I don’t need to have Netflix anymore to know that the new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has surged a whole new wave of excitement over the KonMarie stuff cleanse & its “life-changing magic”.
On Instagram stories, in my neighborhood, and blogs across the internet, women and men (though, let’s be frank, the latter are mostly of the indulging-their-significant-other variety) are purging books, refolding clothes, and asking the question, “Does this spark joy?” (a fancy version of: do I still want this thing?)
The desire to simplify & subtract seems like a natural reaction response to the rampant materialism & consumption that mark our current cultural era. A counterswing to the flurry of Black Friday, the holidays, and 2-day free shipping.
So, I think it it’s a good thing, unequivocally.
What's not to love about reorienting your surroundings to only reflect what you love, what brings life, what lasts, and what has meaning? I have hitched my horse, professionally, 100% to the idea of products that are a bigger investment, but imbue meaning, are well-loved, and, well... spark joy! (I'm talking kantha quilts: see!)
But, I know that when we create a void, when we remove something, the space doesn’t stay empty. Another thing moves to fill it. I don’t mean literally, physically… this isn’t a comment on how the junk drawer will be mysteriously bursting again by March!
If I stop a bad habit, like checking my phone a zillion times a day, what will I do with my time, my hands, my antsy-ness, instead? This is why many smokers who decide to quit start chewing gum, or go for a 5 minute walk during what used to be their smoke break at work.
Even more abstractly, if I want to be less impatient, or think fewer judgmental thoughts, I need to create a positive resolution to focus on, too: maybe I start a mental bucket list of fun activities to think about when I am stuck in a line or otherwise trying to be patient; maybe decide to say a prayer of gratitude when I am feeling down or frustrated.
When we're motivated to simplify, to minimize, to clutter-bust... what do we want to fill that gap? If we don't consider the answer we envision to that question, I guarantee that the space will be filled... just maybe not with the life-giving, joy-sparking stuff we want in it.
So, what are some ideas to think through in refilling the space?
What else? Have you successfully decluttered and remained decluttered, in space and/or mind? Thoughts on the list above, or on all the recent KonMarie love?
Share your thoughts & stories in the comments below.
A few stories, as I parse through the complexities of privilege & justice…
We spent time visiting in Dhomina’s relatively large home. The space had been expanded to include a separate cooking space — built upon because of the income she earned making kantha for Basha, for us. Amazing!
I've shared my favourite reads in the past, and today I'm sharing some faves to cook.
This is not a cooking blog (obviously) and I haven't styled any plates or hired any food photographers. I am no expert, but I do cook great food. This assertion is not self-congratulatory! I have little (no) inherent skill and I attribute all of my good cooking to 1) other people's excellent recipes, 2) access to fresh, reliable, & varied food, and 3) time (ie. the time I currently have currently to cook AND the many years of practice).