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Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

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If nothing else, this show is a reminder to all of us to ask, "If I died tomorrow, would I want my family or friends to be going through all my stuff?" If not, then clean it up. And you do your kids a great disservice if you leave a lifetime of crap for them to clean up.

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The retired hoarding couple from Episode 2 hit close to home... you actually need to watch it a few times to notice everything. (My favorite was the 1989 encyclopedias!) I guess that’s the episode I’ll be sharing with my parents.

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On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 7:10 PM, Melina22 said:

Yikes, yes. Not all, but I was shocked at how many of them were really controlling, angry and mean. Sometimes it only came out when they were pushed to clear up their mess, other times it wasn't hidden at all. And certainly the majority were either mentally ill and/or had personality disorders. This happened a lot as well in the shows about extremely obese people. There were some exceptions, but not a lot. (One woman in particular was really kind and sweet).

And it's true. I got depressed and burned out on these shows and can't face watching them any more. 

Marie Kondo's show was like a breath of fresh air. 

Yeah, watching a lot of these tidying/decluttering shows it becomes fairly obvious that there's psychological stuff going on in the background for most of the people. I've even seen psychologists talking about the show.

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Both members of the Babe Couple were annoying, but I think the dad is getting thrown under the bus. He gave over his closet space to her (and still didn't have any in the bedroom when all was said and done), complimented her a lot and said "she's a great mom," and specifically said he didn't want HER to do the laundry but for THEM to do the laundry which I think is completely fair. I think he would like to be around the kids more if his job allowed it and seemed to be an interactive dad when he was. If the mom is depressed, that needs attention. She needs help if that is the case and it's not uncommon with special needs kids.  And I hope she gets it if she is indeed depressed. But it seemed like there wasn't a lot of discipline going on there in all kinds of ways, and that's not good for anybody.  I thought it was awesome when Marie says she scolds her kids if they get up in her tidiness! 

Edited by LadyKenobi
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If anyone lives near an H&M, they will take clothing (or any textile) instead of throwing it away. What can be used as clothing gets donated. Worn out items get made into rags or stuffing, so it’s recycling at its best and keeps stuff out of landfills. You can only bring a bag or two at a time and you’ll get coupons (to buy things that bring you joy!).

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14 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

If anyone lives near an H&M, they will take clothing (or any textile) instead of throwing it away. What can be used as clothing gets donated. Worn out items get made into rags or stuffing, so it’s recycling at its best and keeps stuff out of landfills. You can only bring a bag or two at a time and you’ll get coupons (to buy things that bring you joy!).

Good to know...thanks so much for mentioning this!

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On 1/2/2019 at 10:35 AM, MoreCoffeePlease said:

The mom who hated doing laundry ... did I miss something or did they never really get to the root cause of that? I'm pretty sure I saw at least 2 washers. 1 in the garage and 1 just beyond the kitchen.  I'd rather do the laundry and outsource true cleaning.  What exactly was dad doing? Does he understand how hard it is to be at home with 2 toddlers/pre-schoolers?

The same with the dishes. Did they have a dishwasher?  (I'm guessing no.) One suggestion I would have is to buy some compostable paper plates to use for breakfast and lunch until you could get a handle on the complete kitchen re-org and come up with a system for doing the dishes. Any help you can find, you have to take advantage of!  Simple tricks that I use: find a dish soap that you love with a great scent, and also a favorite sponge (I like the Sponge Daddy). Listen to music or a podcast as you wash. Maybe reduce the number of sippy cups that you have.

There's something seriously wrong with this lady. She has an in-home washing machine and dryer AND she stays at home and she still can't do the laundry and dishes? I've never used a dishwasher or had in-home laundry facilities in my life and to do the laundry I have to carry the bags up and down three flights of stairs and push them in a cart a mile round trip to the laundromat over broken sidewalks, and I STILL stay on top of it. Sure kids are work but it's really not that hard. Her husband was right to be pissed and I don't think it's a sexist thing either (and I'm female).

On 1/4/2019 at 4:55 PM, biakbiak said:

One thing I found funny and is probably because I watch a lot of HGTV is how dated most of the houses and furnishings were and it was more pronounced during the reveals because all the reveal showed was more of the dated furniture and finishings. 

This isn’t a criticism of the homeowners it just reminded me how much a lot of tv shows are in a bubble making you think everyone has updated their houses.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The HGTV shows are just thinly veiled ads.

On 1/10/2019 at 10:14 PM, kirklandia said:

Memo to parents: Your adult kids don't want your stuff 

https://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2016/04/memo_to_parents_your_adult_kid.html

 

While I agree with the overall concept of this article, that lady's daughter was pretty foolish to pass up free Drexel furniture. Furniture these days is terribly made on the whole and as they say, "buy it nice or buy it twice."

On 1/12/2019 at 8:55 PM, hyacinth said:

  When did organizing one's household in common sense ways become a new and life changing concept?    I was raised by two organized parents and my kids always seemed to have organized rooms without me saying much and I guess what I'm trying to say is that being organized is not that rare and I'm not quite sure how Marie K turned this all into a movement.    But all kudos to her.

