Tidying to the Sweet Spot

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 4.28.15 PMKris has been reading — and then telling me about what she’s reading — Marie Kondo’s book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so we decided Saturday late afternoon to give it a whirl. We started with my bloated, messy, hard-to-find drawer of T-shirts.

When I was a cool university professor I used to wear jeans and a T-shirt and a sport coat, and at times a student would comment favorably on my selection of clothes. All to say, during those years I collected T-shirts from my favorite coffee shops and from places we visit. Which is to say I had too many.

Kondo thinks we should hang onto those items that bring us joy, and those that don’t can be discarded. So Kris and I proceeded to find the joyful items in my T-shirt drawer. (I’m at this point playing along with the whole idea of finding joy in a T-shirt, but play along with me for the moment if you can.) The days of joy for my Drip-O-Later T-shirt were in the past, so that was first to go … and then one from Powell’s bookstore and then it was that one and then it was this one.

My Shirts of that Bring Joy remained. All nine of them.

Now the secret to Marie Kondo is learning how to fold items so that T-shirts are not stacked on top of one another and pressing the bottom one into a bunch of embarrassing creases, but folded until you find the “sweet spot” of their being able to stand on their own — a bit like a little A-frame tent. Figuring out how to do this entailed using the computer in the bedroom to watch her fold. This is why my T-shirt drawer looks like now! Room to spare, room to grow, and I could add at least one more.

If you can guess where the dark green one in the middle is from, not the Oregon one 2d from the left but the dark green one fourth from the left and fourth from the right, I’ll give you a free copy of The Heaven Promise or A Fellowship of Differents.

And Kris quickly took on a couple of her drawers — socks and tops and pants are all now in their sweet spot, full of joy, and the de-cluttering, tidying process in the McKnight house is now in full swing.

Thanks Marie Kondo1

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