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.
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:
- a set of metal skewers
- a thrashed plastic cutting board
- 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!