5.21.2015

Kon-DON'T

As I was scrolling through the archives, looking for a possible throw-back post for this hashtagged day of the week, I came across a me-made-made trio of duds from 2012...

       oonaballoona | a sewing blog | Kon-DONT!   oonaballoona | a sewing blog | Kon-DONT!oonaballoona | a sewing blog | Kon-DONT!

They've all gone the way of Goodwill, for various reasons which now seem overly harsh. I loved that drapey maxi dress! Yes, it was a bit clingy! But purple! With PRINT CONTRAST! What about that tribal romp of a dress? Who cares if my overzealous fittings birthed a waist two inches too short? And even when I go for refashioned RTW I do it in readily available yardage! I'VE SPIED THE PRINT OF THAT SILK TANK TOP IN NO LESS THAN THREE FABRIC STORES! WHY ARE THESE ITEMS NO LONGER IN MY CLOSET?!!!

I'm sure I agonized over the decision to give these up. Scratch that, I'm sure I didn't. We were in LA, we were moving up and down and around the country, and we were at the point when packing ONE MORE ITEM WOULD BREAK OUR SPIRIT. So yeah, we Kondo'd the shite out of everything, before we knew this ruthless practice existed. Oh, whatever! You can package it in pretty paper and speak in soft pleasing tones but IT'S RUTHLESS! So you looked at the item and thanked it for giving you joy?! HOW NICE OF YOU! I'M SURE YOUR OLD TEDDY BEAR DOESN'T FEEL LIKE AN ABANDONED TODDLER!  

I'm quite yell-y today. I have a prediction: this current craze is going to leave a lot of people with feelings of ragret. And one should never have ragrets. (That will never not be funny to me.)

There are pieces in my closet from my mom, my mom-in-law, my grandmothers, I've even got a supremely awesome Joe Namath print button-down shirt from my dad-in-law (which I am not allowed to hack). If they had Kondo'd their lives, these would probably not exist. Save for pictures, I wouldn't know of their existence. And though the three items pictured here are not heirloom quality, or of vintage worth, it fills me with regret that they now exist only in pictures. 

I mean, not life altering remorse, you know, just, sometimes I get a little harsh. Last night, in a bit of a rage getting dressed, I tried Kondo'ing my closet, asking myself what brought me joy and what didn't. Though my process was less "thoughtful questioning" and more "Sipowitz Interrogation." DO YOU LIKE THIS?! NO??? SHOVE IT IN THE BAG! This "bag" now resides in the back of my closet. That's right! QUAKE IN FEAR AT THE THOUGHT OF MY GIANT LAUNDRY BAG FULL OF MIRTHLESS ITEMS, KONDO! I'll be saving that bag, and going through it again at a later date with a fresh set of eyes! Maybe several times! It could take YEARS! KONDO! YOU DON'T GET TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!  

75 comments:

  1. Thank you for being brave enough to say the thing I've been editing out of my blog posts. I'm deeply skeptical of minimalism, but you can't turn around without smacking into an essay waxing rhapsodic about it. I'm no maximalist, but I like my stuff, and I don't want to be made to feel guilty for that. Minimalism as a trend makes me rage too, so thanks for helping me to release that pressure valve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i figure if i'm yelling and acting like an idiot people will know it's all in good fun ;)). i can admire minimalism, but man i don't get it! i LIKE STUFF!

      Delete
  2. Ahahahahahhahahahahhahah *gasping breath* ahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahah *snort*

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen, sister! I'm a minimalist at heart, but I'm also an historian, and get emotionally attached to physical objects, and in particular, things I've made that don't fit or didn't work out. (The other stuff, I'm wearing it!) I think physical culture is important to retain, but at the same time, these days, we have so much of it!

    So I take a Sipowitz approach to these things too, and shove the bag into the basement until I'm ready to look at it again. One thing I've done lately with some makes or RTW that I'm meh about is to put it in a bin in my closet, on the top shelf. That way, if I really do want it, I can easily access it, but otherwise, it isn't staring at me from the hangers, taunting me with its mirthlessness, or with its "you are too fat for me today" sighs.

