Author Topic: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality  (Read 5859 times)

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7746
  • Location: United States
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #50 on: January 31, 2019, 08:15:01 AM »


I did get rid of my box of buttons. Because despite sewing a ton, I almost NEVER went to find a button.

Hahha, my button box is large. It's a by product of my side hustle of selling thrifted clothing. What doesn't sell has all buttons, trims and zips removed and collected for bulk sale. When the button box is full, I sell it online. The last button box got me $60. I sold a few button sets individually also - shaped ones for kid's clothing, or shell or wood ones.

I do cut all the clasps and stuff off bras, and friends give me theirs.  Findings are expensive and I like to sew my own.

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1125
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2019, 09:03:53 AM »
@Malkynn  - I don't think people think the whole concept is privileged - but certainly the idea of only keeping things that spark joy reads as privilege if you haven't read the whole book.

I had a winter coat and several warm shirts that were gifted to me several years ago when money was quite tight. I hated that coat and the shirts didn't really fit but they were warm, money was tight, so I kept them. Throwing them out (even though I disliked them) was not really an option. I would have rolled my eyes big time if someone had said "just throw them out."

Obviously we've gotten deeper into the discussion here (I really appreciate the conversation on Shinto, etc) but from a very surface level, criticisms of privilege aren't surprising.

I will also say that as a sibling of someone with severe OCD, Kondo's description of her childhood compulsion for neatness was a red flag for me as well. BUT - how amazing that she was able to create a career for herself that is such a perfect fit for her personality!

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7772
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2019, 09:45:35 AM »
I think the actual MK would not say to throw those items out, but to reframe how you think about them. Appreciate them for keeping you warm, for being free when you couldn't afford other options, mentally thank them and the person who gave them to you every time you wear them.

Of course the price of fame is people judging you on the headlines. I'm not invested in defending her, but I think the reframing toward gratitude fits with the message of this site.

Prairie Stash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2019, 01:57:22 PM »
I had a winter coat and several warm shirts that were gifted to me several years ago when money was quite tight. I hated that coat and the shirts didn't really fit but they were warm, money was tight, so I kept them. Throwing them out (even though I disliked them) was not really an option. I would have rolled my eyes big time if someone had said "just throw them out."
I still have to read the book.

However, I suspect the coat "sparked joy" every time it was freezing outside. You don't have to like something to find joy in it. Does the book say you need to like something to find joy in it? Although the terms are often synonymous, the concept of joy can spring from unlikely places.

I have had several ugly free coats in my life. I didn't like most of them (probably because I hated the fact I was poor and the jacket was an outward showing reflection of my poverty and I struggled with it), but I wore them for their warmth. I found joy in staying warm, which extended to the jacket, but I never learned to like their ugly appearance from an aesthetic view. In hindsight, they sparked joy but I was angry about being poor, thats a demon entirely seperate from the coat that needed dealing with. 

I read the article from the professor deriding the winter jacket; she should try not having a jacket for a week and I guarantee it would spark joy the next time she wore it. In that case joy is synonymous with appreciation.

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 685
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2019, 08:15:41 AM »
  In scenario 2, they need to address the deep psychological wounds caused by their (typically lifetime of) poverty.  For both groups, way more intervention then Marie Kondo is needed to tidy up.
I won't argue with this.  I feel like KonMari strategies can compliment this work, or possible be inspiration to seek the greater help.  Ultimately a person needs to be ready for it (tidying or therapy), and you will get out of it what you put into it. 

After a childhood as a low income hand-me-down packrat, I needed to learn self-reflection and how to separate my emotions from my things.  In that way, the KonMari method was like therapy for me.   It was truly life changing, not because being tidy is so special, but because it taught me a strategy to cope with loss, fill my mind with gratitude, and created a paradigm shift in how I view mementos.

