People had an unnaturally strong reaction to the arrival of this woman and her promises of life-changing magic. There were people who had been doing home organizing for years by then, and they sniffed at her severe methods. (One professional American organizer sent me a picture of a copy of Kondo’s book, annotated with green sticky notes marking where she approved of the advice and pink ones where she disapproved. The green numbered 16; the pink numbered more than 50). But then there were the women who knew that Kondo was speaking directly to them. They called themselves Konverts, and they say their lives have truly changed as a result of using her decluttering methods: They could see their way out of the stuff by aiming upward. NYT Magazine article, comments mostly worth browsing.
De-cluttering your house with love: "Marie Kondo has built a huge following in her native Japan with her “KonMari” method of organizing and de-cluttering. Clients perform a sort of tidying-up festival: time set aside specifically to go through belongings. Each object is picked up and held, and the client needs to decide if it inspires joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go." [more inside]
Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors, a new book by UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), is the conclusion of an unprecedented nine-year interdisciplinary study of the middle-class American home. A team of archaeologists, anthropologists and other social scientists studied the home life of 32 two-income, middle-class families in Los Angeles. What they found was a lifestyle struggling with consumerism, and a staggering accumulation of possessions:
“The first household assemblage we analyzed, of Family 27, resulted in a tally of 2,260 visible possessions in the first three rooms coded (two bedrooms and the living room),” and that didn’t include “untold numbers of items tucked into dresser drawers, boxes and cabinets or items positioned behind other items.”[more inside]
How to Lose A Legacy - a curator writes about the problem of what to do with stuff after death. (via.) Professional organizers give advice. [more inside]
What do we call the period of cleaning that we carry out in the spring? That's right, Discardia! This five-year-old holiday started yesterday and lasts till April 5th. Via Lifehacker, who open the festivities with 10 ways to declutter your digital life.
These are a few of my favorite things: We've spoken previously of Disposophobia, crazy eBay moms, and all things Collyer--to that end, here's a support group and an enterprising company specializing in Clutter Management and Disposophobia, with lots and lots of before, during, and after pictures, some of which may not be safe for viewing while eating.
Clutter Porn: The 2002 Messiest College Apartments Show! Do these photographs, not to mention the no-hold-barred 360º tours, make you retch or smile? Are you a Messie or a Cleanie? Would you ever pay a professional organizer to unclutter your home or office? Or are you worried there are deeper issues, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, involved? Never mind if you are. A wonderful essay by Daniel Harris puts our untidy hearts at rest. [first link via Boing Boing]