Your Treasures In the Trash and the Myth of Tidying

Last week my husband shared this funny tweet with me about the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Hilarious right? Apparently, it was a Netflix glitch and it was corrected quickly but not before the Internet pounced on the chance for a good joke. Don’t you love that!

But it got me thinking about a conversation I’ve had several times with people that have either read my posts about the KonMari Method or watched the show.

After seeing, hearing, or reading about the method and it’s results, inevitably someone will respond that it’s just too hard for them to think about getting rid of all of their stuff because they are just too sentimental. I’ve received this same reaction from people who have lost parents or recently become empty-nesters or even some who are newlyweds with boxes of wedding gifts in their closets.

I get it. From the outside, the tidying up looks like a liquidation sale – “Everything Must Go!” – but it really isn’t. We see families dragging dozens of bags to the curb or the local thrift store and think either they were hoarders (and those bags are junk) or they must be miserably unfeeling about their things (and those bags are full of valuables).

For those who have only viewed the Netflix series, this is an understandable reaction because so much is glossed over about Marie Kondo’s approach but if you read her book, you will see that she has no interest in taking away your grandmother’s china or baby’s first Christmas ornament at gunpoint. In fact, she would say that it’s the things you care about most that should stay. Not only should they stay in your home, but they should be cared for properly and featured so that you can truly enjoy them.

One phrase I hear often from my most sentimental friends is that they have “boxes of” treasures that they just couldn’t bear to go through and get rid of. Never mind the fact that sentimental treasures in boxes is a massive contradiction. The very reason we keep special things is for the memories they recall or joy that they spark so to store them in boxes and access them every few years is

To flip that thinking on it’s head, perhaps we shouldn’t be saying “there’s no way I could ever do that because I just couldn’t bear to give away my sentimental things,” but rather “what in my home could I discard so that the boxes of treasures could be opened, displayed, touched, felt, smelled, loved, and remembered?”


Photo by Dương Trần Quốc on Unsplash

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