Friday Miscellany: Tidying Up, Storing Scarves, and More

I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix (and skimmed through a couple more). I have to admit I feel a lot better about our house! We’ve accumulated quite a bit in 22 years of living here, but our “collection” doesn’t feel nearly as overwhelming as some featured on this show.

Having read most of her first book, I expected Marie Kondo to be more…rigid is the word that comes to mind, but was pleasantly surprised by how flexible, kind, and compassionate she seems on the show.

I love decluttering as much as the next person, but with regard to the book itself, I thought her method a bit extreme, at least taken literally. The “everything at once” process felt too overwhelming, and the “sparking joy” standard too high a hurdle. I mean, there are some things that are necessary and functional in our closets and homes, but not particularly joy-inducing.

Tidying Up, My Way

Anyhow, watching “Tidying Up” lit a fire under me, and I’ve spent several hours this week trying to get the house back in order after traveling and the holidays. I’m ready to start in on my closet again next week.

One of the reasons I lost interest in the book was the emphasis on folding and storing clothing in drawers. We don’t have much drawer space in our bedroom or closet, so most of our clothing is on hangers.

My Scarf Storage Solution…

But I was inspired by what I read to find a better solution to storing my larger scarves. I’d previously tried to organize them on hangers, but always wound up with a jumbled mess. A couple of years ago I had a lightbulb moment, and bought one of those hanging shoe cubbies, which works brilliantly. I fold the scarves and store vertically. It helps me readily see what I have, and it’s easy to put them away at the end of the day.

Most of my shelves are higher up, so I use a drawer unit like this one to store my smaller silk scarves.

When we completed our kitchen remodel last year, I decided to invest in some casual cloth napkins to use every day. At the time, I thought I’d just wash and let them be rumpled. But lately I’ve started ironing them after laundering. (Unless they are really soiled, I don’t wash them after each use…just the two of us here most of the time.)

I find it doesn’t take much time to iron them, and that it’s relaxing. It feels so luxurious to have a pressed cloth napkin at every meal. L’art de vivre, it’s about the details, non?

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Have you watched the show or read Marie Kondo’s books? What did you think?

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81 Comments

  1. January 11, 2019 / 2:00 am

    Some of the minimalism and decluttering is a new kind of consumption/consumerism. Get rid of stuff and then buy new. Or buy a bunch of stuff to sort your stuff. Crazy.
    My mother grew up during the Depression and didn’t throw anything away because she never believed she’d be able to buy another if, in the future she needed it. That can go too far and turn into hoarding, but sometimes I wonder why we acquire so much stuff to begin with.
    I haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book, but commentary on it is ubiquitous. My impression is indeed of compassion and an understanding that the reluctance to part with stuff is emotional rather than practical.
    As for ironing, there are only a few things more soul-sucking in my opinion. I know plenty of people who find it zen, though. I like the outcome–perfectly pressed stuff–but I hate getting there.

    • .Mary
      January 11, 2019 / 8:35 am

      To speak to your point, Marie Kondo actually discourages the purchase of special items to store your stuff, because in her eyes it’s just a way to rearrange what you own, not pare it down. She suggests use of old shoe boxes to organize socks & underwear, etc. And if you get rid of stuff only to buy new stuff, your really missing the point.

      • Susan B
        Author
        January 11, 2019 / 10:36 am

        I agree that shoe boxes are an excellent tool for organizing drawers. As I mentioned in the post though, we have very little drawer space, and a hanging solution works for me (and helps keep me from accumulating).

    • Belinda Manley
      January 11, 2019 / 8:52 am

      I love ironing! The finished project is so rewarding. Crisp, clean, silky.

      • Kathleen Ludgate
        January 14, 2019 / 7:01 pm

        Me, too.