When advertisers got more clever at turning "wants" into "needs" and consumerism got way out of hand.

On 1/13/2019 at 12:43 PM, tessaray said:

I have the death cleaning book and the underlying theme is - don't make your kids have to sort through all your stuff. It can be a heavy emotional burden and a huge time sink.  Sort it out beforehand, identify the things that are meaningful so there is less for you to deal with now and less work for them later. It's short and very sweet.  Maybe not worth the $18.99 I spent for the hardcover but definitely worth checking out from your library.

 

On 1/16/2019 at 4:28 PM, Melina22 said:

A year after my dad's passing I'm still dealing with boxes and boxes of stuff from his home. It would actually be easier if it was junk, but none of it is. Marie Kondos lessons certainly helped me give away and sell an enormous amount of stuff, occasionally making it easier for myself by doing the thanking thing. What's left is mostly marked "memorabilia". Journals, research, family papers, and a huge amount of wall art. Some are valuable, some aren't, but so far no one wants them. Right now I'm giving myself a break and storing most of it in the basement or garage because I'm burned out. 

So I agree. Leaving your children money and/or a few precious keepsakes is lovely. Leaving them an entire lifetime's worth of your stuff to deal with is a great burden. 

 

My husband has spent evenings and weekends over the past year cleaning out his parents' hoarder house (and the process started in 2013, it just didn't really ramp up until last year). And his mom is still alive! She just doesn't want to bother cleaning up the mess she had a hand in creating. There was hardly anything valuable in there either and a lot of the stuff was broken and had to be thrown out because it was poorly taken care of.

On 1/23/2019 at 1:30 AM, Rap541 said:

Yeah and honestly as I watched the hoarders twist and cry and totally flip over throwing out a bottle cap, I just found myself thinking "if they have x,y and z home violations and three days to fix or else the guv'mint takes the home... maybe that's for the best". With rare exception I was also generally enraged that children weren't being taken from parents and how fucking rarely animal hoarders were ever jailed. Fuck that they are in their sixties, they learn they get away with it when they get a slap on the wrist for the 100 dead cats in the house and they WILL rehoard. 

The obesity shows just depressed me. I used to like getting drunk to Intervention and looking down on the heroin addict shooting up in the men's room with her three year old daughter watching but I admit to being an awful person.

This is probably controversial but I think once a hoarding situation gets to government intervention level, that should be cause for involuntary commitment and permanent loss of the right to live independently. I don't even believe in involuntary commitment in certain other cases where it is currently used either. But I've dealt with too many hoarders in my life and they just destroy everything and everyone in their path. And they almost never get better either.

My 600-Lb Life can be depressing but the episodes where they actually get better are great.

On 1/25/2019 at 11:51 AM, Rap541 said:

I have NO intent on paring down to thirty books - I have a number that are fond mementos, but I will say, one thing I love about my kindle is that I finally have room for all the books I want.

 

There's a lot of controversy over the books thing but she said that SHE has thirty books, not that everyone should have only thirty. If having more than that sparks joy then you should have more than that.

Edited by BuyMoreAndSave
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My mom spent her last six weeks between a hospital and a nursing home. They were preparing to send her home when she took a turn for the worse and died.  

Mom lived in an apartment in a retirement facility.  The place was kind enough to prorate her rent, but at $150/day, lingering over decisions is a luxury.  Haul to the dump? Take to Value Village? Move to my garage, essentially kicking the can down the road?  A whole life disassembled in a couple of days.  Makes you think.

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1 hour ago, BuyMoreAndSave said:

This is probably controversial but I think once a hoarding situation gets to government intervention level, that should be cause for involuntary commitment and permanent loss of the right to live independently. I don't even believe in involuntary commitment in certain other cases where it is currently used either. But I've dealt with too many hoarders in my life and they just destroy everything and everyone in their path. And they almost never get better either.

Unfortunately the problem is that there's no place for these people to go. I don't disagree with you - but assuming hoarding could be turned into an involuntary commitment then the problem becomes where do we warehouse these people? Because they're not going to get better. But where I get frustrated with the hoarders is the whole "lets be gentle and not rile them up" routine that never works, and with how the government won't actually drop the hammer on these people. Look, I'm not advocating letting the government assume control of our lives but if there's a situation where the 75 year old man has created a massive mess that is impacting the health of his neighbors, and ISN'T assumed to be mentally incompetent and IS protesting throwing out his shitty diaper pile  complete with cursing and shaking in rage... why can't he be arrested? Hoarders routinely insist they aren't mentally ill so why not take the gloves off? Why can't the woman with 100 dead cats go to jail for animal cruelty? Why not sell the contents of the ten storage lockers with no second chances after the storage fees aren't paid for months?

The Asian couple on Tidying Up were hoarders but I think they were hoarders who could still see reason. 

