Welcome to part one of Me vs ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo. Here I, a self-confessed pig, will read this book and put the ‘KonMari Method’ to the test. I’ll do everything this bestselling tidying guru says, and we’ll see if I can be converted. I am VERY doubtful and this is NOT a sponsored post.
I ripped off the plastic wrap on said book. And look, it’s already making a mess. So far this book is counter productive. I tell my cat about my plans to tidy up once and for all, but he just stares blankly at the tv, trying not to laugh or say anything discouraging. Bless him.
The book starts out like any self-help-motivation book. “With the help of this book you will…” “By the end of this book you will…” “This book will make you poop rainbows” etc etc. For the prologue and first chapter I basically feel like I’m reading a sales pitch. Bitch, I already bought the book, ffs. You can quit the peddling. But then I realise that filling an entire book with “throw away your shit, you filthy hoarder” probably requires a few filler chapters.
I read the bulk of chapter one with raised eyebrows and all the scepticism of a gay man who’s been dragged to a titty bar on the premise of having a good time. “OH REALLY,” I hear internal Bexy saying to sentences like:
“When you’ve finished putting your house in order, your life will change dramatically. Once you have experienced what it’s like to have a truly ordered house, you’ll feel your whole world brighten”
And then the real snorts start with:
“Never again will you revert to clutter”
Let’s recap: NEVER AGAIN.
Oh, really? Have we met? I clean my entire house and then not eight seconds after I’m done, there is mess again. It’s stronger than me. I feel like things just fall off me, or alternatively I attract crap like some kind of magnet. I don’t even have kids to blame. My husband is pretty tidy (apart from the sock cemetery on his side of the bed – I guess I can be thankful that he doesn’t go to bed with them on). We don’t have a dog – only two cats, a species famous for their cleanliness and low maintenance.
Kondo also suggests that once you take her advice and do exactly what she says, in addition to a super clean and tidy house you can also ‘get that job‘, ‘lose that weight‘, ‘do that thing‘. These are pretty huge claims. She also says she has NEVER had a repeat customer, because they are ALL 100% cured. Challenge accepted.
I don’t want her to be wrong. I’m sure she’s a lovely woman, and she’s sold a tonne of these books so she must have helped a lot of people. I believe her and I’m sure of her capabilities when it comes to tidying, I’m just not sure of mine.
Chapter One suggests that you can’t tidy if you’ve never learnt how.
I disagree. I learnt from an early age that it’s important to keep things tidy. But that does not mean that I ever did. I don’t know what it is – I have ALWAYS been messy, ever since I was a little kid. I’d constantly be in trouble for not cleaning my room. My mother was a total clean freak and demanded that we clean our rooms before going anywhere or doing anything. I remember my friends thinking I was lying when I told them I couldn’t come over because I hadn’t cleaned my room that day.
I recall another time when my friend and I wanted to go somewhere so badly, and knowing that my mother wouldn’t let me leave the house unless my room was spotless, we devised a brilliant plan. We found an old blanket, threw all of the mess into it, tied it up by the corners and created what is now affectionately known as ‘The Clothes Bomb’. We shoved it into my wardrobe and slid the door shut, willing it to stay put for the inspection. It did, and we got to go out. It wasn’t until my mother opened my wardrobe a week later and was brutally attacked by the exploding mass, that I was grounded for a month. It was worth it though, and I still revisit the clothes bomb tactic today when I have unexpected guests come over. I strongly recommend it.
Anyway, I digress.
Marie Kondo talks at great length about her childhood and her passion for tidying. I was just starting to think ‘We have nothing in common, this book isn’t for me, this woman is insane’, BUT THEN SHE SPOKE TO ME, YOU GUYS. She said things to me that were all too familiar. She was a last minute student, doing assignments at the eleventh hour to submit them just in time. She talked about people just like me, and cleverly divided us into types: the ‘can’t-throw-it-away’ type, the ‘can’t-put-it-back’ type, and the ‘first-two-combined’ type (I’m definitely the second btw). And while I’m not yet feeling motivated to start doing any tidying, I am now intrigued. Well played, Kondo. Well played.
So my mission is to keep an open mind, try it and see what happens. Worst case scenario: tidy house for a day or two, and I’m back where I started. Oh, and I get to say I WAS RIGHT. Best case scenario: I get what this book actually promises – I become a unicorn and I poop rainbows and I am rich and skinny and my job doesn’t suck.
Stay tuned for my next post, when I wonder why the hell I started down this path of pain and torture.