Marie Kondo ignores the Digital Age

Friends in Manhattan had two(!) copies of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, in their apartment and gave me one.

Kondo herself says that one of the best things to do with a gift is throw it out:

The true purpose of a present is to be received. Presents are not ‘things’ but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. … Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it. … When you throw it away, you do so for the sake of the giver too.

I love almost everything Japanese (except dessert!) so I read the book (big print, double-spaced, so it takes only about one hour for a first read-through).

One thing that jumped out at me is that the book, first published in 2010, barely mentions the Digital Age in which we live. She talks about tidying up CDs, but does not note that 500 at a time can be ripped to a thumb drive. She talks about discarding some papers, keeping other critical ones, and putting receipts in a special place in her house. Why not scan? Is it because that just turns household clutter into C: drive clutter? Or because Marie Kondo hasn’t done any work with scanner?

Maybe she ignores the digital because Kondo is so in love with the physical. For someone who motivates people to throw out what must be millions of lbs. of usable stuff annually, she is herself far more devoted to stuff that the average person:

I began to treat my belongings as if they were alive when I was a high school student. … I can think of no greater happiness in life than to be surrounded only by the things I love. … All you need to do is get rid of anything that doesn’t touch your heart like this. There is no simpler way to contentment.

When you treat your belongings well, they will always respond in kind. For this reason, I take time to ask myself occasionally whether the storage space I’ve set aside for them will make them happy. Storage, after all, is the sacred act of choosing a home for my belongings.

[Your typical Cessna or Cirrus is probably pretty miserable, then, in its aging prefab T-hangar or merely tied down on the ramp!]

When she comes home she talks to the house, says “Thank you very much of your hard work,” to her shoes, “Good job!” to her jacket and dress, and tells her (emptied) handbag “You did well. Have a good rest.”

More: Read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.

3 thoughts on “Marie Kondo ignores the Digital Age

  1. I wrote a longish post but instead of gifting it, I threw it away, which saved you the effort. You should thank me. Other than that, I can’t get too upset at her for helping people clean up their messes and have nicer looking clothes, except for the idea of throwing new stuff away. There are a lot better things one can do, and I’m surprised by that in the age of the Green New Deal, not to mention charity.

    Incidentally, Marie Kondo is presently something of a one-woman juggernaut at Good Housekeeping, where you can also learn how to watch the 2019 Academy Awards.

  2. @Alex, Marie Kondo has her own empire. You can’t hire her anymore, but you can hire a KonMari consultant for $100/hr.

    Take a look at her over-priced drawer organizers.

    I use small Amazon/eBay boxes to organize drawers. There seems to be no shortage of rich fools. Good for you, Ms Kondo.

  3. I think if you read her book with an open mind and without applying computer programmer choplogic to it, the answers to your questions and doubts will become clear. Hint: Think of the reasons behind or the ultimate goals of all her advice.

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