I haven't read an official number, but I do wonder what percentage of Americans took to the KonMari method during the COVID quarantine. Though released in October 2014, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up"—Marie Kondo's manifesto—found new followers as shelter-in-place forced us to confront the clutter in our homes and in our hearts. And, I must admit I am now one of them.Thus Number 18 on my 20 for 2020 is responding to my teacher—as disciples are called to do—with a comment and a question.
Chapter 4: Storing Your Things to Make Your Life Shine concludes with a call for the reader to "Appreciate your possessions and gain strong allies." In it, Marie* writes "One of the homework assignments I give my clients is to appreciate their belongings. For example, I urge them to try saying, "Thank you for keeping me warm all day," when they hang up their clothes after returning home'."
I have to admit, this is a stretch for me. While I do think there is something to be said for being intentional about many things—appreciation, gratitude, caring and mindfulness—I do not have it in me to pause and say those words out loud. Do you? Walt Whitman said, "Be Curious. Not Judgmental." I am curious about this practice. I'm not judgmental of this suggestion. And still—I know myself. However, Marie appealed to my senses, and to Sports and Spirituality a few sentences later when she wrote,
Of course, I know some people find it hard to believe that inanimate objects respond to human emotion, and it could indeed just have been coincidence. Still, we often hear about athletes who take loving care of their sports gear, treating it almost as if it were sacred. I think the athletes instinctively sense the power of these objects. If we treated all things we use in our daily life, whether it is our computer, our handbag, or our pens and pencils, with the same care that athletes give to their equipment, we could greatly increase the number of dependable "supporters" in our lives. The act of possessing is a very natural part of our daily life, not something reserved for some special match or contest."
Without a doubt, some of my most prized possessions as a young athlete were related to sports. The annual trip to Wink's Swim Shop to purchase Scottsdale Swim Club's team suit was a sacred pilgrimage. I remember saving enough money from babysitting to pay for my new Dunlop tennis racket. It was white, with turquoise strings. I carried that on court weapon with pride. Even today, care for my golf clubs and golf gear get priority over ….a lot of things. Thus Marie's challenge isn't lost on me. Her message makes sense. If I can care for my possessions carefully here, why can't I do it there.
NB: I do not talk to my golf clubs, nor do I name them.
Reading, implementing and practicing the KonMari method has been a fun point of conversation among my friends and family. One of my golf girlfriends presented to me what she refers to as the KonMari option. Similar to the nuclear option, it is intense. And, it got me thinking.
My friend shared that in this past year, she has applied Marie's advice to her friends. If a friendship doesn't spark joy, now is the time to let it go. This exercise has enabled her to see the emotional clutter that comes with some relationships. I think she's on to something. Do you? Too strong? Necessary?
Marie Kondo believes that she has "summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever." I find her goal to be both ambitious and necessary. I do believe the magic of tidying-up is an art form. Is it life-changing? magical? Not sure….but I do want to do better in respecting what I have and and what I own. I also want to continue thinking about the effect of physical clutter on my life as well as the emotional clutter from people who spark negativity or pessimism. Get ready 2021!
*Marie is the the nomenclature used on her website