What Happened After ‘KonMari’

I was wrong about my mother just let me discard my books. (Yesterday’s blog post about KonMari method).When I got up yesterday morning, I found all books I put in the garbage bin had found their way back into the house. I was so mad. It was hard for me to pick books I didn’t want anymore and I thought I already was freed from them, but there they were, stacked up nicely near the sink in the kitchen. My mother had taken them all back from the garbage bin.

It seemed that she had decided to take all books written in Indonesian just because she could read them (but she never will, I swear, she hates reading like she hates cockroaches, and when I was a child she never read any book for me, ever, not once). My husband, who already got up, claimed all books written in English for himself. I never saw him reading a book, ever, and I’ve known him for 18 years. These 2 non-readers, why the hell now they wanted my books? The rest, written in Japanese, well, nobody claimed them, so I angrily threw them all back again into the garbage bin without putting them in plastic bags.

My husband asked me,”What if I put all the books in the car so you don’t have to see them inside the house?”Nicely. Because he’s really the kindest man I know.

I screamed at him,not answering his offer. “I already threw these books away!”

Somehow I was appeased and back to my happy self again as I threw the books one by one, noisily, into the garbage bin,and by the time a taxi came to take him to the airport, I could smile at him and waved goodbye. He told me he was going to give a talk at a university out of town but he didn’t tell me when he would be back. Maybe Sunday.

The garbage bin was very dirty. So the books got dirty. I thought now my mother would give up and leave them all there, but I was wrong. After my husband left, my mother got up, and the first thing she did was taking all the books again from the smelly garbage bin, one by one, into the house and she yelled angrily at me, saying she was going to give the books to our housemaid tomorrow so our housemaid could sell them for a little money.

So now all my ugly stuff returned into the house again. Not only that, I saw that children toys that my husband discarded a few days ago were piled outside near the kitchen door. My mother must have taken them all back from the garbage bin.

I screamed in frustration,”Look at this! Don’t you realize you’ve made my house look like a junkyard? These toys are even dirtier now. Even when we all die, no one will play with these!”

My mother didn’t reply, but then she started talking about returning to her own house, which is in a different province. I hoped she would leave for a while, my house would never be clean if she was here and kept taking back garbage into the house.

For the first time in my life I finished cleaning my room and sorting all my belongings, using KonMari method. And then, still very energized from the achievement, I started cleaning the living room. This, I never did before. KonMari method really changed me overnight!

I never cleaned the house before so all this time I thought my mother and my husband helped me clean up, but then I realized that actually they were also the ones who caused all the mess because their stuff were (still are) scattered around the house in boxes. Also, I found that they didn’t clean up the house very often because everything was covered with thick dust.

I didn’t do anything with my husband’s and my mother’s stuff because as Marie Kondo said in the Talks at Google video, I should stick to my own space, and leave other people’s stuff and other people’s space to them.

Yes, I was upset for a while, but as I wiped dust from books and toys in the living room, I came to a realization: I love that my husband and my mother make my house look like a junkyard because that way I had a valid reason not to invite people over. 😉
Besides, I really hate that when people come over unannounced, only to have small talk, and stay for hours (Indonesians do this). Because my house is dirty, I don’t have to make friends. It’s liberating to have no friends, because I can be just the way I really am, I don’t need to be anyone or anything to follow my friends’ expectations of who I should be. I can be this weird 36-year-old Indonesian stay-at-home mother who loves K-pop idols and learning Korean alone. I don’t need to worry to offend my friends’ feelings by loving cute Korean guys, Korean rap music, and by blowing candles on my children’s birthdays. I became excited and grateful that my husband and my mother kept my house dirty all this time for my sake. With the realization, I got this sense of peace and warmth and wonderful feeling that I can’t describe but I was sure that it was what ‘happiness’ felt like. It was just… amazing.

OK, I knew you wouldn’t understand.

By the way, my new Korean book about Korean onomatopoeia has arrived. I ordered it a month ago.

Cost me 150,000 rupiah.

Cost me 150,000 rupiah.

And I got a free Korean desk calendar as a bonus gift. Lucky. ###


7 thoughts on “What Happened After ‘KonMari’

  1. Aaah, maybe this is why she advises that family shouldn’t see the process; not only might they influence one’s choices of what to keep, but they might try to “save” the discarded things like your family did… I hope things work out 🙂


  2. I don”t know much about Konmari,but why didn’t you give the books to charity or sell them instead of throwing them away? Maybe someone else in your area who is less fortunate could have benefited from them, even if they’re in Korean or Japanese. I’m not trying to start a war or anything I’m just generally curious.


    • Start a war. 🙂 Yes, in my neighborhood, there are scavengers (the less fortunate people) who come every day to search through garbage, take recyclable one (bottles, paper, and plastic) and sell it somewhere else for money.


  3. Pingback: Digitizing Korean Textbooks – Korean Vitamin

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