    Thanks for a great post! This is all I would say and more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, that's why i have the bag-- out of sight, out of mind, but not out of reach! you must have a truly interesting perspective on it, being an historian. objects has a meaning, and everything has a history. i guess we have to choose what history is important...

      Delete
  4. At least you can rest knowing you've made some lucky people very happy with their new dresses! I struggle with this all the time - there's only so much you can fit in a London pad...but last week-end I wore my mother's 60s lace dress (that she'd kept) to a friend's wedding....I'm sooo happy she hung onto some key pieces like that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....but can you imagine the blog we'd read if/when one of her beloved wears goes by Oona walking down the street in the opposite direction?...enclosed within a less than worthy colorless ensemble ?...or worst yet, re-purposed for a headband or some suchness .....

      Delete
    2. i would love to see a donated dress walking down the street! though i might scare the wearer with my screaming.

      Delete
  5. On the other hand, when one hangs onto too many things, the possessions take over, and tend to demand more attention than they deserve. I've been ruthless about divesting myself of excess possessions for a long time, and I am filled with remorse. At the same time, I enjoy my clean and tidy closets, and my relatively uncomplicated life. I wish we could have it both ways, but, as these concepts are mutually exclusive, I choose to have less, and deal with my occasional bouts of remorse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tis true, tis true. what i *really* wish for is a closet large enough to accommodate everything in a pleasing layout!

      Delete
  6. Yes! For those embracing the "capsule wardrobe" trend, good for you, but I for one couldn't survive with one. That's right. I have enough clothes that I don't actually have to do laundry for a month if I don't want to, and I.LIKE.IT.THAT.WAY. I've gotten rid of tons of clothes over the last few years because of moves, childbirth and related body changes, etc, and that's healthy, but I love my clothes and the work I've put into them. And I like being able to wear something different nearly every day of the month if I feel like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! yes, ruggy subscribes to that laundry method, we had to get separate hampers because his is a monster load come the 30th! also, he doesn't separate whites and colors, so, no.

      how does anyone survive on a capsule wardrobe?! it would be like only drinking cabernet and shunning all the other grapes!

      Delete
  7. LOL! I take the Kondo approach with my closet. If I don't love it, it's gone. I can't stand clutter. If I forgot it existed, it's gone. Buy-bye! Every blue moon, something will be granted a pardon, especially if it's brand new, but for the most part, I'm ruthless with my purging. It makes me happier!

    www.StyleSewMe.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there is definitely a high after a purge! i just always seem to smack myself in the head months later, when i wonder where that sweater went... ugh, there's a crocheted tank top that i still lament, YEARS gone now, and i didn't even make it!

      Delete
  8. I thought I was the only one who was annoyed by all the "minimalism" talk. Sure, there are things that I've given up and maybe felt a bit of remorse later (all my baby stuff from Irish is a great example), but I've also seen it go too far both ways. I prefer the middle ground. I'm not scared to throw stuff out, but there are some things that will never get thrown away. Although, I suppose I lean a bit more towards minimalism when there's clutter--right now it's all I can do to keep from tossing everything in my office out because we don't have the storage set up in here yet and I can't find anything. Which makes me yell, a lot. Especially when I stub my toes on that fucking file cabinet for the millionth time trying to avoid tripping over something else. /rant. ;-)

    I suppose too, you're fairly prolific at sewing, so you'd be buried alive in a technicolor grave if you didn't get rid of some stuff once in a while. So you're just making room for the new pretties and brightening someone else's day. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ok, i choked on my coffee on the filing cabinet bit. that would send me into a cleaning rage!

      yeah, it's getting colorful in there-- we had a friend over and gave them a little apartment tour, i gave him a warning before opening the closet-- this lovely guy, who is the definition of grace, almost keeled over!