        • Nancy
          March 7, 2019 / 8:55 am

          Me too

  2. Margot
    January 11, 2019 / 4:22 am

    Did you also consider the hanging sweater cubbies for your scarves? For me, I think it might accommodate my heavier scarves better but I could load up quite a few smaller scarves (sorted by season and/or color family) in each cubbie also. An inspirational idea though as I struggle for a good way to store my scarves that keeps them visible and accessible.

    • Susan B
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 6:09 am

      Hi Margot, the sweater cubbies are wider, and I didn’t have enough space (or enough scarves) to justify it. But they could work as well for someone with more space and scarves.

      • Jannie
        January 11, 2019 / 2:07 pm

        Love these ideas! I save the zippered bags that sheets, pillowcases, etc. come in. I have used one for my scarves that don’t wrinkle; keep them at the bottom of the coat closest..works well.
        I also IRON and love my Rowenta iron and nice slick ironing board covers with great padding…guess I’m the last of ironers!!

  3. Ramona
    January 11, 2019 / 4:27 am

    I use over the door shoe bags for scarves. All are folded, then rolled. The heavier ones are stored singly, lighter weight ones can double up. I love that I can see them when I’m dressing as it helps me to make an interesting choice rather than relying on what I wore last time!

    • Lynn
      January 11, 2019 / 7:14 am

      I’ve always hated the look of shoes over a door, but I like the idea that the color, texture, and pattern of my numerous scarves would be a display.

      • Jan whichard
        January 11, 2019 / 8:05 am

        I don’t use over the door. I mount them on the back of the door.

  4. Katrinka
    January 11, 2019 / 4:29 am

    I have read Marie Kondo’s book cover-to-cover and have watched her YouTube videos. I took several ideas from Marie and put my own twist on them. The good thing about the book is that it makes you really think about what you own and evaluate it. What I find about organizing is that the people who really NEED it the most aren’t interested in reading anything about it. Those of us who spend the time to purge and organize are the ones drawn to those books and articles.

  5. Laura
    January 11, 2019 / 4:50 am

    Agree with all of your points on Tidying Up show, the book and Marie, herself! Have had the same reaction. And am, also, inspired with what I take away from it.

  6. Sue Michel
    January 11, 2019 / 4:59 am

    I read her book & loved it. I found it very helpful in my quest to let go of things. But the folded T-shirts did not work for me as I couldn’t tell which was which. Maybe I have too much lol. I love the large scarf storage btw but not sure I can sacrifice the hanging real estate.

  7. Ainsivalavie
    January 11, 2019 / 4:59 am

    I have to agree about ironing being relaxing ( flat items only:) I love to iron my tea towels, napkins, and pillow cases. I find that it’s easier and tidier to store as well they take up less room in a drawer and pressed tea towels look nice hanging up!! And yes, I do work outside the home full time as a health professional but I love doing this ..I do hate making my bed though! We have been in our house 34 years and are looking to downsize in the next year or two…the thought is daunting. A friend suggested to just divide one room at a time into small areas like one drawer, or one closet until that room was completed. Also stick to the nothing new to be brought into the house in the way of accessories, furniture etc unless you are removing it’s equal. Ah well, it will get done…
    Your plan for corralling scarves is a great idea!

  8. Laurel
    January 11, 2019 / 5:21 am

    I read Marie Kondo’s book and have watched a few episodes of her show. She is adorable, and I love the concept. But the idea of taking everything out at once seems daunting. I’ve decluttered a lot in the past few years since retiring, but it still seems there is more to do. After the episode with the empty nesters (just wow on the levels of stuff they had!), I went into my closet and took a new bag of clothes to Good Will that didn’t spark joy. 🙂

    My heavier scarves are easier to access than my lighter weight ones. I have to come up with a storage method that allows me to see them all at once so I remember to wear some of them. I like the clear drawer solution you linked. Right now they’re folded into a basket, Kondo style, but I have two layers, so I can’t see them all.

  9. January 11, 2019 / 5:36 am

    I’m enjoying her new show. One insight that pops out to me is how deeply our homes affect us in ways we don’t consciously realize. Changing that environment can have big effects. I also like to learn new ways to fold things. Nobody taught me that before.

