You binge-watched Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in one weekend. And while you don’t have as nearly as many nutcrackers in the basement as the empty nesters in episode two, you decided that your abode could use some of that lifesaving magic of tidying up—aka the KonMari Method.
What does this involve? Well, the simple ethos of the KonMari Method is this: Gather all of your belongings by categories—clothes, books, papers, etc. Then, hold each item in your hands and ask yourself one question: “Does this spark joy?” No? Then give it away so it can spark joy for someone else.
The process is straightforward enough that everyone and their moms have been getting on the KonMari train, giving away piles upon piles of items and organizing the surviving belongings as Marie Kondo would—think carefully folded upright clothes and thoughtfully curated kitchen drawers. There’s even been a trend of organization photos on Instagram.
And yes, I got in the game as well. As someone who’s naturally disorganized, I found myself riding high on the KonMari wave as I sparked joy through my apartment. I made sure there was “folding time” in my schedule, origami-ing my underwear like Sadako and her Thousand Paper Cranes and imploring my husband to join in the “fun.”
And for a while it worked; the spirit of Marie Kondo was alive on South First Street. But as time went by, my natural instincts began to rise to the top again. The excitement of folding my underwear faded, and soon, my drawers ended up looking, well, fauxrganized (faux + organized).
It’s a term I coined based on my own KonMari experience of going all in and then taking a breath to sit back and see what actually works for my lifestyle—and honestly, spending hours folding my socks into architecturally sound tents does not spark joy for me—it sparks anxiety.
But if I actually stop and think about it, I am not cursed with a hundred nutcrackers strewn across my basement. Do I really need to be as vigilant about organization and folding as Marie? After all, a fold is such an ephemeral thing—so much work for something you’re inevitably going to undo. Will my house disintegrate if a fork falls into the wrong drawer divider? No, because I know what a fork looks like. So, if I see one resting with the knives, I’ll be able to acknowledge that although it’s not nestled in tightly and perfectly with its brethren, it is still, in fact, a fork.
You see, fauxrganizing isn’t a cop-out. I’m not scattering the thousands of pieces of dissembled nutcrackers around my home—I’m putting them in one place. Fauxrganizing is the pragmatic alternative to a perfection that I cannot—do not want—to attain.
And that sparks joy for me.