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Podcast

Episode 68 • Organizing

68b

Clean out

Mess

Tidy

Marie Kondo

Throw out

Story

Hanna: So, Sammy. There’s a reason why I’ve asked you to come. There’s something I’ve gotta confess… I haven’t cleaned out my closet in forever and now it’s gotten to the point where I don’t even know where to begin. I mean… It’s a mess… And since you’re tidy and organized, I thought maybe you could help me but I’m so embarrassed…
Sammy: Oh, c’mon. It can’t be that bad. Open the door, let me see. Jeez, Hanna! What is this?
Hanna: I told you!
Sammy: There’s a lot of work to do here. This is ridiculous, Anna! Why would you keep all this stuff?! I know, I know. I just don’t want to throw anything away. But you can, you have my permission to do what you have to do to make this room look like a closet again.
Hanna: Alright, just pass me the gloves. Okay, just leave, go get a smoothie or something and come back in a couple of hours, okay? Sammy: Okay! Let’s get to work! [Clock ticking]
Hanna: Sammy… I’m back.
Sammy: Oomph! Just in time! Alright, look! Doesn’t it look a lot better? It looks so much bigger, too!
Hanna: I- Yeah. Because it’s empty.
Sammy: Oh, yeah… I Marie Kondo-d the whole closet!
Hanna: So, you basically threw out all my clothes.
Sammy: Well, I mean, I just threw out the things that didn’t spark joy, you know, that didn’t make you happy.
Hanna: But- But- What am I going to wear now?
Sammy: I mean, you can wear this dress. This is cute.
Hanna: What if I want to wear pants?!
Sammy: Uuuh… Alright, I think we need to go shopping.

Questions

Clean out

'I haven’t cleaned out my closet in forever.'

If you are a '90s person, then you might have heard of, "I'm cleaning out my closet. One more time." I'm talking about Eminem.

• What does cleaning out a place or a room involve? Using cleaning products or removing stuff?

Using cleaning products or removing stuff. Just because I say clean out doesn't mean that I'm actually using detergents and other cleaning products. If I clean out a room or a space, that means that I am removing stuff from it. I'm taking out stuff.

• What happens to the stuff that’s removed?

A lot of times I think it's thrown away just because it's usually stuff that you don't need. Obviously, you don't have to throw it away. For example, you could sell it or maybe you could donate it or just give it to someone that might need it.

• Are there any rooms or places in your house that need to be cleaned out?

Yes. There's one of the closets that we have. It's more like a wardrobe because it's very small but desperately needs to be cleaned out. We have a pretty big apartment, but we don't have a lot of places where to put stuff. We have two wardrobes and one of them, which is the one that we have in the office, it's full of stuff. I'm talking boxes and suitcases. At some point, I need to clean it out because otherwise, it's too much. Every time I open it, I fear for my life because what if something falls on me?

Mess

'It’s a mess...'

• If a place is a mess, is it organized or disorganized?

If a place is a mess it's really disorganized.

• And how disorganized is it?

Like I said, really disorganized. It's not just, "Oh, yes. There's a few things out of place." No, no, no, no. If a place is a mess is you got things all over the place.

• Is the place where your work organized or is it a mess?

I'm going to talk about my desk. I got to say, at the beginning of the day, when I start working, it's very organized. Everything is in its place and everything is super clean and in the right place. The more I work, the more I start writing things on paper, taking the phone, then maybe I eat something and I leave the plate there. By the end of the day, my desk is a mess, but then I clean up so it's fine.

Tidy

'And since you’re tidy and organized, I thought maybe you could help me'

• If a place is tidy, is it organized or disorganized?

Tidy is the opposite of mess, so it's organized.

• If a place is tidy, does that also mean it’s clean?

No, not necessarily. A place can be really, really dirty but everything could be in its place, so you can say the place is tidy even though it's dirty.

• What is the tidiest room in your house right now?

This one's difficult for me right now. I think the living room is the tidiest room right now. Definitely not the kitchen because we just had lunch and we have like 1,000 dirty dishes there. The office, not really because you've worked this morning and right now I'm in the bedroom because I record the podcast on my bed. I've got a pillow on the floor, some of my clothes on the floor to my right. I got a bowl of ice cream. Well, there used to be ice cream right here on the bed next to me, so definitely the bedroom is not tidy at the moment, but I'll fix it.

Marie Kondo

'I Marie Kondo-d the whole closet!'

I Marie Kondoed the whole closet. This is a very, very recent expression. If you Marie Kondo something, yes, it's a name, but it's also become a verb.

• If you Marie Kondo something, do you organize it or do you remove stuff?

If you Marie Kondo something like a place, for example, or a room, you organize it but you also remove stuff. You throw some of the stuff away and you organize what's left.

• What is the principle that you need to follow when Marie Kondoing something? Throw away everything and start over or throw away only the things that are not really important to you?

I don't know if you watched a show that-- I didn't watch it, honestly, I just heard of it. There was a show that was hosted by Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, she helps you organize stuff. She has this idea that if you have something, if you own something, it can be clothes or it can be an object, whatever, and it doesn't spark joy, that's what she says, it doesn't make you happy when you hold it and when you look at it, then you should just throw it away. That's her idea. Then she's got her own system of organizing stuff and folding things, but that's really the principle. Now when people deep-clean their houses or rooms and they use this principle where they throw away the things that don't spark joy, then they say, they use the expression, Marie Kondo, which is the name of this girl. That's why it has become a verb. Could you imagine your own name becoming a verb? I don't know, I would be so honored. What do you think of this idea of Marie Kondoing your things?

• What do you think of this idea of Marie Kondoing your things, do you think it makes sense or do you think it’s too extreme?

Well, I actually live by this rule even before I knew who Marie Kondo even was. I don't have a problem throwing away stuff. Every time that I realize that I don't use something or that I don't really like something in a specific room, usually, I just either give it away or I throw it away because I don't like having too much stuff. I think it's an awesome rule, especially if you realize that you accumulate a lot of stuff, then maybe it's a good idea to Marie Kondo your apartment and have a little more room.

Throw out

'So, you basically threw out all my clothes.'

• If you throw out something, where do you place it?

You place it in the garbage. That is the first step. It's going to go in the garbage, in the trash.

• Why throwing something out?

You can throw something out because it's broken, you don't like it anymore, because you don't use it.

• What was the last thing that you threw out? Why did you throw it out?

What was the last thing that I threw out? I think the last big thing that I threw out was, I had a bunch of bottles of lotions and moisturizers that the owner, the previous owner of the apartment had left in the bathroom and my boyfriend doesn't like to throw away anything and I understand that, but I also would like to have space for my things plus, those were lotions. That's something that you put on your body. I don't want to put on my body something that somebody has already put on their body. I don't know if that makes sense, or I'm just crazy. In secret, I threw all of those bottles out. Now I've got space in the bathroom for my own things.

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