a cluttered house is now cool

This post may be unusual for the type of content usually shared here, but that just makes it random, which kinda makes it fit. πŸ™‚ Ultimately it’s about enjoying life more, which does fit.

Marie Kondo, of decluttering fame, now has 3 kids, and guess what — her house is now messy. Who could have predicted this? People with young kids understand! You can spend hours cleaning and decluttering, and kids can make it look like tornado came through in 30 minutes or less.

Before children, it’s not that hard to maintain a decluttered home. I mean, it still takes considerable work, but it’s possible. Once you have kids, the dynamic changes. And Marie Kondo learned some things:

1) Kids take up a LOT of your time (as they should).
2) Cleaning takes 10x more time. No, the math doesn’t add up, but some messes cause a disproportionate amount of cleanup, like spilled milk, or those “How did poop get here?” experiences. And just collecting the dirty laundry becomes a scavenger hunt. (The other day we found 7 socks with no match and spent way more time than you would expect looking for a single match.)
3) Keeping your house looking like those in a magazine or TV show becomes less important (as it should).

It’s funny when you have kids and you visit someone who doesn’t have kids, and they say, “Excuse the mess” when you arrive, but you don’t see a mess. πŸ™‚

It’s easy to laugh about how Marie Kondo’s bestselling book was titled, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and her motto on her Netflix series was “Tidy house, tidy mind”, and I’m joking about it now, but it shows how priorities change when you have children. One of her iconic phrases was about filling your home with items that “spark joy”, and it’s good to be organized. (I’m not putting that down — most of us could probably do better with that.) Now she has realized, “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times. I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home. … My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life.” Good for her!

She now focuses on the Japanese concept of kurashi, which loosely translates as “way of life” or “the ideal way of spending our time”, which now is more about decluttering what’s filling up your time rather than what’s filling up your closet. On her website it says, “The true purpose of tidying is not to cut down on your possessions or declutter your space. The ultimate goal is to spark joy every day and lead a joyful life.” I can relate to that. Life tends to be “too busy” and cluttered, with not enough time to do what’s most important. I push back on the busyness and from trying to keep a perfectly-maintained house (which is near-impossible with kids unless you neglect the kids). Life is too short to get caught up in worrying about what someone else might think. If you see my home, it’ll look like busy people with young kids live there. To me, that’s authentic. (I’m not against picking up when company visits, of course, but is it authentic to present an unrealistic lifestyle?) If they judge me for my house not looking like a house in a magazine photo, that’s on them. I don’t have to lose my peace over their judgmental attitude.

Oh, sorry — I started to rant there. One last thing from the article: Marie Kondo now makes it a point to drink tea three times a day and prioritize spending plenty of time with her kids. Sounds like a plan! Now please excuse me, I must go drink some sweet tea. πŸ™‚

P.S. Apparently the idea of having your house somewhat cluttered has actually become popular and trendy, being called “cluttercore”. (I was unaware of this movement. However, this obviously means that I am trendy, perhaps even a trendsetter because I was living in a cluttered house before cluttered was cool.) πŸ™‚

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