1 hour ago, BuyMoreAndSave said:

There's a lot of controversy over the books thing but she said that SHE has thirty books, not that everyone should have only thirty. If having more than that sparks joy then you should have more than that.

I thought this was a little bit of a tempest in a teapot to be honest. I think Marie herself isn't that into books, but I agree that she hasn't been all "ALL BOOKS MUST GO INTO THE CLEANSING FIRE!". As a book lover, I think book lovers tend to get a little twitchy whenever anyone suggests that you consider getting rid of any books. I do think she has a point about asking yourself if it still "sparks joy" because the truth with books is that we tend to feel guilty about not keeping them... and there's only so many donation options.

47 minutes ago, kirklandia said:

Mom lived in an apartment in a retirement facility.  The place was kind enough to prorate her rent, but at $150/day, lingering over decisions is a luxury.  Haul to the dump? Take to Value Village? Move to my garage, essentially kicking the can down the road?  A whole life disassembled in a couple of days.  Makes you think.

I hear you. My mom passed recently and while not a hoarder per se, her house is cram jammed with the many antiques she accumulated and her many many sewing and quilting and cross stitching things and all kinds of hardwood vintage oak furniture and we're going to just have to have an estate sale because everyone lives too far away to afford the cost of moving heavy hardwood furniture.

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3 hours ago, Rap541 said:

Unfortunately the problem is that there's no place for these people to go. I don't disagree with you - but assuming hoarding could be turned into an involuntary commitment then the problem becomes where do we warehouse these people? Because they're not going to get better. But where I get frustrated with the hoarders is the whole "lets be gentle and not rile them up" routine that never works, and with how the government won't actually drop the hammer on these people. Look, I'm not advocating letting the government assume control of our lives but if there's a situation where the 75 year old man has created a massive mess that is impacting the health of his neighbors, and ISN'T assumed to be mentally incompetent and IS protesting throwing out his shitty diaper pile  complete with cursing and shaking in rage... why can't he be arrested? Hoarders routinely insist they aren't mentally ill so why not take the gloves off? Why can't the woman with 100 dead cats go to jail for animal cruelty? Why not sell the contents of the ten storage lockers with no second chances after the storage fees aren't paid for months?

The Asian couple on Tidying Up were hoarders but I think they were hoarders who could still see reason. 

I thought this was a little bit of a tempest in a teapot to be honest. I think Marie herself isn't that into books, but I agree that she hasn't been all "ALL BOOKS MUST GO INTO THE CLEANSING FIRE!". As a book lover, I think book lovers tend to get a little twitchy whenever anyone suggests that you consider getting rid of any books. I do think she has a point about asking yourself if it still "sparks joy" because the truth with books is that we tend to feel guilty about not keeping them... and there's only so many donation options.

I hear you. My mom passed recently and while not a hoarder per se, her house is cram jammed with the many antiques she accumulated and her many many sewing and quilting and cross stitching things and all kinds of hardwood vintage oak furniture and we're going to just have to have an estate sale because everyone lives too far away to afford the cost of moving heavy hardwood furniture.

So you say there's nowhere for them to go but then advocate jail? Jail costs more than assisted living (obviously they wouldn't be involuntarily committed forever as long-term psychiatric holds are not common in the US anymore). Jails have become the new de facto institutions as well. I bet if we did the cost benefit analysis with lost productivity and lost property value, it would be cheaper in the long run to take this approach.

Yeah there's people with hoarding tendencies and then there's people who have completely lost it. Hopefully that couple will be able to continue on a decluttering path.

I'm a book lover too but if I want a book, chances are the library either has it or can order it from a nearby library, or I can get an e-book. There's no point owning the classics at all because the library is totally guaranteed to have those. I see Marie Kondo's approach on that one. And yes, books are very hard to get rid of.

I'm sorry for your loss. At least it sounds like she took good care of her stuff and much of it can be resold.

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11 hours ago, BuyMoreAndSave said:

So you say there's nowhere for them to go but then advocate jail? Jail costs more than assisted living (obviously they wouldn't be involuntarily committed forever as long-term psychiatric holds are not common in the US anymore). Jails have become the new de facto institutions as well. I bet if we did the cost benefit analysis with lost productivity and lost property value, it would be cheaper in the long run to take this approach.

For the ones committing actual crimes, yes. Sorry, but nothing enraged me more than seeing the sick and dying and dead pets being hauled out of a hoarder house all while knowing that since the owner is 65, not mentally incompetent but elderly, and crying hysterically, that she will not see any punishment except a slap on the wrist and a theoretical ban on getting more pets.

