Alas, I Will Never Actually De-Clutter My House

In the past couple weeks, we have found our mind circling back, again and again, to an article I read in this magazine, about a Japanese tidying guru named Marie Kondo. Her idea, in a nutshell, is this: People should share the spaces they inhabit exclusively with objects — furniture, books, clothing, cooking pans, potted plants — that bring them joy. Everything else is clutter and should be purged forthwith. That Kondo has a popularity in Japan (the article compared her to Beyoncé) far beyond that of your average closet organizer is attributable in part to the fact that her approach to tidying has the flavor, if not the actual structure, of a religion. Tidying the Kondo way results in more than a Real Simple domicile. It bestows harmony upon your life — contentment, peace. It is a path to transcendence itself: Kondo more than implies that the joy produced by her version of straightening up extends not just to you and the humans with whom you cohabitate, but to your inanimate belongings as well. If you “Kondo” your home, your socks and jeans will be happier too.

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