J.D. Moyer

beat maker, sci-fi writer, self-experimenter

Things I Regret KonMari’ing

Where did you go, little Peavey 8-track mixer? I miss you!

Where did you go, little Peavey 8-track mixer? I miss you!

About two years ago I wrote about applying the KonMari method to my stuff. Since then I’ve had time to reflect on the process. This is a quick update on my post-KonMari insights.

Regret

There are a few items I regret getting rid of. This is something Marie Kondo does mention in her book, but maybe underemphasizes. For me, the list is as follows:

  1. a set of metal skewers
  2. a thrashed plastic cutting board
  3. my old 8-track mixer

The metal skewers I thought about using for a recent marinated/broiled quail recipe, but we ended up using thin bamboo skewers instead (which were a better fit for the little bird halves anyway).

We weren’t using the old plastic cutting board in the kitchen, so I got rid of it during the KonMari purge. But recently I saw a terrain building YouTube video where the artist used the same kind of plastic cutting board to protect his table during foam cutting work. So Kia bought me a new plastic cutting board (at IKEA, for $2) for my terrain construction tool kit.

I haven’t used an outboard mixer in the studio for years — everything gets mixed down in the DAW (I use Cubase). But a small mixer would have come in handy during a recent outdoor screening of Despicable Me for the kids who live on our cul-de-sac. I found another way to modulate the volume, but I do regret getting rid of that mixer.

Though on second thought I may have gotten rid of the mixer before the KonMari purge …

So all in all not too bad, and the feelings of regret I had at getting rid of those things was much greater than my actual need for any of them.

And there are hundreds of items we gave away, recycled, or threw away that I haven’t missed at all.

Does It Last?

Marie Kondo states that you only need to do her process once. She writes that if you do a full and complete KonMari process on your house, your consciousness will be changed so that you’ll be able to more easily filter and discard of items that come into your life that don’t bring you joy. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it.

I wonder if her perspective will change in a few years. According to this article, Ms. Kondo has recently started a family. My experience is that random stuff comes into my house at such a furious pace that it’s impossible to filter it on a daily basis. My kid’s arts and crafts projects, my wife’s most recent online purchase and the box it came in, magazines I’ve subscribed to, junk mail I haven’t yet unsubscribed from, stacks of books I’ve purchased and may or may not read — the stuff comes fast and furious.

Right now the house is a mess. Our house is small and cleans up pretty quick; there is definitely some “residual order” from the complete KonMari round we did two years ago. But I can feel the unprocessed stuff accumulating, stuff that will probably go once we have the time to think (and feel) about it.

Still a Good Question?

Marie Kondo’s singular filter criterion is “Does this object bring me joy?” If not, get rid of it.

It’s not a perfect question, but it’s a damn good one. That shirt that you should like, but don’t, for reasons you can’t quite quantify? Get rid of it. You don’t need to perfectly understand why a thing doesn’t work for you, just that it doesn’t. That’s enough to let it go.

I still recommend both the book and the process itself, and I don’t at all regret putting in the work. There’s a real risk of getting rid of something and then regretting that choice, but in the end it’s just stuff. James Altucher got rid of every single possession he owned, and he’s apparently doing fine.

Feel free to share your thoughts below, especially if you’ve done all or part of the KonMari process. I’m curious about the “a couple years later” stories!

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9 Comments

  1. Halfway down Altucher’s page while he’s congratulating himself on having no posessions he writes, “I have a kindle app on my iPad mini.” Aha. What has it got in its pocketses?

  2. Amy

    I read the book and am getting ready to do it in two weeks, going to go ruthless on my house! 😳 Can’t wait. Let’s compare notes!

  3. Katherine Cardinal

    I was inspired about a 18 months ago, too. With two kids, two full time jobs, a dog, and all the rest, we certainly didn’t do the full Kondo method. But we made awesome strides. My sock drawer – a thing of beauty and serenity. Work out gear drawer – the same. I think all 4 in our house love the impact on our closets and reduced clothes collections. I have shelves in our kitchen that actually don’t have anything on them, even 18+ months later. It’s a beautiful, zen-like sight. Our 10-yr old son is a collector, but less so now, and earnestly asks “does this bring me joy” when dealing with his clutter.

    More importantly, despite all the crap I can’t control coming back into the house (mail, magazines, kids papers, sports gear, etc.), the best impact it’s had is providing a much more thoughtful approach to accumulating new stuff. I don’t buy nearly as much as before embracing the Kondo method. I ask myself in the store the joy question, and more often than not, I leave it on the shelf.

    I don’t regret one single thing we’ve given away.* I do regret that we have a basement. If we can’t decide immediately to take things to Goodwill, they seem to go to the basement for 6 months to die a slow death before leaving the house. We’re trucking a car load of basement crap to Goodwill this weekend.

    (*Actually, I regret the many sweet stuffed animals our son gave away, but I couldn’t stop him because he was doing the right thing. Sentimental mom wanted him surrounded by his sweet dog collection forever.)

    And last but not least, I brought the Kondo method to my parents and helped them ruthlessly purge. My 80+ year old mom loved it!

  4. Julia Gonzales-Manton

    I recently purchased the book and I hope to do a major purge over the Christmas break. The idea of it really excites me and already makes me feel lighter.

    I was happy to see your post, I was worried that you were in the fire at that warehouse in Oakland. Very very sad. 🙁

  5. aelith

    I never made it through the whole process because when I was working myself up to it, I suddenly had to move after 10 years. But it did help with the mad scramble to move. The joy question is pretty good.

  6. Kat

    haven’t read the book, haven’t tried the process but am curious. I am a collector of sorts of things that ‘I can maybe use that’ like jars, boxes, containers… only b/c I am crafty… I like ‘making things’ and some of the items that are just sitting b/c I haven’t had time to do anything with them are still useful and ‘will’ bring me joy once I put the craft part in. It happens all the time… when I take stuff to Goodwill or give it away, within a week I’ll find a use for it. So, I’m not sure this method would help someone like me… with Pinterest always coming up with things to recycle and make into something else… how can I throw that container away??? HELP

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