I also advocate jail in that the reason we can't advocate psychiatric commitment is because these people are considered mentally competant and we can't haul people to the nuthouse willy nilly and as crazy as a hoarder will seem, the truth is that they generally aren't mentally lost. I just tire of the idea that they're untouchable for breaking housing laws and can stink up the neighborhood and pretty consistently turn on the tears so the people enforcing the laws get made to look like assholes when it's the hoarder who is the asshole. The final episode of Hoarders - the two hour mansion episode, featured a classic example. The woman was clearly mentally ill, and had fought the bank for *ten years* before she lost the house. The new owners literally waited a year for her to get her things, even though they now owned everything in the house, and were still allowing her to take things from the house to sell as part of the clean up. She threatened to renew the various lawsuits, she spent two days snapping at everyone, she was periodically trespassing and also loading up the street with trash and no one wants to call the cops on a frail woman in her late sixties... and that bitch totally knew it. Even though calling the cops would have solved the problem, no one wants to be that asshole that gets a grandma arrested but there's no other option since she's for the most part rational and functional.

12 hours ago, BuyMoreAndSave said:

I'm a book lover too but if I want a book, chances are the library either has it or can order it from a nearby library, or I can get an e-book. There's no point owning the classics at all because the library is totally guaranteed to have those. I see Marie Kondo's approach on that one. And yes, books are very hard to get rid of.

E-books really make a difference. One thing I am holding to as I slowly go thru the books is that as much as I loved book X, am I seriously going to read it again? Am I holding onto the Star Trek books mostly because of my sentimental feelings about them? (the answer is yes, btw) How many books do I want to keep out of sentiment? Versus books I will actually read?

I love the DVD storage we saw with the African American musical family. I've always hesitated getting rid of movie and tv show dvds because I do tend to rewatch stuff but... There's also that mindset of "I paid X for it so I don't want to throw it out" but I went on Ebay recently and looked at what some of my dvd sets sell for and.... DVDs aren't an investment tool, fyi. Thats the mindset I am trying to shake myself out of, that the stuff in my house has value. It does to me... but not necessarily to other people.

12 hours ago, BuyMoreAndSave said:

I'm sorry for your loss. At least it sounds like she took good care of her stuff and much of it can be resold.

Thank you. There's a guilty part of me that hates the idea of just selling most of the stuff that she and my father spent many weekends tracking down at antique and consignment stores but there's also the awkward reality that with rare exception, we just didn't share the same taste in things at all. The book previously mentioned in this thread, about how your kids don't want your stuff, really speaks to me. It's not bad stuff at all (although I am certain there will be no massive Antiques Roadshow million dollar item found) but aside from some sentimental things I will take, the reality is that I didn't like a lot of it. I mean, my mom collected egg plates and salt shaker sets and they're lovely but OMG there's 10-20 examples just in the hutch....

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Yes! That final episode of Hoarders was infuriating! It all boils down to the fact that a person can be mentally competent while having a personality disorder that makes everyone's life a nightmare. Thankfully the Marie Kondo episodes felt pretty much free of both mental illness and personality disorders. The only one that verged on it for me was the one with the woman who wanted to keep everything including her husband's ratty sweatshirt which he actually wanted to part with, and she refused to listen to reason. 

 

As for books, I'm a lifelong booklover and still have lots because they give me joy and don't get in anyone's way, just sitting there looking cozy and interesting on some wall shelves. However, I still Kondoed them and reduced them by about 50%, because I realized that there were lots I knew I'd never read again, or hadn't read even once because they were boring. So her principles worked well for me there. 

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And books make pretty awesome decor. Real books that have meaning in your life.  (Not "books by the yard", or books turned backwards, or books all covered with white paper.) A "wall treatment" that provides color and texture, entertainment and information.  

Edited by kirklandia
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I hate clutter but a room or a home without books makes me uncomfortable. I remember once asking my hostess if she had anything I could read and the only thing in the entire house was a decorating magazine. This was pre-kindle and pre -internet. (I suppose in a pinch I could have read her cereal boxes). But I agree that a nicely curated selection of books does make awesome decor. 

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On 2/4/2019 at 5:15 PM, BuyMoreAndSave said:

There's something seriously wrong with this lady. She has an in-home washing machine and dryer AND she stays at home and she still can't do the laundry and dishes? I've never used a dishwasher or had in-home laundry facilities in my life and to do the laundry I have to carry the bags up and down three flights of stairs and push them in a cart a mile round trip to the laundromat over broken sidewalks, and I STILL stay on top of it. Sure kids are work but it's really not that hard. Her husband was right to be pissed and I don't think it's a sexist thing either (and I'm female).

Agreed! I realize this is very I walked 10 miles back and forth to school in the snow, but I walk up and down three flights of stairs with a bad ankle lugging laundry to the coin operated machines in the basement (and half the time they’re already in use or I forgot the laundry detergent in the apartment). I have no kids but I’m single and work full time. And, you know, I’m not perfect and it gets the better of me sometimes, and I get that some days getting out of bed at all is a win. But I don’t like wearing dirty, stinky, wrinkly clothes so ultimately it GETS DONE otherwise I’ll get even more depressed....babe.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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I don’t know who decided to do the subtitles in white projected onto MK’s white top, but they are idiots. 

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If your books still bring you joy or some other strong emotion then Marie Kondo wants you to keep them. But a lot of people keep books they didn't like or they have bookshelves full of books they haven't read even though they've had them for years. Kondo just wants people to ask themselves - do you have those books because you genuinely want them (because you are going to reread them or what have you) or because you want to be, or want other people to think you are, the sort of person who likes/has read those books?