  10. Susan Close
    January 11, 2019 / 5:37 am

    I would love to win the French box. It would be a lovely distraction from the frigid winter we are experiencing in Canada.

    • LeeAnn
      January 11, 2019 / 7:20 am

      Just be glad you live in Canada! ;o)

      • Mary Clifford
        January 13, 2019 / 5:47 pm

        Montreal is one of my favorite cities! Even in the winter!

  11. Janice Quinn
    January 11, 2019 / 5:39 am

    We use cloth napkins at every meal. Having travelled to Europe extensively in my youth I recall that at the hotel they used to give us an envelope with our name on it to store our used napkin for the next meal. I think 2 days was the max. I can keep a napkin for a couple is uses, my husband not so much! I invested in a mesh drying rack $12 on Amazon) and when the wet napkins come out of the wash I smooth out any wrinkles and fold them in the desired shape. They’re dry and wrinkle free in a day.

  12. Mary
    January 11, 2019 / 5:40 am

    My response to the Marie Kondo Netflix series was similar, but 4 bags went (I bet Goodwill got lots of donations this last week).
    About being overwhelmed—a client of mine and I were talking and agreed that if you take 10 similar items out per day and just kept the ones that spark joy, a lot would get accomplished!
    Thanks for the clear drawer solution as I have shelves and could not quite figure out a solution
    Thanks Susan for sparking joy

  13. Patricia
    January 11, 2019 / 6:04 am

    I haven’t watched the show yet but have read the books – I agree the ‘all at once’ process is very overwhelming, I could only do it with books. I was hanging sweaters the other day and trying to remember where I had learned about my process – it was from you! It really does work well. At the end of the season I put the cashmere and wool into sweater bags.

  14. Stormy
    January 11, 2019 / 6:18 am

    Thanks for the inspiration on the scarf storage. It’s time for a closet refresh for me, so I’ll be adding this storage for scarves.
    It’s usually my husband and me for dinner at our house also. We always use cloth napkins. I take a cloth napkin and real tableware with me to work whenever I take my lunch. One of my co-workers thought I was being “green” and not using paper or plastic. So, what started as a quality of life thing for me, has a bonus that makes me feel good!

  15. Téa
    January 11, 2019 / 6:42 am

    Love this post and love everything about the KonMari method! Just watching the show is soothing! Her voice, her sparkly eyes, her kindness! Just WOW! Do I take it “literally”? No, I take bits and pieces and do what works for me.
    The most helpful mindset I found is to turn my “piles into files”…everything that is “stacked” can be “filed” into small containers so I can see all of it – in the book, Marie uses ordinary shoe boxes. I even “file” the items in my suitcase when I travel…I can see everything I’ve got and no more rummaging – even better when my stuff is in the packing cubes!
    I’ve been using your method for the heavy sweaters on the hangers for a while – brilliant! Thanks for all the encouragement, Susan!

  16. Meg Meyer
    January 11, 2019 / 7:02 am

    My silk scarves are folded and stored in 1-gallon zip closure bags and stacked in a shallow drawer. I can easily flip through them, pull a few, fan them out to check color and decide which to wear. The rest slip back into the drawer. I use the label-panel on the bag to write when/where I bought the scarf or who gifted it to me; it’s a lovely reminder of a place or friend. Each is travel-ready too.

    • Ms. Liz
      January 11, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      That is a great idea Meg. I am going to use that one!

    • RoseAG
      January 11, 2019 / 12:41 pm

      I like to take my scarf to work and put it on there to keep it from getting crushed and wrinkled under my coat and heavy scarf – and I’ve found that zip-lock baggies help keep them from getting creased in my purse during transit.

      I don’t mind ironing things but I do mind ironing and then finding that it’s gotten wrinkled before I had a chance to wear it!

