#A2ZChallenge: M is for Marie Kondo

Dear Marie Kondo,

I am a fan. Since being introduced to you by a friend, I have read of you, read you, watched your videos and simultaneously slipped into a reverie of being in a decluttered, cherry-blossomed Japan too.

And when you say that tidying up is life-changing, dear God, you are not fooling around! At first, I was tentative, but then as I folded away t-shirts and socks and gave away magenta ribbons, I was inexorably drawn to the prescient value of what you preach.

“Ms Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic.”, says the New York Times. I could n’t have said it better. In fact, I COULD NOT even have said it because “animistic”. Also, “hortatory”. (Times why you do this to me?)

Anyhoo, I thought I was an “organization” all-star person till you happened.

KonMari, that’s Japanese, not Hindi

What if we liked less stuff? And where is minimalism a well-understood concept? Nowhere, that’s where. I have in one day shopped for

  1. A charpoy (since it was collapsible, it was collapsed immediately upon purchase, how it stays till today)
  2. An automated garden sprinkler (for a large garden comprising four pots of coriander and basil)
  3. A German mop operated over the Internet (this one though)
  4. An annual subscription to badyogi.com (which requires me to attend a retreat in Auckland first)
  5. A Zara scarf on discount (which is hideous on the inside and the outside)
  6. A clicker for dog training (for a fully trained dog, who just shook his head in resignation)
  7. Any Fisher-Price/ ethically responsible toy which my child rejected straight-away for an old bucket
  8. Top hits of Mithun da you missed (the real gem in this disastrous list so far)

When I started journaling (buying a spanking spiral notepad, because the few million I had stashed fell short), then I saw the destructive pattern. And I turned to KonMari, your patented take-no-prisoners cleaning-up diktat. “Unless something sparks joy, it has no place in your home or your life.”


This is the spring cleaning that I am used to – selling three things online every year, giving Kamala amma clothes apologetically and sending the rest to my mother. You put the focus back on just how much accumulation mankind can do, left undeterred. Me, as Exhibit A.

It starts with letting go of (or responsibly donating) your less loved wardrobe items, kitchen pans, bath salts, free ketchup sachets, the ugly stuffed-toy pangolin in the living room. You have helped clients go lighter by over a million individual things! It also goes onto relationships that are unnecessary and exhausting. I knew you were the true apostle of organization when a client wrote in that she got a divorce, as part of her tidying-up quest.

And ah the ritual. The act of saying thank you to that thing you bought and used little or sparingly, and then bidding adieu. When I first said goodbye to my origami papers, it felt mildly crazy. Now, it’s like a one-armed bro hug.

I wonder though how that client said bye to the husband. “Hey you were good and kind and a husband. Our paths must separate now. I must declutter of you. Thank you. Here is your copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and also, my forwarding address. Long live and prosper.”


Recovering Clutterbug



9 thoughts on “#A2ZChallenge: M is for Marie Kondo

  1. Namratha Varadharajan

    You have a fun way of getting your point across. I buy less, but clean very less. Heard of Konmari but waiting for the right time to arrive to de-clutter the house. Our most hoarded zone is under one of our beds: I have long forgotten what we had put away there, and too scared to find out now.

    Celebrating ‘Women & their work’ all April @NamySaysSo L for Lopsided Balance


  2. aslifehappens60

    Wow! You are a genius, Lalita! I so admire your writings. Your style of narration , so full of wit and humour and so rich in language is a pure delight . Thanks for writing these super entertaining posts. Also , i had never heard of Marie Kondo. 🙂 so, thanks .


    1. Lalita Post author

      This comment of yours is my gold standard. I will use this to keep me honest. Yes, you can check out Marie Kondo when you get a chance, she is quite a global phenomenon apparently.


  3. Sreesha Divakaran

    No clue who that is. Also no clue what is that thing that is #3 on your list!? Why do you have something that sounds like whatever that is? Or any of those things for that matter.
    As a hoarder myself, I do know that decluttering is therapeutic. But I’m also lazy, which means this happens rarely…


  4. Shailaja V

    Marie kondo is my quasi idol. I say quasi because her relentless need to declutter is both inspiring and scary. 😂 You though, your list is worth decluttering. Please. Throw it all. Out. Today. For me, I’m all Zen you see. So I have nothing to declutter 😉


    1. Lalita Post author

      I have thrown out a bit of it. And you know you are buying crap when you cant name one person in the world who you could donate it to. 🙂



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