One of my exes owned a bunch of books - mostly Russian and French literature - that he never read because he thought it made him an intellectual. His identity was wrapped up in being a "book lover" (and coffee drinker and introvert, and I just described about a quarter of all people) even though he didn't like to read books all that often and when he did it was stuff he would consider low-brow. But he would go to bookshops all the time. He would flip out if he watched this show. And I think a lot of the backlash about Kondo's approach to books is by people like my ex.

Kondo just wants everyone to be authentic to who they are and stop smothering themselves in belongings that don't reflect that.

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On 2/6/2019 at 5:50 PM, donovan said:

I don’t know who decided to do the subtitles in white projected onto MK’s white top, but they are idiots. 

Agreed! I wish more movies and shows would use bright yellow for subtitles - it usually shows up much better on screen. White is a common colour that turns up in backgrounds and makes subtitles disappear. One of my movie/tv pet peeves!

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On 1/5/2019 at 3:31 PM, Token said:

But I think that's the main problem with this show.  Whoever created it clearly wanted a typical American reality show, so they booked all these fucked up people who clearly need therapy.  But that's not what Marie Kondo is about at all.  She's not a clinical psychologist whose specialty is hoarders.  She's a self-taught tidier.  She likes to tidy up.  That's the name of her book.  The people brought on for this show were fairly inappropriate.  It's not fair to blame her for that.

Really, really late to the party and so relieved to know I’m not the only one who feels like this was a misdirected show for what the KonMari Method really is.

I’ve been stuck on “sentimentals” (the last category to be tidied) for quite a while because I’m going through literally pounds of snapshots from the past 45 years of my life. But in every other stage, KM has been invaluable — if I died tonight, my heirs would find things in their logical places, accurately labeled and clean. 

More to the point, since I went thru clothes, books, papers & miscellaneous, my life over the past 2 years has been better than ever. I am not a minimalist who has jettisoned everything that I don’t use daily! My minimal needs and preferences are right where I want them. Clutter appears but doesn’t last long because what is out of place does have a “home” to go to. 

IOW, and TL;DR, IMHO *I* am the poster child for the KonMari Method. No crazy keeping, no neurotic mate, no resistance to paring down (like the Japanese-American couple).  

But how do you make a case like mine into interesting viewing?

My affection for Marie is such that I hope they don’t have a second season unless the case studies are much better - and different - than the majority of episodes this season. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 12:03 PM, Rap541 said:

For the ones committing actual crimes, yes. Sorry, but nothing enraged me more than seeing the sick and dying and dead pets being hauled out of a hoarder house all while knowing that since the owner is 65, not mentally incompetent but elderly, and crying hysterically, that she will not see any punishment except a slap on the wrist and a theoretical ban on getting more pets.

I also advocate jail in that the reason we can't advocate psychiatric commitment is because these people are considered mentally competant and we can't haul people to the nuthouse willy nilly and as crazy as a hoarder will seem, the truth is that they generally aren't mentally lost. I just tire of the idea that they're untouchable for breaking housing laws and can stink up the neighborhood and pretty consistently turn on the tears so the people enforcing the laws get made to look like assholes when it's the hoarder who is the asshole. The final episode of Hoarders - the two hour mansion episode, featured a classic example. The woman was clearly mentally ill, and had fought the bank for *ten years* before she lost the house. The new owners literally waited a year for her to get her things, even though they now owned everything in the house, and were still allowing her to take things from the house to sell as part of the clean up. She threatened to renew the various lawsuits, she spent two days snapping at everyone, she was periodically trespassing and also loading up the street with trash and no one wants to call the cops on a frail woman in her late sixties... and that bitch totally knew it. Even though calling the cops would have solved the problem, no one wants to be that asshole that gets a grandma arrested but there's no other option since she's for the most part rational and functional.

E-books really make a difference. One thing I am holding to as I slowly go thru the books is that as much as I loved book X, am I seriously going to read it again? Am I holding onto the Star Trek books mostly because of my sentimental feelings about them? (the answer is yes, btw) How many books do I want to keep out of sentiment? Versus books I will actually read?

I love the DVD storage we saw with the African American musical family. I've always hesitated getting rid of movie and tv show dvds because I do tend to rewatch stuff but... There's also that mindset of "I paid X for it so I don't want to throw it out" but I went on Ebay recently and looked at what some of my dvd sets sell for and.... DVDs aren't an investment tool, fyi. Thats the mindset I am trying to shake myself out of, that the stuff in my house has value. It does to me... but not necessarily to other people.

Thank you. There's a guilty part of me that hates the idea of just selling most of the stuff that she and my father spent many weekends tracking down at antique and consignment stores but there's also the awkward reality that with rare exception, we just didn't share the same taste in things at all. The book previously mentioned in this thread, about how your kids don't want your stuff, really speaks to me. It's not bad stuff at all (although I am certain there will be no massive Antiques Roadshow million dollar item found) but aside from some sentimental things I will take, the reality is that I didn't like a lot of it. I mean, my mom collected egg plates and salt shaker sets and they're lovely but OMG there's 10-20 examples just in the hutch....