    • C Allen
      January 12, 2019 / 10:03 am

      Love this idea! Thanks.

  17. Kelly
    January 11, 2019 / 7:12 am

    I have three of the IKEA scarf hangers (Komplement, $6.99) – winter, summer, year round. I don’t even live near an IKEA – found the first a few years back, bought another on Amazon that was awful, went to IKEA when traveling to buy more! In my 35 yrs of wearing scarves, this is my favorite way of storing…..Obviously, we all have different spaces, so it’s nice to see how others are doing things and figure out ways we can improve based on our own closets/storage spaces….

  18. January 11, 2019 / 7:30 am

    My scarves are in three fabric baskets on the shelf in my closet, organized by color – blues/greens, yellows/purples/reds, blacks and browns. It works pretty well.

  19. Eileen
    January 11, 2019 / 7:46 am

    I’ve read her book, and have been using the shoeboxes, filing, and rolling ideas, it’s working for me. I try not to purchase too much, and return things I didn’t use or need. I find if I buy from stores with a generous return policy, it works better for me, so many items are sold months before I would wear them. Question: I need to pack for three months in Italy, April, May, June, mostly in Florence, in one 25” suitcase! Any tips?

  20. Dot
    January 11, 2019 / 7:49 am

    I have been cleaning out our house for a while (26 years of stuff) and just did our closet. I hired a lady to help me and she was amazing. At least 9 bags of clothing, shoes, purses and accessories out the door. Some to thrift and some to consignment.
    I do a bit at a time but am now working on the garage. Our attic is now empty as is our tool shed and our files/important papers have been reduced by 60 lbs of now shredded paper!

  21. Jan whichard
    January 11, 2019 / 8:16 am

    I have been watching the show and I find it delightful. I like her idea of getting it all done at once because most people start a project and never finish so they don’t get the whole effect. As for bringing joy, I think that even the necessities of life…the practical things you need,…do spark joy as they are the tools that help one lead life. It’s not just the handbags and sweaters. I thought her idea of thanking items being given away or tossed was silly….but I tried it and I was shocked at what a huge difference it made in allowing me to part with things and let them go to someone for whom they might “spark joy”. My whole house cleaning will begin in spring.
    Meanwhile one sweater hanging comment…takes up to much room on the clothes rod. I use a hanging sweater cubby and fold them.

    • January 11, 2019 / 8:33 am

      I was joking to a neighbour about the “spark joy” after I brought home a new toilet plunger that was half-price at a nearby hardware store. And there is nothing wrong with my plumbing (house or digestive) these days. But having such a thing when you need it is a kind of joy, I guess.

      As for drawers vs cupboards, it could be cultural, or have changed in recent decades. I have two tiny closets, and I’m sure a whole family lived here when the triplex was built about 100 years ago. Working-class people then had very little stuff. Now “stuff” is so cheap that even poor people often have too much.

      • Valletta
        January 13, 2019 / 5:14 pm

        My house was built in 1926 so the closets are tiny. We are currently having the kitchen remodeled and my contractor really wants me to open up the walls and combine the closets. No way! Small closets mean I have to contstantly edit, which works for me.
        I bought the home 30 years ago because I loved its charm, I don’t want to change that!

        • January 13, 2019 / 6:04 pm

          I agree; I like the challenge. The main problem here is the climate; we do need some bulky (and thus ugly) winter clothing. I live in a housing co-op , so we need approval to to that kind of work. Remember that combining closets can also help moths and other nasties spread. Please don’t ruin your house’s cachet!

  22. Marguerite
    January 11, 2019 / 8:46 am

    I recently used the online thrift site Thred Up with good results. A large bag of name brand clothing, shoes and purses got me a payout of $150.00. Otherwise all would have been donated. The payout came in the form of a prepaid Visa card. I’m in the process of assembling my next bag. My closet would be considered large, but has a lot of vertical space. Very hard to access, but I’m going to investigate a professional closet redo company. Shoes and bags are my storage issue. Susan, love your vertical scarf storage solution!

