7QT: Can We #konmari Washington?

7QT: Can We #konmari Washington? July 22, 2016

So I guess Trump was basically sane in his speech last night? Tried to stay up to watch it but fell asleep during all the strange music. “Make America Great Again”, which I’m pretty sure was being crooned into a microphone, wound its way into my dreams. Only the word ‘great’ kept being snatched and replaced with ‘awkward’ and ‘weird’ and ‘grate’. Woke up with a headache to find James Dobson has thrown in his lot with this great, YUGE, strange new world. Because of course.
Anyway, enough of that. The real travesty of our times is that I gave in and learned how to Kon-Marie my drawers. Don’t worry, I haven’t read the book. I haven’t started in on all my paper and books. But I do feel like I might require prayer to resist the temptation. What’s gotten in to me, you ask? (Oh, please ask.)


Well, here I am in this beautiful house, with walls that don’t feel like they’re made of cardboard paper, and views out of every window. And there in all these boxes is a lot of junk. So I started to tip the contents of one of my boxes straight into the drawer, and then, as the first two garments fell in, I was stricken to the heart. “I can’t put that shirt in there!” my soul cried out to the universe, “let alone on my body.” So I chucked it into a pile in the corner. And then I tried again. And, get this, the very same thing happened. So I sat down on my bed and watched five or seven videos about how to fold all the things. Spent an entire day just folding clothes and doing nothing else.
And then, of course, it was so life changing that I showed my mother, and all my children, how to fold. Elphine promptly closed the door of her new room, took everything out of her drawers, and laboriously folded the contents of her life to perfection. As a result, her room is a complete mess. But the insides of every drawer look like a magazine.
I know I say it all the time, but I really think that life should be about people and not things. Which is what the minimalists say. Don’t treat people like things. And I always say to them, even though they can’t hear me, “don’t think so much about your things.” But if you don’t think sometimes about your things, you end up buried under them, and then you can’t get outside to be with the people.

I’m pretty sure, although I need to do a lot more folding and throwing away, that having all my drawers perfectly folded actually frees up some much needed emotional and mental space for all the people. I am more than sure that I can take this Too Far, but with all these boxes piled up, I’m not probably in danger yet.
Someone lovely asked what my strategy for packing and moving was. What did we keep and not keep? And what about the children collecting so much stuff just by virtue of their existence? That’s a great question. And the reality of who I am and what I did was entirely the wrong answer.

Just like last time, we kept everything. We put everything into boxes and brought it all over here. I really can’t recommend doing it this way. It would have been so smart of me to throw away all my belongings Before entering this gorgeous house. But I didn’t. I just shoved it all in and here I am. Of course, being here has clarified reality for me. I am not having a hard time throwing things away. I pick an object, look out the window, and easily throw into the dustbin of history. I wasn’t able to do this before the move. I was tired, and overwhelmed by the thought everything.

And what about the children? Well. All their stuff is in bins in the basement. I haven’t let them open any of the bins. I am going to go down, Alone, and work methodically through the bins, hopefully throwing away everything. What they have in their rooms right now, which is essentially nothing, is sufficient.
Wish we could do this with our political system. It seems to me, looking in from the outside, and of course I could be completely wrong, that all our politicians are looking at us, the American public, like things and not people. Maybe they should all have to move out of their offices, clear out all the clutter, and live in little huts all around the perimeter of DC, having nothing but a bed and a single, perfectly folded, dresser drawer. And once they’ve learned to fold properly, and learned to make someone else a good cup of coffee, then we could talk about who could move back in, and who should stay where they are.

The thing is, life is messy, and people are awful. And the tidy drawer doesn’t actually solve all of the world’s problems. But wouldn’t it be so great if it did?

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