Monday, March 9, 2015


The Torah of Tidy
My wife and I have joined a cult, and we couldn't be happier. Or neater. 

Thanks to Marie Kondo, the guru who's to tidying up as David Miscavige is to blackmailing movie stars, our home is 200 pounds lighter than it was a week ago. And we're not done yet.

Ms. Kondo, in case you haven't heard, has become the face of cleaning out your house, then folding up what's left into nice little rows. But not just folding any old way. No, you've got to do it the Kondo way. And do it with love.

Now if you think that's a lot of hooey, well let me tell you I was once like you, friend. My folding was more like rolling, one t-shirt atop another. Socks balled up into one another. Underwear -- well, let's not go there. Very few people have ever wanted to, anyway, especially women.

Just remember to pay Ms. Kondo a royalty
every time you fold a tablecloth like she does.
But this isn't just about clothes. Books unread and CDs barely listened to had become a tsunami of paper and digital information pushing me out of my own home. And for why?

The diagnosis was clear. We were suffering from decor constipation.

But then appeared Marie Kondo, gliding in on a swan with perfectly smooth feathers numbering the same amount on each wing. And her advice was simple: Hold each item in your hands -- does it bring you joy? If not -- THROW IT THE HELL OUT! Then, if foldable, fold what's left the Kondo way.

Observe my t-shirt drawer, before Kondo:

A damnable mess, if I do say so myself. I needed a Sherpa guide to get that through that refuse heap every morning. And the worst part -- I had no idea it looked like that until I first saw the photo. How pathetic is that?

Then, after the Law of Kondo took effect:

From Godforsaken hellhole to a place of peace and solitude in minutes. You could sleep in there. Look -- there's even room for my pajamas.  And you should see my wife's drawers! Wait, you know what I mean.

Elvis has left the building.
From slaves to salvage to believers in order -- our Kondo co-op clean-up baffles science, confounds the experts, yet is true! And lest you think this is merely the hobby of a middle-aged couple jumping on the latest fad, even our daughter, home from college last week, got into the act. And her room is still a mess. But a tidy mess. 

It took me two trips to the local Goodwill to get rid of all our unwanted crap, including 50 -- count 'em -- 50 CDs. And most of those were mine. That's about 500 bucks worth of music that we could sell on ebay for 50 cents each now. Next year's tax deduction will be a better deal.

Go ahead, go to your closet, your bookshelf, wherever you keep stuff. Go there right now. Take out an item, touch it -- hold it to your heart if you'd like -- and ask yourself: Does this bring me joy? You'll be shocked at how much you wind up tossing to the curb.

But a friendly warning to all you husbands: you might not want your wife to look at you and ask herself the same question.


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