Years ago, a tiny Japanese lady wrote a book about folding your shirts properly and getting rid of things you don’t need anymore, and became a minor sensation. It was a big enough sensation that she eventually got a TV series, where she went to people’s houses in America and told them to fold their shirts properly and get rid of some stuff they don’t need. This somehow became controversial.
To be fair, while some people in my house are big fans of the tiny Japanese lady in question, Marie Kondo, I’m not as enamored with her. Then again, I’m someone who reacted to a freshly cleaned living room by throwing some textbooks on a table to make it feel normal again. I don’t embrace de-cluttering because I like clutter, and anyone who has ever looked at my desk knows I’m not a tidy person.
Still, the people angry at her are focusing on the wrong things. They’re annoyed that she says people don’t need to own a giant library of books. But, in all honesty, you don’t need a giant library of books, especially since you can easily get a card and get access to a giant library of books, called the library. Every avid reader probably has at least one book they’ll never read again, making it useless, so why not donate it somewhere? Then at least someone’s getting something out of it. Keep the ones you’re going to read again, but get rid of the ones you won’t.
Even for someone who is a big fan of clutter, there’s definitely merit in looking at your stuff and questioning why you own it. Everyone has things that they have that they don’t really have an adequate explanation for why they own them, so it makes sense to discard them.
Her other big issue is people folding their clothes better, and even as someone who doesn’t do that, I also have clothing I love that I rarely wear because I forgot where I put it. So having a nicely folded closet where everything is easy to find would at least solve that problem.
Then again, it’s not really about her, is it? People are angry because they’re being told that they might be living the wrong way, and they are livid at the idea that someone would look at their life and decide there are aspects to it that they would not recommend.
They might have to consider that they might they be angry at her because they know they have too much stuff, that they have books they’ll never read again, that just sit and gather dust.
They are taking it personally because even if they don’t like Kondo, they know that she’s not wrong, and they too much stuff.
In my case, I admit she’s not wrong, and I don’t care, I like my mess. It sparks joy, and if I’ve learned anything from the lady, keep stuff that sparks joy.