I read the article from the professor deriding the winter jacket; she should try not having a jacket for a week and I guarantee it would spark joy the next time she wore it. In that case joy is synonymous with appreciation.
Kondo's book does offer perspective on items without joy, but instead focuses on their utility and need, as you point out.  Her chapter on miscellaneous/komono covers this idea.

kite

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2019, 03:28:15 PM »

A big criticism of Marie Kondo or minimalism (I think theyíre two separate but overlapping ideas) is that itís a privilege to be able to get rid of things. I think itís more accurate to say someone who really needed the konmari method or minimalism likely used their privilege to buy too much stuff, more than what they need or even want to be comfortable. I think low-income families in small spaces would also benefit from konmari. I would assume they wouldnít be throwing out a bunch of stuff, maybe nothing at all. But her system of organizing things really helps make small spaces seem larger and anyone can benefit from that. Kind of like mustchianism - anyone can benefit from tips on reducing expenses and how to save/invest money, but itís obviously extra beneficial to upper middle class folks who forgot how to live frugally and have a lot of extra income that could go towards investments instead of leaking out everywhere else due to lack of attention/intention.

Ugh, every time I see this criticism I shake my head.

Do people really believe that only wealthy people have unnecessary possessions and that poorer people don't need help with organization and tidying?

It's a pretty universal experience to have a build up of unneeded things: paperwork that may no longer be necessary to keep stuffed in all sorts of drawers all over the house, knick knacks that were gifts or promotional items, old clothes that are no longer worn, old kids toys, too many pens/elastics, old cell phones, books you will never read again, kitchen junk drawers, expired medication, Etc, etc.

Organizing and decluttering are classless concepts. If you live somewhere long enough, you will need to declutter regularly and you will need an organizational system, which will need to change over time.

I feel like people who think that poor people don't have clutter have never been poor and never actually been inside the houses of poor people. Some of the messiest homes I've ever seen were poor single moms with multiple kids because between working multiple jobs and parenting, they don't have time to tidy or stay on top of the buildup of day to day detritus. Much less organize their medicine cabinet.
Hell, I've seen homeless people in shelters who manage to have clutter.

Getting rid of perfectly good items because you bought too many, yes, that's a symptom of over spending, which may or may not be a symptom of privilege as many poor people buy too much stuff as well. I've known plenty of below-the-poverty-line shopaholics with massive collections of cheap shoes bought over decades.

The notion that KonMari only applies to the privileged presupposes that the poorer are naturally more tidy, organized, and have time to stay on top of the natural clutter of life, which obviously isn't true.

Just because North Americans have a massive over consumption problem and just because the KonMari method would benefit them and will likely result in them getting rid of tons of perfectly good items doesn't mean that that's what the method is about.

It's about managing the natural accumulation of clutter that happens to everyone and organizing what you do have in ways to minimize that clutter buildup and so that you can get the most use and joy out of what you already own, regardless of how much you own or what size of space you live in.

Minimalism on the other hand is a completely different concept altogether, and yes, one can absolutely make a small but relevant argument that it's more challenging to be minimalist when you are poor because it's hard to let go of things for fear that they may be useful in the future and you can't afford to re-buy them if needed.

I find it much easier to be minimalist now that I can easily afford what I need and want. Back when I was a broke student, I held onto almost everything that could even possibly be useful in case it could save me a dollar down the road.

I saved every face cream/Sun screen/shampoo sample, every screw/nut/bolt/allen key, every item of clothing that didn't fit in case my weight changed, every piece of furniture family gave me, every promotional mug, etc. I found it very difficult to get rid of anything that I could possibly use. I preferred to have bins and bins of crap than to throw out a single thing that I might need to buy in the future. It wasn't irrational, I did use a lot of it over my decade as a penniless student.

Now that I'm financially privileged, I don't keep any of that crap because buying an allen key set, or a pack of screws is no big deal. That said, I still do have an impressive collection of random screws because it's nice to usually just have the size I need on hand, and they're organized KonMari style in little easy-to-see compartments and not in a bucket like they used to be.

So no, absolutely nothing about KonMari is actually about privilege. It *is* far too focused on the positive value of possessions for a minimalist like me, but even minimalists can benefit from her organizational systems.

Saying KonMari is only for the privileged is like saying Mustachianism is only for those with high incomes. That's nonsense. Frugality, decluttering, and intelligent organization of possessions are absolutely 100% universally beneficial concepts that positively impact literally everyone of every socioeconomic position and living situation.

People with literal rooms of unworn clothing? Now that's just good television.