I agree they should go to jail if they committed a crime and are deemed mentally competent. And in some cases that does happen.

However the criteria for being involuntarily committed is "is the person a danger to themselves or others"? Again I don't 100% agree with some aspects of involuntary commitment but these are the standards as they are today. A hoarder at government intervention level is definitely a danger to themselves, and to others if they have anyone living with them (including pets) or have roped someone into trying to help them deal with it. There is also very little chance of them getting better even with treatment. The best thing to do is to involuntarily commit them for like a month, have the government destroy all their belongings during that time, and then put them in a very small assisted living shared residence with very strict monitoring forever. This may sound expensive but I guarantee it's cheaper than the burden of just letting them do whatever they want (both directly to taxpayers and in lost time/money/productivity/etc. of their relatives). I also guarantee that most people, especially relatives of hoarders, would support this because they don't want to deal with that stuff either. There is already a similar civil commitment program in place for pedophiles and nobody questions it (obviously a way worse thing but the point is that since pedophilia is incurable they aren't released into the general community).

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I hear you but there would be a ton of lawsuits and people protesting that the sweet grandmother is being abused or railroaded by the evil government.  Plus, frankly, it's not pedofilia, so the public in general is less likely to get behind permanent involuntary commitment when the sufferers are not demonstrably crazy. 

What I think works with the Konmari method is the idea of acknowledging the item before you get rid it and... and I could be wrong but, the freedom to *just get rid of it* without a lot of handwringing over whether it should be donated or if you'll still need it. I think, especially if you're raised in lower middle class to working class homes, is that there's a culture of "save it because you might need it" that stems from the Depression. There's also a weird bias against just throwing something out and not finding it another owner (trust me I go through this myself and not just with books). Because sometimes it's hard to find someone who wants or needs a particular doo-dad, you hold onto it because a)you might need it someday and b)it's wrong to throw out *something good* without attempting to find it another owner.  I've got another session in my bedroom planned this upcoming weekend where I am going to seriously clear out some things I am just not using and won't use again. I'm granting myself the freedom to throw some stuff out without making a big deal of finding new owners or driving stuff to Goodwill because with rare exception, poor people probably aren't going to want my really old computer stuff. I think knowing at the end of the day that you don't have to find that new home for the stuff helps.

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Enjoying this discussion. 

I gave away some beautiful things yesterday because I hadn’t used them in years.  They were very evidently part of a set but I’d found two of them in one resale shop, and the third in a different shop, a few miles away. I hadn’t paid much for them, but it still bugged me a little. 

I just had a fleeting thought to go buy them back, including the rationalization that I’d be supporting the non profit shop’s very good cause. Ah—small insight into the keeping (if not hoarding) mindset. 

But what I really want to discuss is the phenomenon @Rap541 described so well:

”...especially if you're raised in lower middle class to working class homes, is that there's a culture of "save it because you might need it" that stems from the Depression.”

My parents=Depression kids. Dad was pack ratty with papers & books; Mom — who had been born into grinding poverty — was a past master at decluttering.  Both their wardrobes combined fit into a four-foot closet and five  bureau drawers. Not counting winter coats and a fall/spring jacket. 

Their kitchen and bathroom komonos were similarly functional.  

My point: I begin to think that my own personal history of alluding to our family’s humble roots, and the multi-generational effects of The Depression, was one of my ways of excusing myself for the piles of what-not that I accumulated. But it was dishonest on my part!! 

Mom had 3 cast iron frypans, 2 saucepans and 1 stockpot. Oh - and a roasting pan. We ate like middle-class kings! I only started thinking about “what I might need someday” after I married (1980) and paid attention to the photos of kitchens like Martha Stewart & Ina Garten’s. 

Boy, do I digress. TL;DR — I’m beginning to believe “I might need that, someday, my folks went thru The Depression” is less a trickle-down from The Depression than it is just a tendency to like to keep some things. FOR ME.  I’m not attempting to describe anybody else.

And I’ll also acknowledge: neither of my folks had hobbies (that would’ve been money wasted, you see!), so Dad didn’t need a workbench full of handy items and the closest thing Mom had to a “fabric stash” was our rag bag; we never needed paper towels! Heh.

So I’d probably be talking out my ears and extrapolating my own isolated history onto others’ motivations, if I hadn’t already declaimed any such intentions  

But as I said, it’s interesting to discuss. Thank you all who are involved! 

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I watched a couple of episodes, and I was just kind of "meh", except that the "babe" couple drove me nuts.

That being said, I have been making a conscious effort to purge a lot of stuff for the past few years, even before Marie Kondo was famous.

I just find that as you get older the need for "stuff" just diminishes.  We have a big house, everything has a place, and we are by no means hoarders, but in 39 years of marriage we have accumulated a lot of things.

