I really feel the above was a missed opportunity by The Onion in lampooning the KonMari-ing of America.
The Magical Tidying Up phenomenon is a hoot, though, isn’t it? First, it was the calming watercolor covered book, a tiny little tome that was responsible for millions of women hugging their sequined sorority tops, thanking them for all the good times they had dancing on bar tops, before letting the sequins set sail for Goodwill. Then, we have the Netflix special bringing this petite Japanese sprite of a woman as a sort of Buddhist interventionist into the homes of Americans, showing them how to accordion fold their T-shirts in a way that is so arousing, apparently, that my husband just walked by me and said, “Not gonna lie. Something really satisfying about the Marie Kondo fold.”
I love it when small little forces are the big bosses of us. Like babies and puppies and Richard Simmons (did they ever find him?). I also like Kondo’s method which is actually the opposite of bossy. It places the real agency on the owner and accumulator of the stuff, and rather than shaming him/her into submission, it simply asks them to self-examine whether or not something brings him/her more, instantaneous joy.
Having lived in so many places that would be considered small in the First World over the years, I can attest that this self-examination is the only sustainable way to tide accumulation. Will bringing this distressed wooden birdcage/pilates body rig /hydroponic tomato irrigator into my home offer a more joyful experience? It usually does not. Minimalism isn’t always the most joyful existence, but in my home, it’s the surest way to tame the chaos and assure the peaceful vibe.
But why, I wonder, does minimalism have to be this Very Evolved State of Being that We Must Announce? Like, the other day I was rifling through the racks at Marshall’s for a white oxford shirt. There were none in my size, and, trust, I cased the juniors, petites, women’s, men’s and little girls/boys. Nary an oxford shirt to be had. But among the finer merchandise and wares was a large rustic sign, the kind one would put in her living room, announcing in brushlettering, LESS HOUSE MORE HOME.
And I was sort of like, dude. Please promise me I never have the pleasure of being in a space where someone paid $19.99 to broadcast the fact that they were aware of the square footage of their abode, and what mattered more was that everyone knew they liked it that way?
Because this little piggy would be vomiting all the way home.
I suppose it is all anchored in our hyperconsumerism, because if we haven’t commodified something, does it really exist in America? We are, after all, buying into the KonMari method. If she were not selling something, the info. would be available freely. I assume Marie Kondo action figures are available somewhere—one piles, one folds, one embraces, one carries a lighter for sparking joy—collect all 4! The bobbleheads and FunkoPops will be available by Christmas for your stocking stuffers, BE YE NOT VEXED.
It’s not lost on me, of course, that there is an excess of judgment in this post, that my mental closets are filled with reserves of cynicism that are not joy sparkers for anyone, myself included. I am not a bandwaggoner and am loathe to ever be called a johnny come lately. I am as fascinated by pop culture as I am reviled by it. But there are plenty of pockets in my kimono for more admiration and openmindedness, and I am not yet at full joy capacity, so I should probably go hug some more sequins.