      Delete
  9. Oh man, I'm pretty ruthless - have been pushed that way as the result of about 7 moves in 5 years, including that one over the sea, with kids. The pain. I actually start to feel a little stressed now if we start to acquire too many "things" (impossible not to). It might be the sense of temperance I live with. But I do look forward to the day when we can finally get out photo albums, wedding gifts, and artwork out of storage and put. it. in. our. house. I've gotten rid of lots of clothes over these years, but I only have two regrets of all those piles of joy-giving fabrics. I wish I kept the dress I made for the Tessuti Awards. And I wish I kept a couple of the old,faded, good for no-one toddler dresses that weren't even me-made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHAT?! i can't believe you got rid of your TA dress! woman, you ARE ruthless!! i guess it's a good thing (maybe?) since you make clothes for everyone in the house!

      Delete
  10. This is nice to hear! I like my stuff, especially my clothes! I am constantly editing my wardrobe but I never seem to end up with fewer clothes. These days I am trying not to feel guilty about it. I am a costumer! I have to have options for all the different characters I play. When I was living abroad for three months with a minimalist wardrobe I was So Bored. I spent a lot of money in charity shops! We are in the middle of moving right now, though, so I can definitely see the practicality of minimalism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha, yes, even with editing my closet always seems full! THE NIGHT ELVES ARE AT WORK!

      i like character options as well , that's the hardest thing for me about culling the closet. even if i don't like an item, i might need it to play a lawyer or somesuch. be careful with moving, it's so easy to get stressed and chuck it all!!

      Delete
  11. Haha!! I will say that one surprise from having used the Kondo method (which I used and have yet to feel any regrets over) was that it's made me want to sew more special, festive, colorful and - dare I say it? - joyful clothing, in addition to my normal practical stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. now that's a nice bonus!! i keep getting signs of needing more practical stuff. so far i'm sticking my head in that sand.

      Delete
  12. I love this! I'm sure in principle she's not wrong but all in good measure, I say!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't think there's anything wrong with minimalism OR maximalism. What I object to is people doing what works for them, then getting all smug and superior about it. "I have no knick knacks so I am obviously the more highly evolved life form," is what I usually see (Apartment Therapy, I'm looking at you). I like having less stuff, but that probably has to do with moving WAY too many times in my life and not having happy family memories that I want to hang on to. I say do what works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been Kondo-ing with only one or two small regrets when it comes to fabric, but after 2 months I still love how neat my closet has stayed. It is worth the small regret. Now if I could just finish the mementos.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The issue I have with the whole philosophy is the attempt to hinge on "bring you joy." There are a number of things in my house that do not bring me joy--furnace filters, tax prep software, and can openers come to mind--that I would nonetheless be up a creek without. (My corkscrew, on the other hand, loves me, and I love it right back.) It smacks of that whole "simple abundance" thing from the 90s, which, it turns out, is a whole lot easier if you wake up in an idyllic country cottage every morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahaaa!!!! this is so perfectly said, tina!

      Delete
  16. Haha! Yeah, I'm pretty on board with the Kondo approach, but slightly less crazy. I'll keep and store the sentimental hand-mades, or things I like but just don't wear anymore. Someday I'm sure my kids will have a blast going through those clothes. Also, books. Nope, can't get rid of them like she tells you to. But sometimes the clutter and the stuff (especially with kids) just gets overwhelming, and somehow reading her book helped to give me permission to throw out the excess.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I only discovered this business yesterday, otherwise I would be very confused about what Kondoing is. It made sense to me up to a point. I am a great beleiver in chucking out guilt stuff - stuff you oughtn't have bought, don't fit, stuff that has a ragret story that brings you down. CHUCK 'EM SAY I !!! But the idea of throwing out things that I love is absolute poop.
    Luckily, mt every fluctuating waistline gives me an easy and painless reason to chuck stuff out - in either direction, and space is not my friend in the Non-Tardis Apartment, so I love my clothes but I failed to count 33 items in my summer wardrobe including shoes. 33 being a magic number apparently. Mine, apparently, is 18, including shoes! I am a little in awe of this given I am a Maximalist of Maximum Maximalism!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have read the book? I have and she does not actually recommend you get rid of anything your really like, only things that are unneeded, unloved and causing frustrating, annoying clutter. The things you had to get rid of probably would have survived a Kondo style purge. Moving is hard and can be so soul-sucking. It is difficult to move a lot of stuff and you always wind up with regrets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was waiting for someone that has read the book to comment! :oP

