Tuesday, August 23, 2016

sparking inferno

While SB was out of town, I launched my semi-annual ritual of purging and cleaning. When you live in a tiny home with a borderline hoarder and two spoiled pooches, it is an important and sanity saving ritual. I try to schedule SB's vacations when the seasons change over so that I can do a review of all of the warm weather clothing before storing it and pulling out the cold weather clothing. 

I also try to do one major project. Last December I reorganized all of the dishes and kitchenware. This time I tackled Will's closet, not a feat for the weak. After determining that 90% of his clothing was made up of t-shirts or athletic trainers, I devised a better way to fold and store them. The normal way of stacking t-shirts does not work out very well for people who collect them like precious pieces of gold. SB had a closet filled with leaning and collapsed towers of shirts. I devised a method of folding the t-shirts into rectangles with the logo facing up, and then arranging them in his drawer so that he could see all of his shirts. I also was able to pack in all of his shirts into three large drawers.

When SB returned, I showed him the magnificent job that I did and gave him a tutorial on folding his t-shirts. Three weeks later, he has been maintaining the technique, albeit not as beautifully as when I did it, but effective nonetheless.

SB's t-shirt folding prowess

One of my friends, upon hearing me crow about my successful organizing (it was a slow news day) told me that it sounded a lot like the Kondo-mari method. We ended up boring the bartender to tears talking about organization, and I went home to try out the "spark joy" technique.

I told SB that according to Ms. Kondo, we should hold our items in our hands and if they sparked joyful feelings of happiness, we should keep them. If the objects did not cause happiness, then we should get rid of them. I had images of de-clutter dancing in my head as I pointed SB to his closet. 

Half an hour later, I found SB wallowing in a pile of unfolded clothing and knick-knacks. The clutter seemed to have multiplied. SB was sitting on his throne of fabric and objects, happily reminiscing that time that he went to a tournament and was given a free Coors Light t-shirt. He beheld the tattered and stained shirt as he smiled happily. The same went for every single item, down to the sombrero that had washed up on the beach and was joyfully claimed by Mr. Packrat. 

Then I spend the next hour tidying up after him as SB went from room to room, dragging out all of his precious artifacts and reliving their moments. So for us, the Kondo-mari method had the opposite effect of the intended getting rid of clutter, but I can't call it a complete failure because it made SB so happy. I can't say that I was particularly sparky but sometimes you take one for the team.

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