Dear, sweet, adorable, impossibly neat, put-together Marie Kondo,
Pull up a stool to my kitchen counter, won’t you, love? I’ve just shoved aside a pile of odds and ends (including a teal hairbrush, a candy cane-shaped tube of half-eaten M&Ms, a notebook, pen—sans cap, always sans cap—, last week’s third-grade classroom teacher letter, and a toy motorcycle I still need to superglue) to make space for you. Don’t mind the little bits of nail polish on the laminate I can’t magic erase off from an appointment at the girls’ nail salon last spring (at least it’s coral, and coral never goes out of season).
Let’s have a little chat, mom-to-mom.
First, I must confess: it’s been years since you’ve crossed my mind. That Netflix series you did took the world by storm way back in 2019, which roughly translates to four lifetimes ago. But I did watch it, admiring how you folded t-shirts into perfect squares and tamed haphazard closets into cozy nooks I wanted to curl up and nap inside.
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Does it spark joy? I’d dutifully muse as I side-eyed a stack of sippy cups by the sink or stepped over toys on the living room rug. Does it even matter?
You see, women like you, Marie, have always baffled me a little. I grew up with the “clean enough to be healthy but cluttered enough to be happy” method of homemaking, something I’ve carried over into my own home as an adult. I admire pretty, spotless, purposefully decorated homes, but I’ve never been able to keep one myself. And truthfully? I’m okay with that. Your KonMari Method and organized everything clearly worked for you, but it wasn’t for me.
Then I saw the headlines today: “Marie Kondo’s life is messier now—and she’s fine with it.” “Marie Kondo gives up.” “Marie Kondo opens up on embracing ‘messy’ home after having 3 kids.”
Oh, Marie. Yes. Welcome, friend. We have been waiting for you.
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Because motherhood changes everything. From the moment you bring your first child home, everything else pales in comparison to being a mom. Children color your world (sometimes quite literally, if they’re unsupervised toddlers with markers) and take over nearly every aspect of your life. From the edge protectors you affix to coffee table corners, to the stacks of laundry you never seem to finish, to the sleep and therefore energy you lose—the only method that truly matters is love. A messy house—sometimes or all of the time—is simply a fact of life when you’re busy raising a family.
Hearing you—even you!—say so? Whew. That’s the kind of reassurance we all need as mothers.
“My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life,” you recently said at a media event.
That’s refreshing in a way a deep spring clean never could be. So thanks, Marie, and welcome to the other side. It’s a little cluttered here, a bit wild and unpredictable and haphazard, but it is full of the best kind of joy.
Sit down and stay awhile. You’re going to love it here.