      Most of the commenters are "kondoing" and don't even know it (keeping things that they love).

      Delete
    2. y'all, i TOTALLY did not read the book. i read an interview with her, does that count? ;))) just me mouthing off in a hopefully tongue in cheek way. i love so many things though, i have the feeling she would be utterly disappointed with my decluttering!

      Delete
  19. I have a practice I call 'The Year Bag'. Because of my health, my size & weight fluctuates a lot, but in the beginning I didn't know this so I threw out bunch of things that were too small, even some I loved... and then, a year later, I had nothing that fitted me! So now I have an annual wardrobe purge, put stuff that I don't wear/like etc in a giant gym bag and shove it under the bed for a year. If it still doesn't fit and I still don't want it next time round, THEN I throw it out!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing it...that's all!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ahhhhh I just donated SIX GARBAGE BAGS of my beautiful clothes. Almost immediately I started thinking about things I had put in there that maybe I wanted to pull back out. That's why I donated the bags immediately. Otherwise hoarder status will reside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. okay, i'm getting anxious over what treasures might be in your bags!!!! i'm the antikondo!

      Delete
  22. This is part of why I haven't sorted through my wardrobe in a long time. A few things were donated when I moved last year, but not much. I worry that I'll throw something out I later want or need, so I don't want to part with something until I know something else in my wardrobe can cover its place.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Full disclosure, I haven't read the Kondo book so I just picked up some things through cultural osmosis. The thing that I found handy was the thanking thing, actually, because I had a whole layer of detritus that I didn't want any more because it didn't fit or wasn't my style, but it had been given to me by someone I loved or reminded me of good times. So since I really did want to get rid of those things, that helped me to do that. THAT SAID I still kept some of those things, for memories' sake. They do bring me joy, so I'm keeping them. Not wearing-them joy, but some kind of joy. I have enough space for some sentimental things.

    Minimalism is not for me, though. I like my stuff. I want to have lots of it. But I want it all the be NICE, GOOD, LOVELY stuff. So being a bit more deliberate about what I bring in and what I keep has helped that. Maybe if I had to live in a teeny japanese flat I would... lbr, in that instance i would just have to build a fake floor and live crawling around in my apartment, so I could keep all my stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seem like a good way to get rid of things you might keep around out of guilt, like unwanted gifts or such. But fake floor. GENIUS. imagine the stash hiding properties!!

      Delete
  24. This made me laugh because I only made it about 1/4 of the way through that book. I can't get rid of all my clothes, there is way to much sentimental attachment for me. Thanks for sharing, it's so nice to know I'm not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Loved this!!

    I think fads, such as the 'kondo' method, show who are independent thinkers and who are followers.

    ReplyDelete
  26. All the Kondo-ifying drives me nuts. I don't know anybody who lived through the Great Depression, but the great-grandmother in my head would say, "Why are you throwing those away? They're not supposed to bring you joy. They're socks."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha!!! i

      found a sewing box of Ruggy's gmm, and in it were bobbins would with several different colors of thread (on one bobbin). some colors only went about two inches. nothing wasted...