  23. Melea
    January 11, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Love your posts and organizing! After retiring, living in RV for 6 months before resettlement i discovered that I really do only use/ wear 20% of the 80% of what I kept.
    Americans are Uber consumers and purchase excessively. I think it is a temporary high. Therefore accumulating excessive amounts of stuff.
    I’ve found that having the basics in neutrals with accessories that are easily changed up means storage is hardly ever a quandary and you always look amazing! Same principle works for your home!
    We too use cloth napkins and I find ironing mentally relaxing.
    Thanks for your postings!

  24. Belinda Manley
    January 11, 2019 / 9:01 am

    Those of you hauling bags of clothing out the door consider finding a residential home of an addiction recovery program to donate to. Those ladies will need interview outfits, work force wardrobes when they graduate. Many arrive with clothes in their back.

    • Jenny
      January 11, 2019 / 9:34 am

      This is a wonderful suggestion. Do you know how to find out where such a place would be? I would much rather donate to something like that than Goodwill!

      • Belinda Manley
        January 11, 2019 / 11:09 am

        In our city we have a mission organization that runs such programs for both men and women. Or you probably have a safe refuge type women’s shelter. I would think a church might have info on these places. Or even you Chamber of Commerce. They are often related to a thrift store where women can work as they progress through the program but if you take the items directly to where they live they get first choice.

        • Jenny
          January 11, 2019 / 11:25 am

          Thank you, Belinda! I will look into it.

      • Jill Ann
        January 11, 2019 / 1:47 pm

        Please look into donating professional/business casual attire to Dress for Success. I’m a volunteer there, and we can always use gently worn clothing, shoes, and bags. We dress women in an interview suit, blouse, shoes, and bag, and once they get a job they come back and get 8 more pieces of clothing to help them get started at their new jobs. Our clients are women who need a helping hand, and it’s so rewarding to see how confident they feel in their outfits!

        Dress for Success has locations in most good-sized cities. Please check it out!

    • January 11, 2019 / 9:53 am

      I give to Le Chaînon, a centre for women in crisis – homeless, battered and other problematics. They have both short-term and long term residential centres. Remember that nowadays interview and work outfits aren’t necessarily suits – it depends on the field they will be finding work in. They also get donations of personal care products from local pharmacy chains.

      Here local restauranteurs have started up a sock drive for people (men and women) in homeless shelters and transitional facilities. If I recall they received at least 9000 pairs of socks this year.

    • Susan B
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 10:34 am

      I really like Beit T’Shuva, a local non-profit with an addiction treatment and recovery program. I learned about them through a friend, whose family member was involved in their program.

  25. Ellen
    January 11, 2019 / 9:05 am

    I have enjoyed her show…much gentler than her book! I like that she focuses on reducing clutter as opposed to minimalism. It seems to me the whole minimalist movement is a bit immature. We are in our 60’s and “downsized” to about 2800 sf. We do have 4 bedrooms, quite a few sets of dishes, tablecloths, etc. And they get used! Sure you can live in 800 sf with a couple kids but that is not where the extended family can get together. Sure you can eat on paper plates on lawn chairs (and we do sometimes!) but I would really miss the nice holiday dinners with everyone around a table…or two. Or three. I wonder if our kids generation will ever even do this. Sometimes I feel like much of my “stuff” is the glue that holds the family together. Not that anyone should buy things they can’t afford or live beyond their means but I just wonder if some of this is a generation not wanting to take on the responsibility of some of this. I would love to hear others thoughts on this!

    • Mary Ann
      January 12, 2019 / 12:19 pm

      Ellen. Thank you! I totally agree with you. I tend to be a “pack rat” and work hard at keeping my clothes organized, donate one when a new piece comes in, pass the 50% seasonal decoration display, etc. BUT I too use each of my sets of dishes, cloth napkins/tablecloths, etc. Several times a year ALL of our families get together and it is worth the extra things. I think the younger generations will regret not keeping some of the things they disdain.

