Sometimes you need to have someone gently and firmly grab you by the face and tell you to just get over it already. This book is all about telling you to get the f*ck over it and move on, it just does it really nicely.
Number one: this is not about getting rid of everything you own, unless that's what makes you happy. This is not about having a minimalist white space with one perfect teacup, unless that's what makes you happy. This is about asking yourself which of your belongings bring you joy, and being honest with yourself about it. A friend of mine KonMari'd her art studio and it's been a big inspiration to me - she's still a collector, it's still a lot of stuff, and it's a beautiful reflection of her personality. You can see photos in her Instagram feed: brandiislight
Number two: if something isn't bringing you joy, sometimes you can make a simple change to make it something that brings you joy (and sometimes that thing is changing the way you think about it). Although Kondo is about the immediate gut response, I think it can be worthwhile to take a moment and ask yourself why something doesn't bring you joy, and if it's an easy fix, consider doing so. One of my shirts failed the joy check, because one of the buttons would pop out of the buttonhole at inconvenient times. I fixed it in a couple of minutes with a needle and thread, tightening the buttonhole, and now it's joyful! Sometimes you can't afford to offload everything that isn't pinging the joy meter. What Kondo has to say about gratitude and appreciation for the things that you need in your life can really come into play here. The curtain in the living room window may not spark joy in me immediately, but I can appreciate that it keeps the afternoon sun out of my eyes when I sit on the couch. I'll replace it when I can, and until then, I'll appreciate the job that it does.
Number three: you don't have to do it all in one day. I know that's what the book is telling you to do, but that's just not workable for everyone, so break it up into chunks if you need to.
Things I was surprised by:
Have you read the book? Have you KonMari'd your living space? What surprised you?
'Ulu (breadfruit) is one of my favorite foods. It is a big beautiful ball of starch that can be eaten green (like a potato), half-ripe (more like a sweet potato), or super ripe and on the verge of spoiled (sweet and sticky). It's easy to cook - I just bake it whole on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until I can stick a skewer through it easily, about an hour - and then cut it up and peel it.
At that point you can use it in a variety of ways. The National Tropical Botanical Garden has lot of recipes, and I haven't tried any of them because my favorite way to eat breadfruit is fried in either coconut oil or dairy butter. Green or half-ripe breadfruit work the best for this, as it holds together well in slices. I slice the baked 'ulu about 1/4" thick and heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a pan and fry on both sides until browned, then sprinkle with salt and eat while it's still hot.
For more information about 'ulu and its traditional uses, try Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawai'i.
Thanks to Interisland Terminal and the Kaka'ako Agora, a Make It Mighty Ugly workshop was held in Honolulu on June 23, 2015.
Thanks to my co-host Trisha, we had an awesomely hideous buffet of craft supplies that included wiggly eyes, hairy yarns, and lots of fabric in various prints and textures, in addition to cardboard and paper. After a quick Skype chat with Kim Werker about how making something ugly set her creativity free, participants scooped up supplies and set to work with glitter glue, hot glue guns, staplers, and their imaginations. There was a lot of ugly happening, and it was a beautiful thing.