Preach.
There's a fair amount of 'concern' for the poor that is a heap of crap.  Having once been poor and having plenty of poor relations still, it is patronizing and insulting.  The poor are as diverse a lot as any other demographic.  Some are minimalists, some are hoarders.  Some are so obsessed with their junk that it impedes their success and ascendance in life. It's the stuff that is making and keeping them poor. So, yes.  If KonMari would actually work for those who are poor because they hoard, it would free up some time that they could put to more productive and lucrative endeavors.  Or it would just free up the thousands they spend each year on storage. But hoarding is a pernicious mental illness that is resistant to treatment or therapy and usually persists until a person is dead.  For those without boundless resources, it will make you poorer than you have been and will keep you there. 

Gail2000

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2019, 12:10:01 AM »

A big criticism of Marie Kondo or minimalism (I think theyíre two separate but overlapping ideas) is that itís a privilege to be able to get rid of things. I think itís more accurate to say someone who really needed the konmari method or minimalism likely used their privilege to buy too much stuff, more than what they need or even want to be comfortable. I think low-income families in small spaces would also benefit from konmari. I would assume they wouldnít be throwing out a bunch of stuff, maybe nothing at all. But her system of organizing things really helps make small spaces seem larger and anyone can benefit from that. Kind of like mustchianism - anyone can benefit from tips on reducing expenses and how to save/invest money, but itís obviously extra beneficial to upper middle class folks who forgot how to live frugally and have a lot of extra income that could go towards investments instead of leaking out everywhere else due to lack of attention/intention.

Do people really believe that only wealthy people have unnecessary possessions and that poorer people don't need help with organization and tidying?

It's a pretty universal experience to have a build up of unneeded things: paperwork that may no longer be necessary to keep stuffed in all sorts of drawers all over the house, knick knacks that were gifts or promotional items, old clothes that are no longer worn, old kids toys, too many pens/elastics, old cell phones, books you will never read again, kitchen junk drawers, expired medication, Etc, etc.

Organizing and decluttering are classless concepts. If you live somewhere long enough, you will need to declutter regularly and you will need an organizational system, which will need to change over time.

ho manage to have clutter.

Getting rid of perfectly good items because you bought too many, yes, that's a symptom of over spending, which may or may not be a symptom of privilege as many poor people buy too much stuff as well. I've known plenty of below-the-poverty-line shopaholics with massive collections of cheap shoes bought over decades.

The notion that KonMari only applies to the privileged presupposes that the poorer are naturally more tidy, organized, and have because North Americans have a massive over consumption problem and just because the KonMari method would benefit them and will likely result in them getting rid of tons of perfectly good items doesn't mean that that's what the method is about.

It's about managing the natural accumulation of clutter that happens to everyone and organizing what you do have in ways to minimize that clutter buildup and so that you can get the most use and joy out of what you already own, regardless of how much you own or what size of space you live in.

Minimalism on the other hand is a completely different concept altogether, and yes, one can absolutely make a small but relevant argument that it's more challenging to be minimalist when you are poor because it's hard to let go of things for fear that they may be useful in the future and you can't afford to re-buy them if needed.

I find it much easier to be minimalist now that I can easily afford what I need and want. Back when I was a broke student, I held onto almost everything that could even possibly be useful in case it could save me a dollar down the road.

I saved every face cream/Sun screen/shampoo sample, every screw/nut/bolt/allen key, every item of clothing that didn't fit in case my weight changed, every piece of furniture family gave me, every promotional mug, etc. I found it very difficult to get rid of anything that I could possibly use. I preferred to have bins and bins of crap than to throw out a single thing that I might need to buy in the future. It wasn't irrational, I did use a lot of it over my decade as a penniless student.

Now that I'm financially privileged, I don't keep any of that crap because buying an allen key set, or a pack of screws is no big deal. That said, I still do have an impressive collection of random screws because it's nice to usually just have the size I need on hand, and they're organized KonMari style in little easy-to-see compartments and not in a bucket like they used to be.

So no, absolutely nothing about KonMari is actually about privilege. It *is* far too focused on the positive value of possessions for a minimalist like me, but even minimalists can benefit from her organizational systems.

Saying KonMari is only for the privileged is like saying Mustachianism is only for those with high incomes. That's nonsense. Frugality, decluttering, and intelligent organization of possessions are absolutely 100% universally beneficial concepts that positively impact literally everyone of every socioeconomic position and living situation.

