|Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: Ep 2
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Proceeding, with glass of wine in hand, to Ep 2: The Akiyama Family
Oh man, super cute couple, married for 42 years, with cats. Wife is chatty and excited, husband is a big friendly agreeable lump whose favourite phrase is, “Ditto”. Wife wants to declutter so they can enjoy their retirement properly. “Ditto”, says husband.
MK: “That’s very Japanese, but there’s no name plate.” <3
According to husband, “Happy wife, happy life.” Hey, whatever works for you, bro.
Son is very eager to help. Maybe a little too eager. Dad’s baseball card mountain is up to the ceiling. Mum’s clothing is eeeeverywhere - in what should nominally be her office, in her kids’ former bedrooms’ closets, in the master bedroom. Her clothes mountain is clearly going to be bigger than the Friend family’s clothes mountains put together. AND THEN WE COME TO THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS OMG. O.O Yes, the garage is also packed to the rafters, but I’m stuck on the Christmas decorations; how are they not creeped out by the rows of nutcrackers alone?
House introduction ritual. They kneel and take part. Why does everyone think this is so great? Perhaps I’m dead inside.
Wife’s clothing mountain is assembled. It is the Mt Everest of clothing mountains. MK confirms it is the biggest pile she has ever seen. Husband’s clothing mountain is more substantial than expected. Both claim to feel overwhelmed by the task. Nevertheless, they are both sufficiently self-aware and pragmatic, and committed to downsizing their belongings, that they make good progress. I like these two as individuals and as a couple.
MK asks how wife’s shopping habits have changed as a result of going her entire wardrobe. “I’m not even opening the e-mail, even when it’s a sale!” Bless your shopaholic heart.
Husband’s turn to tackle his baseball card collection. It doesn’t take him very long to come to the conclusion that he can get rid of 90% of it, which he duly sets about doing.
The insane Christmas decoration collection is next. It takes up an entire room. I mean, I like decorating for Christmas, but everything we have fits into a single large plastic storage tub. I cannot imagine and the mountain of snowmen on the sofa are freaking me out. I have to look away from the nutcrackers. “I do realise it was a little overboard...I’m going to change the way I decorate this year.” WELL DONE YOU. O.O
They’re in the garage when MK turns up again. Husband has gone from slinking off to stare at his phone at he start to full commitment to the decluttering project.
Wife: “I concluded we never want to do this again. We estimate 150 bags of trash have left this house.” Well done, but I hope you donated some of the good bits, like all those clothes with the tags still on?!
I disagree with the photo discard philosophy. I do not have a lot of printed photographs, particularly of my father and his family, and even if I don’t know who the people in the photos are and hence they don’t “spark joy”, I will not be throwing them away, tyvm.
Husband talks about the amazing stuff they found that’s of sentimental value. Like the diary entry his dad wrote the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, when he realised they were going to be moved to an internment camp. I can’t imagine that sparks a lot of joy but I also can’t imagine they’ll be chucking it.
Now they show off the end result of the garage tidy to MK. They have a huge collection of kokeshi dolls on display! I love kokeshi dolls.
Wife has a usable office now, that’s lovely. There’s even space for a drafting table Master bedroom still seems a bit packed with baseball cards and the boxes are not so pretty, but at least they’re not up to the ceiling any more. I don’t think he got rid of 90% but he did pretty well.
Final visit to the rumpus room and the Christmas decoration collection is nowhere to be seen. No more creepy nutcracker visions dancing in everyone’s heads year-round. Hallelujah.
MK: “Have you accomplished ‘Happy wife, happy life’?” Husband: “Yes...She’s my girl, she’s always been my girl, she’ll always be my girl.” D’awwwwww.
Wife: “[This is] going to change the way I proceed with the rest of my life.” Husband: “Ditto.” Bless.
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