      • Rondi
        January 12, 2019 / 1:12 pm

        Ellen asked for thoughts on her comment. I think so much of this is up to the individual. We downsized in our 60’s but to about 1600 square feet. I was able to choose my favorites of my serving pieces, glassware, linens, furniture, etc. Even things that were my mothers. Now the things of hers I kept are very important to me. I allowed myself one box for storage in the garage of sentimental things that are not in active use in my house. But thats all. For me, it was very liberating. I no longer feel that I am a slave to my “stuff”. And I find as long as I have a nice dining table when loved ones gather it does not really matter how big the rest of the house is.

      • Ellen
        January 14, 2019 / 8:25 pm

        The thing that got me thinking on this was a You Tube video, a young couple that had left the hectic life behind to live a “simple” life in a tiny house in the woods with their two toddlers. It was kind of idyllic, really, and had a definite attraction. But I couldn’t help but wonder where the kids, a bit older, could have friends in to play, or where the couple would be able to host family events when their time came or whether you just said no to being able to take your turn to invite the church group or the girlfriends or whatever over when your turn rolled around. I think a lot of it is the feeling when your family is that age that that is how it will always be. I wasn’t meaning to come down harshly on young folks…I adore my own three millenials!

    • January 13, 2019 / 6:15 pm

      I must be about the same age as you, but no children, deliberately. Obiviously parents have to take on the responsibility of caring for and bringing up their children, but there is absolutely no obligation to maintain an oversized house once said children are adults. People have NO obligation to take on such a “responsibility”; it is actuallly very wasteful for empty-nesters to occupy a property that might be needed by families who are actually bringing up children. Sprawl is wasteful and harmful to younger generations. I am not speaking about individual situations as I’m in no position to judge them, but in general, it is an environmental disaster.

      There are many other ways to get together.

      • Ellen
        January 14, 2019 / 8:16 pm

        Lagatta, I don’t feel a responsibility to do this. I want to do this. Our extended family all lives within a couple hours of each other and we get together often. My heart sings with a house full of kids and grandkids and other family members or friends. We truly love being together and we love being in each other’s homes. I would hardly describe our home on about 1/4 acre as sprawling or an environmental disaster and can’t see how it is harming the younger generation. Not quite getting your drift…

  26. Rondi
    January 11, 2019 / 9:34 am

    My daughter has been telling me about the Marie Kondo tv show but I have not watched it yet. She does love Marie’s cheerful attitude. Like Susan, I use a vertical hanging shoe caddy in my closet. But I use it for accessories. In it I store things like small cosmetic bags, extra wallets, travel accessories that I only use when packing. It really helps with that type of clutter. If I can squeeze another one in I may use it for my wraps and shawls and a couple of the large scarves. I don’t have too many actual scarves but several wraps to cover up in when the ac is too much in restaurants, etc. They are currently stacked on a shelf. I also love the suggestion that anything stacked can be filed. I think my home office will be next. Hope I can “spark some joy”.

  27. Jenny
    January 11, 2019 / 9:37 am

    I am really enjoying the Marie Kondo show, mostly due to her kindness and compassion towards the families she is helping. I have read her book but watching the show made me understand her process. One of my favorite parts of the show is when she greets the Home. So lovely.

  28. Lark
    January 11, 2019 / 11:53 am

    Hi Susan…. I think your method of folding sweaters on hangers is absolutely genius!

  29. RoseAG
    January 11, 2019 / 12:43 pm

    I think there is something to be said for folding your items over throwing them straight into a drawer from the laundry basket. I find handling them to be soothing, and more than once I’ve found something that I’d forgotten I had or thought was lost while I was arranging to drawer to hold my folded item.

