How Netflix's “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo inspired me to get rid of stuff.

Hello. My name is Emma Frankart Henterly, and I am a pack rat.

Just ask my mother, who was not very good at hiding her exasperation over the broken toys, un-mendable clothes and years-old ticket stubs that I could never part with in my youth. Her solution was to give me a small plastic bin, dubbed my “treasure box,” inside which I could store anything my sentimental heart desired.

Now, my home is my treasure box. And while it may appear clutter-free at first glance, a venture into the basement or my closet reveals my true nature. My husband, Matt, possesses patience and a tolerance for clutter that doesn’t do much to curb my instincts. He simply asks me to “do something about” the pile of junk that’s currently in his way, so I shift it around into smaller piles and disperse them throughout the house until they all conglomerate into a master pile once more. And so the cycle continues.

Then I watched Tidying Up, the Netflix series starring clutter-reducing guru Marie Kondo.

I reveled in the fact that there were, in fact, people out there whose homes were more cluttered than mine. (Seriously, why would anyone have 150 pairs of shoes?)

I haven’t been able to bring myself to do a full KonMari yet—baby steps, people—but this weekend I did clear off the surface of my desk, throw away some no-longer-functional kitchen items and pull a trash bag’s worth of clothes out of my closet, ready for consignment and donation. Matt caught me thanking a barely usable frying pan for all of the meals it helped us prepare before dropping it into the garbage, and was thoroughly weirded out. Explaining Marie’s technique to him did little to assuage his concern for my mental well-being, but you know what? It sure helped me let go of that pan.

Are you doing your own KonMari—full or otherwise—this winter? Tell us how it’s going in the comments below, and check out our story on where to donate household items that no longer spark joy.


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