I recently received Marie Kondo’s novel on the Japanese art of tidying up and it has encouraged me to look more closely at the things I own and question the motives behind each new purchase. The novel follows Kondo’s simple rules for cleaning up your room or home. It is littered with useful lessons she has learnt, told through interesting anecdotes from her childhood. She has a strict set of rules (guaranteed with no relapses) that you can follow to achieve the uncluttered room of your dreams. At times it seems as if Kondo is preaching consumerism. She states if you keep clothes you never wear it is better to chuck them out because their ‘purpose’ was to make you feel that instant gratification from its purchase. Underlying statements such as these however, is a theme of simplicity and content. Content with what you have and peace in knowing everything has a place in your room or home.
How does this novel fit in with Curb The Splurge and its message on consumerism? I believe that Kondo is not encouraging excessive consumption. By asking people to clean they can properly confront the sheer volume of goods, clothes and electronics (old and new) that they own in their house. When you actually take out all your clothes and lay them on the ground you begin to realise how much you own and the gigantic hoard you will contribute to as you accumulate more and more clothes. You might end up finding things that you forgot you owned and reuse them. Or you might become gradually disgusted by the amount of material possessions that add no benefit to your long term happiness and only serve as a guilty reminder of your habits. Who knows, but this book is definitely one to check out.
Image credit: Tanaka Juuyoh via Flickr