If you haven’t yet heard of Marie Kondo, the diminutive Queen of Clean, you probably don’t have a TV or a Netflix subscription, or maybe you don’t read much. The delightful Japanese author seems to be everywhere these days — yes, even in our house. My partner and I watched one episode of Tidying Up on Netflix and were hooked.
The reason? Well, if the houses of the folks on her show could be put in order, certainly ours could be, too.
At one time, I kept a fairly tidy living place. My apartments were always well ordered, and though my decorating was far from “A Gay,” my taste was simple and uncluttered.
That changed when I moved into a house. Houses have more room and far more places to hide stuff. Add to that the fact that my partner and I are both collectors of various things, and pretty soon clutter ensued.
Between the coin-operated games and carnival memorabilia I collect and my partner’s collection of vintage cowboy boots, we had the beginnings of a cluttered house.
Add to that my assortment of leather floggers, bondage gear and clothing, as well as a library of books that never seems to shrink (even though we have gone to e-books now), and we were getting crowded out of our own house.
Enter Marie Kondo’s Konami method of tidying up. She has developed a great way of tackling the clutter and a technique of letting go of old things that no longer “spark joy.”
As part of our process, we emptied the closets of all our clothing, and, one article at a time, we held each to our chest and asked that question: “Does this spark joy?”
If it did, we kept it. If not, we thanked the article of clothing for its service and placed it into a bag to be donated to a charity.
It sounded strange, but it worked. We carted more than 10 large garbage bags of clothing to a charity drop-off location and created another huge pile of leather garments that will be donated to fundraising auctions in the leather community.
The upside was, we got our closets back!
As we continue to “tidy up,” I expect we will see floor space in the house begin to open up, and our living space will be less chaotic and more livable.
And that brings me to something we might consider doing as a nation: We suffer from a lot of clutter in our country in the form of useless lobbyists, politicians and pundits. Maybe it’s time we tried the Konami method on them as well.
Next time a politician asks you for money or for your vote, hug them (or their direct mail equivalent) to your chest. If they spark joy, then contribute to their campaign, vote for them or volunteer for their campaign.
If not — well, thank them for their service, and let them go. That means give them no more support, no more votes and no more attention.
Politicians who have held seats in Congress or the Senate for decades can be set free, allowing room for those that “spark joy” — and that spark some much-needed change.
Blustering pundits who spout conspiracy theories and only clutter the media landscape can also be let go. Turn them off and stop buying their sponsors’ products. Soon, the airwaves and the internet will have more room for voices that actually provide more than just noise.
We as a nation can tidy up our country by insisting that those representatives that do bring us joy act on our trust, and we must do the same with the executive branch.
Urge your elected representatives to visit the White House, hug Mr. Trump and then ask if he “sparks joy.”
If not, let him — and his entire cabinet — go.
Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com