but in Spring-y colors to help us escape the depression of one long cold winter. Summer? I am convinced Marie lives in eternal summer, the better to make her organization work! Think sandals, sneakers, tanks, shorts, ad nauseum needing to be in with all those boots and slippers. They have to get in that closet with their friends too!
Space. Does Kondo know how much space all this stuff takes? Uhh, big NO! Houses up here have basements and lots of closets for a reason. There is one closet for one season and another closet for another. She does not have a clue about the seasonal traditions of transitioning and moving said wardrobes from the far away closet to the bedroom closet. I moved all this stuff today and my soul knows that I am now ready for winter. Summer, 2016 is over and done. I know my fifty below boots are found and still wearable. I know my pretty, strappy, metallic sandals will be their for summer evening socialization with friends in 2017. Marie may have joy in tidying, but she has never known the joy of marking the seasons as they pass with the movement of a wardrobe.
Her must have order of putting clothes in the closet. This totally did not work for me and was the BIGGEST reason I had to un-Kondo. I set up my closet exactly as she describes, all those long things on one end graduating to the shortest things I own on the other. WTF? Really, think about it. Is that even logical? For the past few weeks I have been so distraught about reaching into the deep dark end of the closet to find the deep, dark pants I own, pushing everything out of the way and hopefully coming up with the pants I want. THIS DID NOT WORK. My closet is, just my side, 8 feet wide. so decent enough. Doing it her way put the pants hangers behind the wall on one side or the folding doors on the other. It just sucked getting my clothes out in the morning.
What did I keep about Kondo-ing? There is some good about it and much was just a spot off of what I was already doing. I love that she is so organized but one can be more organized with more stuff, too. Dear Readers of this blog for some time: you all know I am an organization freak and can't function creatively till all my tiles are lined up in perfect rows. It frees my mind to just be creative when they are. It works for me and I get that it doesn't work for others and that is OK. So I do appreciate some of her organizational ideas and they will stay. Here are a couple:
Clothing stacked in rows and folded her way. I have been doing this for sometime with one difference. I roll. My dresser drawers have rolled up jeans in them so that when I open the drawer I can see them all and pick what I want. One drawer has colors. The other has denim blues. Why roll? It cuts down the wrinkling and eliminates the infamous "knee fold". I really like looking in my drawers at this display. It works. Her book also made me re-organize my closet so my undies and bras, socks, bags, hats and shoes are all right there in my face, stacked in little totes, folded neatly and ready to be chosen. I open the doors in the morning, reach up to the shelf where I can clearly see my underpinnings, grab each one I need, then my external garment choices, some jewelry and head to the shower. There is no looking elsewhere for anything for work and it makes my start of the day easy. I have even, as a result of the initial Kondo-izing, a hanging organizer for all my jewelry, I just reach for my baubles. I can pull everything together facing my closet and not taking one single step left or right.
I am glad I read her book. It was definitely a motivater. But her methods, for the most part, didn't work for me and I am glad I didn't go the whole house route of Kondo-izing now.
Today was spent re-doing the closet and all my clothing. It now works FOR ME. I loved how this marked the change of seasons and that I was now ready for whatever winter threw my way. That's what it really is about, what works for you and Marie's method may not be it. I look in my closet now and feel peace. My pants for work are directly in front of me as I open the doors. The tops are right next to them. Things I rarely wear but still need, like a gorgeous black suit for funeral occasions and some "party" outfits, are in the back recesses waiting for their necessary moment, not stored in graduating size mode. Each category of clothing is organized by color. Be still my heart, that so makes me happy! My wardrobe storage now works much better for me, functions wonderfully, IS organized and makes me feel good when I look at it. Now I can go downstairs and start sewing.
What are your experiences with Kondo-izing? Tell me I'm not alone..............Bunny