I've had an e-reader for 8 years and I love it.  I read a lot, but with a few exceptions I rarely reread my books.  So I did have a large purge of books and I am down to one bookshelf.  No regrets.

When I got married people gave you stuff like crystal butter dishes which were dutifully displayed in a china cabinet and never used.  Purged that stuff too.  No regrets.  In the kitchen I opened the drawers and realized that of the 6 spatulas that lived there I always used the same 2, so out they went. Love opening the considerably emptier drawers now.

Personally, I find I am getting real satisfaction from ridding myself of excess belongings.  We will probably downsize at some point and it will make the transition a lot easier.  And I am doing my kids a favor because they won't be left with mountains of things to sort through if something happens to me.  

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On 2/10/2019 at 5:46 PM, BckpckFullaNinjas said:

I’ve been stuck on “sentimentals” (the last category to be tidied) for quite a while because I’m going through literally pounds of snapshots from the past 45 years of my life. 

More to the point, since I went thru clothes, books, papers & miscellaneous, my life over the past 2 years has been better than ever. 

But how do you make a case like mine into interesting viewing?

Your case would definitely make for interesting viewing in terms of strategies for handling all the photos.  Also, seeing how people make decisions about the other things you mentioned (clothes, books, papers & miscellaneous) always gives tips and insights.  I think sometimes "they" think we need drama or an angle, but good old fashioned organizing is what most of us are watching for.  I do like the show's 'gimmick' if you want to call it that, where they show people from different stages/walks of life...I think it makes the show more relatable to a broader group of people, and it helps people realize 'if they can do it, I can do it'.

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10 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

I do like the show's 'gimmick' if you want to call it that, where they show people from different stages/walks of life...I think it makes the show more relatable to a broader group of people, and it helps people realize 'if they can do it, I can do it'.

It also just makes the show more interesting when you see different life scenarios deal with purging possessions. I used to love HouseHunters until they seemed to have like, season after season of rich upper class white couples with one toddler picking houses. The houses always had multiple bedrooms because the one child needed a bedroom and a playroom and mom and dad each needed an office....and granite countertops oh sweet Jesus, the countertops must be granite! It was nice to see some different scenarios - older couple with kids out of the house and way too much hobby stuff, versus young family with two toddlers and just no organization, versus family with teens where there's a lot of stuff and little room versus widow with a big place and a lot of the dead husband's stuff versus young couple with no kids but too much stuff overwhelming them. 

While I don't think there's a lot of need for more episodes (its kind of the same thing, the points have been made) I think it was an effective way to showcase the method and to get the idea across.  I'd like to know the more philosophical aspects of Marie's views, how this relates to Shintoism etc. I'm considering getting her book, because she sounds like an OCD piece of work who managed to turn that issue into a lucrative career.

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Preach it, @Rap541:

”...usedto love HouseHunters until they seemed to have like, season after season of rich upper class white couples with one toddler picking houses. The houses always had multiple bedrooms because the one child needed a bedroom and a playroom and mom and dad each needed an office....and granite countertops oh sweet Jesus, the countertops must be granite!...”

Love It Or List It had an episode where a decidedly unhip couple wanted to leave their 1000-sf ranch for a place with A BONUS ROOM for their 2 toddler boys. Realtor-dude had them salivating over a 3000-sf McManse but at the sight of just a soaking tub in  Designer-Hilary's re-do, they stuck with their sweet little house.  It was so blasted charming to see a couple of relatable people opt for cozy  over splashy that I erase-protected the dang episode on my DVR and watch it when the warm fuzzies are running low.

But I digress from my teacher, Marie.   

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I was listening to Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast a few days ago and they were discussing clutter and the endowment effect (which is the way your brain ascribes more value to something once you own it, making it harder to get rid of it).  I'd heard of the effect before but this time I realized that it could be one reason KonMari works for so many is that the question of sparking joy kind of short circuits that whole mental process. It gently devalues the object in question because if something doesn't spark joy, why would we want to keep it? 

I have a laundry room clutter problem and it's funny, yesterday I was hanging up stuff from the dryer and my eyes were idly scanning the hanging rack, saying no joy, no joy, no joy... 🙂  Which is a major shift from "ugh, I don't want to go through those clothes and decide what to keep".

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Update - the desk area, the floor, the bookshelf and the underwear drawer are done!

This involved five bags of trash. I threw some books out. Basically I found myself looking at some of the books and thinking "I'm never going to open this again". I had one "it doesn't bring joy but..." moment over an airbed stored under the desk. That was like, the first thing moved into the now spacious walk in closet. I kept it because while I rarely use it, it works perfectly fine when used and if I had a guest, I'd like to offer them something other than the floor... and I don't see the point in throwing something simply to throw it out. I think its ok to occasionally indulge the "I might need this" principle. 

The underwear drawer made me conscious of why the "put all the clothes on the bed and behold your American excess" part of the Konmari method works. This drawer was so full of underthings, I literally had no idea I had so many undies. That was a trashbag all on it's own.