People with literal rooms of unworn clothing? Now that's just good television.

Preach.
There's a fair amount of 'concern' for the poor that is a heap of crap.

I feel like because I donít make a lot of money compared to some, that my mother in law is more enclined to give our household more things she wishes to part with. This is her love language I think and does not take away how wonderful she is to us but. We make decent money just not chiropractor level income.

Now granted I say yes perhaps more then I should because I feel I can use the items but when I do say no there it the ď but itís good stuff!Ē. We are not a low income household just less then what she feels is comfortable. I am very lucky when it comes to inlaws otherwise.

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 685
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #57 on: March 14, 2019, 02:47:52 PM »
I feel like because I donít make a lot of money compared to some, that my mother in law is more enclined to give our household more things she wishes to part with. This is her love language I think and does not take away how wonderful she is to us but. We make decent money just not chiropractor level income.

Now granted I say yes perhaps more then I should because I feel I can use the items but when I do say no there it the ď but itís good stuff!Ē. We are not a low income household just less then what she feels is comfortable. I am very lucky when it comes to inlaws otherwise.

Haha, this was me with my older sister's clothes for years.  I KonMari-ed a TON of stuff she had given me over the years and ended up giving her a few things back. She hadn't even remembered (or cared) that I had them.  It was nice of her to share with me, and I found a few genuinely joyful pieces, but mostly I think it was her way of assuaging the "it's perfectly good" guilt from our poor childhood.  Now if she or anyone gives me hand-me-downs I smile, thank them warmly, and donate anything that I don't want without guilt.  Receiving the gift brings me joy, but possessing it does not.

Marie actually writes about doing this same thing with her own younger sister.  Early in her career, she would  allow 20-something clients living in small urban apartments to send boxes of possessions to their parents' homes in the country to store.  After realizing the boxes just clutter the parents' home and are never looked at again, she made some changes in her consulting style to prevent it.

There's a lot more hidden in the book than just the cleaning and organizing, but a lot of people aren't interested in her anecdotes.  I learned a lot from them and had a chance to work through the situation with my sister's clothes because of them.

Gail2000

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2019, 02:31:33 AM »
I feel like because I donít make a lot of money compared to some, that my mother in law is more enclined to give our household more things she wishes to part with. This is her love language I think and does not take away how wonderful she is to us but. We make decent money just not chiropractor level income.

Now granted I say yes perhaps more then I should because I feel I can use the items but when I do say no there it the ď but itís good stuff!Ē. We are not a low income household just less then what she feels is comfortable. I am very lucky when it comes to inlaws otherwise.



Haha, this was me with my older sister's clothes for years.  I KonMari-ed a TON of stuff she had given me over the years and ended up giving her a few things back. She hadn't even remembered (or cared) that I had them.  It was nice of her to share with me, and I found a few genuinely joyful pieces, but mostly I think it was her way of assuaging the "it's perfectly good" guilt from our poor childhood.  Now if she or anyone gives me hand-me-downs I smile, thank them warmly, and donate anything that I don't want without guilt.  Receiving the gift brings me joy, but possessing it does not.

Marie actually writes about doing this same thing with her own younger sister.  Early in her career, she would  allow 20-something clients living in small urban apartments to send boxes of possessions to their parents' homes in the country to store.  After realizing the boxes just clutter the parents' home and are never looked at again, she made some changes in her consulting style to prevent it.

There's a lot more hidden in the book than just the cleaning and organizing, but a lot of people aren't interested in her anecdotes.  I learned a lot from them and had a chance to work through the situation with my sister's clothes because of them.
Hmmm..certainly food for thought. I really do like her approach with regard to relationships. Even building one with the items themselves. Appreciating the ones we use, putting on display the one we truly love and seeing energy in the clothing we use most often. Itís definately managing our own energy that can be spread over having too many relationships and being spread to thin? Isthat making sense?
Family dynamics are funny. I found out mum in law has been pushy with sister in law whoís a chiropractor too. I think mum just wants to feel appreciated and reaffirm her role as taking care of her kids and by extension wives of these kids. Love her lots. And will shit my ungrateful mouth and kindly appreciate the generosity. And share the love with others who may find use for the items.