KonMari Method for Travelers
“Tyding-up with Marie Kondo” is the latest Netflix sensation plaguing our social media feeds. The zenful pleasure of watching people keeping and letting go their personal belongings is so satisfying that you could not help but binge view one episode after another. But can we apply it? Can the hoarder traveler inside you apply it?
If I will use the lessons taught by the infectiously delightful and almost saccharine Kondo-san, it will be entitled:
THE ORGANIZED CHAOS OF IN-BETWEENS: THE REAL STRUGGLES OF ROMANTIC TRAVELERS ATTEMPTING TO PUT THEIR SHIT TOGETHER.
LESSON 1: CLOTHES
That theory of purging items of clothing may sound easy, but it is profoundly difficult to embrace. Letting a souvenir shirt go means we are letting a fond memory swim away in the vast void of nothingness.
Your almost forgotten drawer is a nondescript vessel of happiness where you could easily pull a comforting thought from that one summer trip to Siem Reap in 2004. That was the time in your life when the only thing you could afford was that $2 t-shirt from a street vendor. A day may come when you succumb to hopelessness, and you don’t want to regret you have thrown those shirts from Puerto Galera, Boracay, Ocean Park, Sentosa Singapore, even that Cebu Pacific shirt you have snatched from a flight game of “bring me!”
LESSON 2: PAPER
Every sheet of itinerary print-out is a potential creative energy waiting for that scrapbook you have always conceptualized but never materialized. Those train tickets deserve to be framed in your nice little nook of abandoned promises.
As for those glossy in-flight magazines, brochures and city maps from your first Euro-trip, keep it. When the world runs out of paper and water, you can use it to wipe your ass. Better than nothing.
LESSON 3: BOOKS
NOBODY THROWS AWAY BOOKS! Whoever had the slightest thought of that, shame on you! Some may suggest to pass them on after reading so that others will benefit from the joy these books will bring. But remember, if you give these babies away, they may not be loved, tapped to be awakened, and may no longer have cameo appearances in instagram posts.
You should keep the old beloved textbooks, such as the Daigdig: Ang Kasaysayan, which you last opened in 1995. This is the very fundamental of why you dreamed of Ceylon, Czechoslovakia, and Kampuchea. How could you even throw them away?
You cannot donate those good Bill Brysons to kids thirsty of wisdom and knowledge, so just buy them those appropriate stories and always politically correct reading materials from Anvil Publications.
You stack them, you pile them, you build a castle of books—no, FORTRESS OF BOOKS! If the next Ice age comes prematurely, we need these papers to heat the room for survival. You should know this well (Read: Coming Prematurely).
LESSON 4: KOMONO
Uncategorized things should be kept in your skeleton closet. You don’t have a skeleton closet? CREATE ONE! So when you die, it will confuse the kids who will find them and hope that they will launch an Antique Roadshow of dubious figurines, random mugs, exotic ornaments of questionable values, and plastic balls in a ziploc labeled as Vanaporn Ping Pong Show.
Your plethora of refrigerator magnets defines you! Without them, the character of the kitchen will be sad, and difficult, and you will be unable to see things with a silver lining. Because those $1 magnets are the avatars of your identity. When you say you travel to “find yourself,” you are unconsciously finding ref magnets—you are the refrigerator. You are cold, you consume energy constantly, and you are always open to whoever wants to quench their thirst. WHORE!
LESSON 5: SENTIMENTALS
If they don’t spark joy, they would probably spark something else. Perhaps like a reality splint to keep the fire under your feet burning. It may also spark nostalgic regret and elicit a curious mix of embarrassment and pleasure. Like that luggage tag from Nepal, it is probably a bleak reminder of your immaturity, an existential post-it note for you not to repeat that trip where you wasted your entire time whining about a failed relationships and how badly you needed to (all together now…) “find yourself” (rolls eye all the way to Annapurna Base Camp).
Most travelers share a common sentiment, we travel to be FILLED with the world’s rich culture. We were given this beautiful planet, hence it should be received with gratitude, with open arms to enrich ourselves and our stock rooms, and skeleton closets. Go and rape the buffet spread called Earth, for “emptiness” is never a good thing. NATURE ABHORS EMPTINESS.
“FUCK I FEEL EMPTY, HELL YEAH!” Says nobody, ever.
Just so you know, every time you read a line in this post and somehow agrees with it, a tiny Marie Kondo dies in alternate universe.