Community Voices

A few years ago I was given the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. This was my first foray into the Marie Kondo effect. Kondo promotes organizing your home by categories such as clothes, shoes, papers, books and dishes versus room by room and, at the same time, only keeping those things and treasures that bring you joy.

No matter how big a space, it’s easy to accumulate stuff. When you come from a large family of pack rats, it is not easy to change. Living a simple, less cluttered life is not that simple. I understand the psychology of being emotionally connected to things, so much so that when it comes time to divest, the process of doing so can literally choke out life.

In recent years I’ve spent countless hours with other siblings helping our mom go through her house. When I came across a box labeled: “Dec ’89 Can probably ALL BE TOSSED,” the only joy it brought was recognizing my late father’s handwriting that wrote the message. Almost 30 years later, the box finally found a home: out of the back closet and into the recycling bin.

Kondo has an answer for all your decluttering dilemmas; from photos to socks, she has methods that work. You may not agree with everything she recommends, but the process is there for you to follow or not.

Kondo suggests piling clothes from around the house all on the floor when working on the clothes category. And she means everything! Even what’s in the clothes dryer at that moment must be removed and brought to the same floor before you begin sorting, tossing, recycling, saving. I’m working up energy to give this a try. There are a lot of things in my closets that do not bring me joy.

I am drawn to the thought of having a more simplified life at work and at home. Kondo provides hope and opportunity for anybody who is willing to take the first step, which is commitment. Without commitment, Kondo’s method will be a conversation starter and nothing more. As fall inches closer and I still haven’t dealt with all my to-do lists of spring, it’s time for me to commit. I can forgive myself for not starting the moment I read that book, and start fresh, today, with those three boxes in the basement labeled: “Stuff to go through.”

Local recycling resources:

The Scott County Hazardous Waste Facility at 588 Country Trail E., Jordan, is my go-to place to take old electronics, paint, bulbs, batteries and appliances. Check out their web site at

The Goodwill Store is at 5925 Egan Drive, Savage, and 4450 12th Ave. E., Shakopee.

Jessica Lamker has lived in Savage for more than 20 years.


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