      Delete
  27. My brother once returned to me a Christmas gift because it wasn't quite his taste.... ass. I love him, but he kondo'd long before I had heard of It. I am lucky enough to have a corner of my basement dedicated to the Queen of Rubbermaid with stacks of bins of clothes to return to circulation. Save that bag, oona, save that bag.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My brother once returned to me a Christmas gift because it wasn't quite his taste.... ass. I love him, but he kondo'd long before I had heard of It. I am lucky enough to have a corner of my basement dedicated to the Queen of Rubbermaid with stacks of bins of clothes to return to circulation. Save that bag, oona, save that bag.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I can only cope with chucking things out if they're going to the charity shop. Not a fan of trying to produce a capsule wardrobe, but I do like sorting my wardobe by colour...or style...or days of the week lol

    ReplyDelete
  30. I sew, knit and crochet, for myself, my children and my home. My children like paper crafts, painting, jewellery making.... Crafting does not sit well with minimalism, at least not in my experience. I think my problem is not so much the amount of stuff I have but the space I have to keep it all in and whilst I'm quite relaxed about throwing out the RTW that no longer works for me (unless it can be made into something else), I'm not ready to ditch what I've made or any of the fabric/yarn stash I've built up over time. There's still some room in the loft, after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now this is very true! Crafting is the enemy of minimalism, I mean, I have fabrics that sit patiently for years before they're used!

      Recently I've been remaking things too, furthering the impossibility of throwing Anything. Out.

      Delete
  31. Dude, I think my Mom invented Kondo-ing WAY before it was cool! Every year growing up, usually right after school let out for the summer, we had to do a MAJOR cleanout of our rooms - especially our closets. The rule was - if we haven't worn something in a year than into the Goodwill bag it went. A YEAR! That's all we got!! Needless to say I DID NOT grow up with my Mom's awesome 70's peasant dresses and 80's ugly sweaters to inspire me! She should have known that her ruthless cry of "GET RID OF IT" was having the opposite effect on me when I'd look through photo albums of she and my Dad in high school, summers at the beach, and sigh wistfully over that denim patchwork dress - or that kaleidoscopic print prom dress and then give her the serious Death Stare for not keeping any of it for me to play with!

    Sometimes I still find myself doing a serious, ruthless closet clean out though (that mentality is INGRAINED in me) and I always ALWAYS end up getting rid of something I regret. I also get rid of lots of things I never think about again. Just the other week actually I found myself unable to fall asleep because I was mentally kicking myself for getting rid of this dress I refashioned from a gorgeous, embroidered vintage Mexican wedding skirt in the early days of my sewing. The dress was beyond funky (not in a good way) but that fabric could have been salvaged! Stupid Sallie!!

    So long comment - but I FEEL YOUR PAIN! Kondo can go stick it in her ear...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my god I've had sleepless nights over abandoned items for sure!!! It's slightly criminal of your mom to torture you with old photos of lost beauties (how does she justify keeping the photos, by the by?)

      Delete
  32. I love this. I wrote about this similar a couple of months ago (http://www.birds-of-a-thread.com/2015/02/so-much-spark-so-much-joy-collectors.html), mostly in reference to all of the crap (and vintage dresses) I've collected over the years. The bottom line is that the nature of what brings us joy CHANGES, just as we change. I'd hate to regret my manic purging several years down the line, so I refuse.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Also, "Kon-DON'T"? Genius. :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh this is too bad that you got rid of these lovely garments !
    But Marie Kondo, contrary to many minimalist experts, advocates keeping items that bring you joy, not getting rid of everything that is not immediately useful.
    After I read her book I decided to keep the embroidered romanian blouse that my late father gave me 20 years ago (now two sizes too small). And I gave myself permission to get rid of a very useful handbag, a gift from my sister, in a colour that I have always hated.
    Eve

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm actually most interested in the context that has "birth" this lifestyle trend. I've not only seen it in home decor but in fashion as well. I think it is a reaction to how bombarded people feel with the loads of information coming their way every single day and how fast/immediate everything is with technology. I think people just want a little bit of peace in their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  36. We all like a good venting. And I'd probably be beating myself up too if I'd let go of a dress like that purple maxi in a fit of impulsive purging that the stress of moving often brings on. That dress looked fabulous! (My first reaction as I started reading was, "She got rid of that???!!!")