  30. Jan
    January 11, 2019 / 12:44 pm

    We downsized from a large 4 bed family home to a 2 bed apartment 4 years ago. 30 plus years of accumulated stuff was daunting to say the least and I can’t believe that the 3 bags of scarves, 2 bags of jewellery and numerous bags of clothing, some barely worn, hardly made a dent in my wardrobe (s). So the battle continues. My remaining scarf collection requires a full chest of drawers to house them, but knowing that I only probably wear a dozen of them, that’s a good place to continue the purge. I do like the shoe cubby idea for bulky scarves though so will try that.
    I haven’t watched any of Marie’s videos but definitely will to inspire me to keep going with my downsize and also stop shopping, which I love. Still a long way to go!

  31. Nancy McIlheran
    January 11, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    What I love about Paris is that it FEELS like everything has been done with such nonchalance, yet when you really begin to study the details, you realize that much thought has been given to each and every little detail. That inspires me! Paris has a feeling of “thoughtful nonchalance.” Sounds like a misnomer.

  32. Cathy D.
    January 11, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    It’s true that the thought of decluttering an entire home at once is daunting, and therefore I decided on attacking one area at a time. I think that’s why I’m still not finished after nearly two years!

    • Dot
      January 12, 2019 / 6:57 am

      Cathy,
      You make me feel better as I too continue to purge. How do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Dot (comment above)

  33. January 11, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    Loving these scarf storage ideas – for the lighter ones rather than the heavier ones since I don’t have room in the coat closet for anything else hanging. But I am interested in trying hanging storage for my lighter scarves rather than shuffling through them all hanging on scarf hangers in my closet – will see if I can fit something like that in where the scarf hangers now are. In our France home there are handy rods on the armoire doors on which I hang my scarves and that works well, but here in the US my closet doors slide so no storage on them. No surprise that France is more scarf friendly – ha!

  34. Allie
    January 11, 2019 / 1:24 pm

    The very fact that a book and TV show about tidying up is seemingly so popular points to one thing … we all have way too much stuff. Far better than a show telling people how to tidy up and throw away would be a show encouraging people to … Stop … and think before they buy. Do I need it? Have I already got one? Can I fix the one I already have? These are the questions we should be asking.

  35. Angela in NZ
    January 11, 2019 / 1:44 pm

    Growing up in England in the 50’s-70’s we only had freestanding wardrobe cupboards, no built-ins, and we seemed to manage very well with capsule wardrobes. Fast forward 4 decades and here in New Zealand with a population of only 4.5 million, consumerism is at an all time high as a result of online shopping. MK’s show featured on the national news yesterday as our charity shops are being overwhelmed with donations. Somehow though, I suspect that the trend won’t last and closets, and garages (few of which house cars!) will soon be bursting once again. We cannot turn the clock back to simpler times now the genie is out of the bottle. On a personal level, we’ve averaged 4-5 years in our houses so decluttering is an ongoing routine.

  36. January 11, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    Your confession of ironing the napkins made me smile. I just came to that same conclusion last week and spent a blissful hour (I may be a bit OCD) ironing my 3 sets of linen napkins. Smooth fabric, the faint smell of warm linen, the whoosh of steam all created a little bit of zen as the city of DC raced past. I am glad to know I am not the only one.
    RE: Marie Kondo – I, too, was surprised but the clutter she walks into is too much for me. I made it through 3 episodes and couldn’t take it anymore.
    Susan, I always enjoy your content and look forward to my daily click onto your site!
    Cheers!

    • Téa
      March 14, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      I, too, love to iron cloth napkins and tea towels – WHEN I take the time…I find it so satisfying! I read a tip to “put damp napkins in the freezer, and it will help them be extra crisp as you press them. My ecru linens have been in the freezer since Dec. 27th…I keep thinking they are a package of frozen puffed pastry! LOL!

  37. Carol Montanti
    January 11, 2019 / 2:40 pm

    I loved the Marie Kondo book although when I told others about it, they thought it was kooky. But her approach is not about what to get rid off but rather what to keep, and I appreciate that nuance. I also loved her idea of thanking our homes for sheltering us, and thanking items for their service. Time to put some gratitude in the greedy consumer mindset that dominates North America.