The next task is "the other closet" in the bedroom that is filled with a lot of stored things, the dresser that is full of things other than clothes, and the trunk on the floor that has a lot of stuff that doesn't fit in the closet on it. If anyone else is trying this, I really don't recommend not going by space if you don't have a month of vacation to commit to taking apart all your stuff and going through it all in one giant mess. 

I also am considering, once I am done, of doing a more thorough assessment of the remaining books and things just to kinda make sure that these things are important enough to keep.

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4 hours ago, Rap541 said:

Update - the desk area, the floor, the bookshelf and the underwear drawer are done!

This involved five bags of trash. I threw some books out. Basically I found myself looking at some of the books and thinking "I'm never going to open this again". I had one "it doesn't bring joy but..." moment over an airbed stored under the desk. That was like, the first thing moved into the now spacious walk in closet. I kept it because while I rarely use it, it works perfectly fine when used and if I had a guest, I'd like to offer them something other than the floor... and I don't see the point in throwing something simply to throw it out. I think its ok to occasionally indulge the "I might need this" principle. 

The underwear drawer made me conscious of why the "put all the clothes on the bed and behold your American excess" part of the Konmari method works. This drawer was so full of underthings, I literally had no idea I had so many undies. That was a trashbag all on it's own.

The next task is "the other closet" in the bedroom that is filled with a lot of stored things, the dresser that is full of things other than clothes, and the trunk on the floor that has a lot of stuff that doesn't fit in the closet on it. If anyone else is trying this, I really don't recommend not going by space if you don't have a month of vacation to commit to taking apart all your stuff and going through it all in one giant mess. 

I also am considering, once I am done, of doing a more thorough assessment of the remaining books and things just to kinda make sure that these things are important enough to keep.

KonMari devotee here.  I've done my own home and a couple of friends', and I can agree that it's possible to do clothes in more than one go.  However, if you can clear you calendar for a day or so, over a weekend, it is ultimately more effective to do every item of clothing from every storage area in the house. The following is from my experience and theirs: You'll be surprised at how  your mood and energy levels increase as you get into the pile, no matter its original height.

The komono (miscellaneous) category, especially for things that are kept in lower cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen, is where consolidating every.last.item. from EVERYWHERE really makes sense.  I was astounded at the unnecessary duplication - and triplification and quadruplification - of cans of cleanser, fingernail scissors, scrungee-sponges, Swiffer refills, etc.

Also, as I'm currently in a "Don't apologize, just accept the compliment" phase:  Americans' closets are by no means the only ones that are overstuffed.  Marie based her method on what she saw in home sweet home Japan! In fact, a couple of years ago a Japanese TV station produced a miniseries based on her, and the character who needed "Marie's" help had a one-room apartment with clothes strewn and piled everywhere.  

Final specific comments to @Rap541, congratulations on your progress! And a big "yes, ma'am" from me to your idea to do a more thorough assessment of what you've kept, down the road.  I recently read a comment by a KonMari fan who says as she looks at her closet, now, she is able to quickly identify anything that doesn't bring her joy.  I looked at my closet and found that to be true for me, too.  Continuing good luck to you!!

Edited by BckpckFullaNinjas
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I was going through book the other day. Do you think maybe 6 books on decluttering is too much? 😆 Into the library donation pile! I kept Peter Walsh’s book. 

I’m in denial about my pants and shorts. A big stack do not fit, but I’m trying to lose weight (of course!). How long is too long?

Edited by chitowngirl
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20 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

I was going through book the other day. Do you think maybe 6 books on decluttering is too much? 😆 Into the library donation pile! I kept Peter Walsh’s book. 

I’m in denial about my pants and shorts. A big stack do not fit, but I’m trying to lose weight (of course!). How long is too long?

Much as I love Marie - and I do - I regret buying “spark joy” and would’ve bought “manga” instead. But I can do without both. 

You asked about how long to keep your snug shorts & pants. For me, this worked: I hung them with my other pants until I got sick of thumbing past them and donated a few. Then I started eating right and was delighted to fit into a couple. Donated the few that still didn’t fit. Total time elapsed.... eh, maybe  6 months. Key for me was keeping them front & center so that I HAD to mentally deal with it, until I could do so, physically. Good luck!!!. 

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Chito: I think 2 years is enough time to keep stuff that you are not going to fit into. If you do lose the weight, treat yourself to things that spark joy.  And of course never buy anything you think you will be able to wear when you lose weight.  I can't believe I have friends in their 70's who still think they are going to lose the weight and wear some old stuff. Gals, it's okay! Don't think like a teenager!

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To Backpack:  I had depression era parents too and honey can I relate! And, get this, their parents were quite well to to do but you would not know if from the tales I always heard. about THE GREAT DEPRESSION. My mother reused tin foil! They also went through WWII where America had to ration everything as well.  Waste not, want not was how we lived during the 50's and 60's in my household let me tell ya. Now, I just toss it to keep my Zen joint groovy! Loved your post, thank you! 

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