Is Marie Kondo Really Going to Change Your Life?
If you haven’t been exposed to, binged on and subsequently attempted to put into practice (the best laid plans right!?) the Marie Kondo approach to clutter you’ve been living under a badly folded pile of clothing that most definitely doesn’t spark joy! For the uninitiated Marie Kondo is an awe-inspiring perfect package of Japanese politeness and gorgeousness who floats into people’s homes, frees them of their joy sapping belongings and floats back out again sadly without taking the screaming brats with her. AKA vis-a-vis Tokyo’s answer to Mary Poppins!
There are some obvious issues with the KonMari method including waste and long-term sustainability. As the waste piles up and people throw away perfectly good clothing, they could have recycled or repurposed, that doesn’t spark joy, there is a bigger question that has everyone raging. Namely the implications and impact of the disposable society we live in. Particularly when it comes to things like fashion and household items, and the role it will play in both our culture and the future of our plant in the long term.
Now I’m not suggesting that Marie Kondo set out to create a joyless pile of unwanted goods making its way into landfill across the globe. But in the transfer of Japanese culture to Western culture, I feel that something was lost in translation and the one-use economy has reared its ugly head again. This is serious, it’s compelling and it’s important. The disposable way in which we view many of our belongings isn’t healthy! There are fantastic businesses who are carrying the torch for slow clothes in Australia whilst others work hard to source and bring more sustainable products to Australia.
However, the KonMari epidemic hits closer to home too in another take on sustainability. How sustainable is the lifestyle she suggests anyway? Can we really all live in a perfectly folded, neatly and vertically stacked world for the long term? Are we putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves in a society already epitomised by working parents, long hours, the daily juggle/struggle and less leisure time! And does it really change the lifestyle issues that got us into that cluttered mess in the first place! I for one feel physically sick when I see that Mount Fuji sized pile of clothing make its way out of people’s wardrobes and on to the bed. ‘How long before they can sleep in that bed again’ my sleep deprived self screams! The clothing is shocking but it’s the disruption and extra work that repulse me!
Having the constant pressure on top of everything else can be problematic. It can weigh heavily on some people, add to the load and lead to even more feelings of inadequacy and failure. What I’m saying is organisation s relative. Clutter is not the enemy, it the consumerism that got you there that is. Along with the life pressure that make it hard to manage sometimes.
However, I’m living proof that there is a serenity and calm to be had from decluttered, simplifying and organising your life. Trust me that is not coming from an exceptionally ordered and organised person! It has its merits if you can make it manageable and sustainable.
Just ask yourself, do I really need another white singlet from a large national retailer for three bucks or can I make do, recycle or at the very least find a more sustainable option. Have a clear out but think about how those clothes might serve someone else. And importantly, cut yourself some slack. If you can’t maintain those immaculate kitchen draws and wardrobes, it’s not the end of the world.