Like the history of man, nature’s seasons, and hordes of moms wearing “Partners in Wine” T-shirts to their indoor bikes at 5AM, my bedroom exists in cycles. The cycle goes thus:
- I have a messy room that I don’t organize because I think it’ll be a lot of work.
- When I can no longer stand myself, I clean my room, picking up the clothes and papers strewn on the floor and putting them back where they belong.
- I feel like a new person on a fresh start.
- The start is too fresh. I follow no part of my organization system because it’s a lot of work.
Some people who’ve visited my room have told me my room isn’t that bad. Again, stages. No one’s witnessed my room at its most chaotic, because, sad as it may be, I’ve always at least managed to contain some of the mess (via towel/drawer/bed/some combination of those) even from surprise visitors.
After my business law final, I decided this time would be different, as I do every time. I’d deep-clean. I’d be ruthless. I’d use the Marie Kondo method that everyone keeps talking about. The “KonMari” way is supposed to declutter your home by better organizing your belongings and getting rid of ones that don’t “spark joy” for you. That said, I’ll skeptically temper my expectations for the following reasons.
Nothing brings me joy.
I kid, I kid. It would make cleaning my room a lot easier if I just threw everything away, though.
I think too much.
Me: This shirt says “I Mustache You A Question” and I want to burn it with fire.
Also me: What of the scenario in which there’s a middle school costume party?
Me: Oh, right.
Me: How would I wear this long-sleeved crop top that looks good only with this other specific article of clothing I similarly never wear?
Also me: What of the scenario in which you’ve just emerged from a sauna but someone kicks you in the stomach and you need to ice that area?
Me: Good point.
Me: I don’t look good in this maxi dress.
Also me: What of the scenario in which you do?
Me: I have no choice but to follow this logic.
A couple months ago, Mom insisted on bringing me a longer desk so I could fit more on its surface. I protested. I said I knew myself. I said the surface area of the table doesn’t matter at all because so many things pile up where I don’t put my laptop and I end up with the same amount of no workspace.
She didn’t believe me.
I want to be prepared.
I’ve picked up the occasional screw and nail throughout the school year. But since I cleaned the whole apartment, I’ve amassed a collection of several important-looking fasteners as well as unidentifiable parts from some… household contraptions? The screws, especially make me incredibly nervous as to where they’ve come from.
But logically, keeping them somewhere doesn’t really make a difference. It’s not like I’d ever find out if the ceiling fan falls on my head and crushes me one day.
There’s a system.
Just because everything looks like it’s strewn haphazardly on the carpet and actually is that way, doesn’t mean I don’t know how to find things. When Mom moved me in, she relocated some possessions in the name of organization and I couldn’t find things for days.
When I was young three years ago, I entered university eagerly accepting and even seeking out free T-shirts and food. At least my disillusionment by school-sponsored Domino’s (I tried Pizza Hut and can never go back, though I’m still a Domino’s spinach & feta thin crust advocate) didn’t result in me keeping anything permanent. Besides the indignity, I mean.
I haven’t really sought out T-shirts in a year and now run from people trying to hand me any. Yet I still have nearly 40 T-shirts. One says “Last night a taco saved my life,” and I still don’t understand.
My utter lack of shame.
While I did keep lots of clothes I didn’t want because Mom would inadvertently guilt me into considering how much they’d cost in effort and/or money, I think a big reason is the lack of shaming accountability. In college, you don’t have friends who remind you of your humanity. You have enablers who say “oh, don’t worry, my room looks even worse.”
Below is a Konmari method before and after picture. (The Marie Kondo folding socks method is simple. You fold ankle socks into thirds and stand them up, though I did mine vertically instead of horizontally because I overestimated the needed space. You fold mid-length socks into fourths. You roll up tights and place them swirl-up. Short video linked for more Marie Kondo tips.)
I took progress pictures of my spotless carpet. And then after taking those pictures, I moved all my furniture, still cluttered, back into view.
Please consider following this blog via email and/or liking its Facebook page, where I post occasional life updates and quality excuses for the lack of said life updates. Oh, and find me on Instagram, too.
Last post: A Spoonful of Sugar, Or Sixteen