  38. varya
    January 11, 2019 / 2:56 pm

    I love your tip re:scarves. & I love Marie Kondo,too.My mother convinced me early on that ironing was the funnest,bestest job ever! Decades later I can still recall her sheer amazement and copious praise because I was so very good at it. I still love to iron and Mom?… well I suppose she and Mark Twain are laughing together in heaven.

    • Valletta
      January 13, 2019 / 5:24 pm

      I remember visiting my aunt’s house as a kid and she would be ironing socks and underwear. And when I asked my mom why she didn’t do that she said “your aunt is crazy”

  39. January 12, 2019 / 1:57 am

    I am so bad at this. And I don’t I will ever learn. I need a bigger house that is all.
    Greetje

  40. January 12, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    What a brilliant way to store your scarves! I don’t have a lot of closet space, but I may have to try to find room to do that.

  41. Debra Hunter
    January 12, 2019 / 6:29 pm

    I watched a couple of the shows too – Marie Kondo is so likable, isn’t she? I too was struck by her kindness and compassion. I particularly loved the episode in which she helped a widow declutter her home.

    I’ve been cleaning out my closet but instead of pulling everything out at once, I’m going section by section. Much easier to navigate! I will get around to the scarves soon and am going to steal your storage method. Brilliant!

    In tandem with my decluttering, I’ve vowed to only buy 1 item of clothing a month for the next six months. The number of items I have pulled out so far with price tags still attached suggested to me that I need to be a little bit more…discriminating…with my purchases.

    This vow will be sorely tested when I’m in Paris in April, though!

  42. Lily
    January 12, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    Marie Kondo is adorable! That said, my clothes did not stay folded Kondo style. Way too much work! Also, if I kept only joy-sparking clothing I might be naked! I could not afford all new joy inducing things! -Lily

  43. Valletta
    January 13, 2019 / 5:31 pm

    My mom says that Martha Stewart is just a hoarder with good taste and lots of money .
    I try to remember that I don’t have 4 homes and endless resources when I find treasures at antique stores or shops that I really love. Clothing is much easier for me to keep organized as I know what looks best on me, generally classics with a nod toward something au courant.

  44. Kathleen Ludgate
    January 14, 2019 / 7:08 pm

    Six months ago we downsized from a home of 40 years. Now THERE is the motivation to purge! We purged for six months before the move. Love our new smaller home and new community. We enjoy living with about 40 percent of what we had.

  45. January 15, 2019 / 8:25 pm

    I’ve read the book and implemented some of the principles in our old home. I agree with the idea of decluttering and living in a space where you’re surrounded by things you like. It felt good to look around and enjoy everything I saw. I’m a bit remiss in our new home, although I’m finally going through my clothes and decluttering. And I love your scarf storage idea! Fabulous!

  46. sf-dre
    January 15, 2019 / 8:46 pm

    I use a combination of shoe and sweater cubbies for scarves, hats and even shoes. The larger scarves are rolled up and stacked, two by two rows in a sweater size cubby. Folding t-shirts, pajamas and sweaters a la Kondo, I was able to get things out of the closet storage bins into freed up drawer space.

    Last year my mom moved from a 1700 square foot house into a 600 (maybe) square foot assisted living apartment. Cleaning out the house was fraught. My sister and I took smaller things, they are empty nesters already living in a smaller house and I’m in a 650-700 sq ft city apartment.

  47. Annie Green
    January 19, 2019 / 6:30 am

    I find it very easy not to buy much stuff because I can’t afford to. That’s a great inspiration, right there. I already have all I need, got rid of what I don’t want and manage fine. And so much consumerism everywhere I look has had the effect of turning me away from acquisition – it is like gluttony and it sickens in the end, stopping people from actually living a meaningful life.

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