    That being said, I hate to see people, even people getting lots of press, being criticized for saying things that they never actually said, even if the writing's funny. I got the Kondo book from our library, and I remember it talking about not getting rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of things. I remember it talking about keeping things that are old, ratty, flawed, and imperfect, if one really likes them. I.e. "I don't give a #@$! if the waist on my purple maxi is too small. It makes me happy, and I'm keeping it!" (Not to be confused with, "I love this purple, but this dress makes me feel a little bad every time I see it/wear it, because it's not quite right.")

    If there's ever a next time, maybe you can rant at the organization "gurus" who *do* tell people to get rid of stuff just for the sake of it. Ironically, Design Sponge just posted about organization books--one of which is specifically about decluttering to make your move stress-free. Sounds like a perfect target, heh, heh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good to know! I was scared to even read the book for fear of making me feel like a hoarder. And, I'm far from being a hoarder... I just have a LOT of fabric and supplies in my studio, but there's nothing on the floor for example.

      Delete
    2. Erin, when I looked back at that old post, I thought the same thing about that purple dress! SUCH LAMENTATION!

      Poor Kondo probably gets more than her fair share of ribbing, altho it's good natured here:). The interviews I've read from her focus more on the de cluttering and reorganizing aspects (folding socks) so that's where my hollering comes from. I like the idea of having a house full of happy!

      Delete
  37. OMG I am so in love with this right now! I love my stuff and I can't bear to throw things away. I do a cull every time we move house and that is enough for me. In saying that I'm not hoarding stuff that doesn't fit or is broken or anything so I think I am doing ok. What fun is having a minimalistic wardrobe? I don't know who I want to be tomorrow. I need clothes available for every eventuality. So don't worry I will be right there with you and all your stuff while everyone else lives in their minimalistic kondo world!

    ReplyDelete
  38. For that reason, I LOVE to have a sister: I couldn't stand Kondoing my dresses/tshirt/whatever to Idontknowyou (sorry Idontknowyou: you probably are a great person, but still Idontknowyou!). I do it at every season change and sooo glad!but there are things I will never kondo, like ever! like that fake kimono dress I can't wear anymore since I was 15 yo but that is HOT and I dream that maybe one day it will fit me once again! Keep up the great work lady: you are a badass!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Um, ok, thank you for say this about that book - it got so much hype that I picked up a copy finally and was like - am I living wrong? Is this the way to true happiness? But my nickname is The Maximalist, so you can probably guess how that went. It's not for everybody, and people are different. Ps, I love your blog, I visit it everyday!

    ReplyDelete
  40. LOL. I have SUCH a hard time getting rid of anything. Strangely though, I don't have too many regrets. Once in a while I miss something but I'm always sewing so I have so many wonderful new things to love that I don't think much about the ones that are gone forever.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I so so hear you on this one, I had some me mades that I NEVER wear in a bag ready to go to the thrift store and at the last minute stuffed them in a wicker chest with other long forgotten but no ready to give up things. Maybe I am a hoarder. Maybe someday those items will call my name and i will pull them out and wear them, stranger things have happened!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I find the little Kondo voice constantly in my head when I'm pawing through clothes in shop, a bit slippery and whispery like Lord Voldemort... But doesss it briiiing you joooyyyyy?
    I kinda don't mind, less clothes = less laundry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaa voldemort!!!!!

      On the flip side, more clothes means you need to do laundry less frequently..... *she said in whispery tones*

      Delete
  43. I love in a New York apartment that isn't tiny, per se, but doesn't have a ton of space. And I still hold on to all my stuff, so suck on that, minimalists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I bet you have some vintage pinup gems in there!

      Delete
  44. totally with you on this! read the book and was so disturbed -- she actually threw out OTHER people's stuff just because she thought they should get rid of it.

    (and there's some stuff about bowel movements. like, a lot of stuff about bowel movements! she has issues, I think.)

    ReplyDelete

i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!