Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Have you been tidying up? Yes, it seems we Americans cannot get enough of Marie Kondo, Japanese de-cluttering guru, whose book and teachings are showing us the way to a neater and more joyful life.

The KonMari method, as it is called, is the roadmap to changing your life through organizing and letting go of the “stuff” you no longer need or use. Sounds pretty simple. So, I am in a tidying up mode.

The first step in decluttering is to go by category and not a room. I thought I would start with clothes.

And before I went through mine, I noticed quite a few things in my husband, Doug’s closet that he hadn’t worn in a while. I do recall Kondo saying work on your own belongings first, but I asked Doug if I might “help” him sort through his clothes.

“Sure,” he yelled while watching the Rams and Saints football game. As I asked him about various old shirts and pants, wondering if I could give them to charity, he seemed annoyed.

Then I noticed a particularly worn and faded denim shirt and asked if he still wanted it. No response.

Then I asked the “golden Kondo question,” which is, “Does this shirt spark joy in you?” Doug just stared at me like I had two heads and said, “it’s just a shirt!” No touchdown.

OK lesson number one, when you are tidying up start on your own side of the closet, which is what I did next. I found slacks I hadn’t worn in a few years, blouses that I had forgotten about and shoes that I am still wondering what possessed me to buy.

Several psychologists have claimed that if you want to know who you are, just look in your closet. Well, not sure about that, but it did feel like “therapy” evaluating my clothes choices.

Kondo says that regardless of when you bought an item, if you aren’t enjoying it, get rid of it. Give it away! Feel no guilt! Simply recall the joy it gave you when you bought it.

Ha! Easier said than done. I have a metallic gray handbag with long fringe that I bought with my sister-in-law because she said it looked like me. Well, I have never used it because it really looks more like Tina Turner.

Tidying up can be painful. Especially, when you see the error of your shopping ways all laid out in front of you.

Surveys reveal that one in four American adults feel they have “too much” stuff.

It seems that the “tidying up” trend is a positive thing. Second-hand stores are receiving more donations, junk drawers are getting cleaned out, closets, kitchens and garages are becoming organized and “joy” is in the air.

Dear Readers, take the “tidying up challenge” and feel the thrill and freedom of letting go! Oh, and if anyone wants a white cowboy hat with big peacock feathers, just give me a call. My clutter, your joy?

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Contact Judy at