by Lucy Kerry, Where Does It Come From? Product Manager
Marie Kondo Decluttering:
It’s an odd old world when everyone is raving about a TV series about tidying houses but there’s no denying that Marie Kondo is fast becoming a household name. I held out against such silliness for a while but this week I relented and watched a few episodes to see what all the fuss was about.
Marie Kondo Decluttering – Addictive and Inspiring
And, oh my goodness, it’s rather addictive and certainly inspiring. For those who have yet to succumb, the premise is that Marie Kondo, the tiny, tidying guru who emanates calm, can help people declutter their homes, teach them how to fold their clothes (yes, really!) and generally bring peace and serenity into the most frantic of households. It’s about dealing with our obsession to buy and keep enormous amounts of “stuff” which overwhelm our homes and our lives, and instead to choose only to have things that can “spark joy” within us. When showing her clients how to declutter their wardrobes, she literally asks them to hold the garment and decide if it really gives them that spark and, if it doesn’t, to thank it for its service and say good-bye.
So, duly inspired, I set to work on my own wardrobe and, whilst my clothes are now beautifully folded and stored and I have a large pile of my less joyful items that will soon be donated to my local charity shops, it did strike me that very little of what I wear truly sparks joy in me. I have clothes that are for warmth and comfort, which I reach for as old friends. I have some pretty, flippy outfits which are completely impractical but so lovely for the very rare evening when we escape from the children and go somewhere grown up that warrants lipstick and effort. I have smarter clothes for work and rough clothes for decorating and gardening.
Keeping the Clothes that Spark Joy
But actually, the clothes I have that spark joy in me are generally those in which I have invested more than just money. My absolute favourite is a cape, a beautiful multi-coloured cape made by artisans in India specifically for an ethical company based in the Netherlands. I love it, I love its story and I wear it so often that you can practically see the sparks of joy shooting out of it. I also have a wonderful tunic that was the last in a long line of prototypes for Where Does It Come From?’s African project. Blood, sweat and tears went into getting the design, the fabric and the colours right for production and this tunic is the living proof of all our work. It’s mine (or at least it will be when it finally gets back from Malawi where its being used as the guide for the seamstresses there!) and I will always love it more than anything similar I could buy in the shops.
So, Marie Kondo, thank you for inspiring me to think more about what I keep and what I buy. I may not feel complete joy from everything in my (now very tidy) wardrobe, but I’ve got excellent intentions to keep this up. Next step is to inspire my young daughters that tidying up their clothes is fun….I suspect sparks will indeed fly and it may not be joyful!