Alternatively, Do They Not Have Bathrooms In Japan?
So. The morning after I re-evaluated my clothes and my life and folded my underwear into adorable little rectangles (Pictures not to follow, because I’m a lady. Dammit.) I woke up in the brilliant sunlight of a KonMari morning. I leapt out of bed, banished my family to the downstairs and told my husband he was allowed to feed and/or do anything to/with the children as long as they stayed alive and I could purge in peace. And DO NOT COME UP HERE YELLING AT ME ABOUT PROPERLY DISPOSING OF MEDICATION.
(Side bar: Anybody else have a spouse that discards of things completely differently than you? He recycles everything. Correctly. Even if it takes six weeks to figure out how to do so. Perfect little steward of the Earth and I love him for it but…
Me? Eh. I throw everything away. If it’s something slightly questionable, I’ll put it in a black bag. But other than that, I figure a Trump or Clinton presidency is going to destroy the world far before the landfills get us, so let’s just enjoy our clean bathrooms and basements in peace while we’re here okay?
I’m not saying this is right. It’s wrong. It’s even a sin if we consider that recent papacies have taught us to respect the Earth as a gift from God in a way we had moved away from. But you know what? RIGHT NOW I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO RINSE ALL MY RECYCLABLES LIKE MY HUSBAND WOULD BECAUSE HE’S PERFECT.
Side side bar: I wouldn’t throw away anything dangerous like chemicals that I knew were going to start a fire or prescription drugs.
But to be honest that’s probably just because I haven’t had any of the good stuff since childbirth and I don’t have any heavy duty cleaning fluid. Otherwise, yeah, I’d probably throw those away too. )
My bathroom had gotten a little bit out of hand. We only have one full bath, so everything happens there. And there’s this HUGE closet, which is awesome because it’s huge and horrible because I tend to fill it up with all the crap in the world that I don’t need (see, Step One.)
But the problem was that Marie Kondo doesn’t really talk about bathrooms (or kitchens) at all. Like, other than saying that you shouldn’t keep stuff in the shower or next to sink (ha! was my orginal thought. We’ll circle back to that.)
Apparently there isn’t anything in her perfect life as disgusting as a bathroom filled with acne cream and foot scrapy thingies and Nads wax back from when I cared about waxing (Just me? No? Okay. Stop judging then.) and moldy bath toys for the kids.
(I know. You’re all super upset I’m not single, right?)
So once again, as a menstruating American with children who need a crapton (the imperial measurement) of stuff, I had to modify her method.
I tried the joy thing. But, really, there isn’t a whole lot of stuff in a bathroom that gives you joy. Or at least not me. Some of my makeup did. I was able to go through that and think about what I was really excited to use. I love my skin care routine, and all the bottles are so pretty* so it was fun to think about arranging those. But pretty much everything else was just…blah.
*They should be for the half a spleen they cost every month or so.
I don’t know about you but I do not get super excited when my Amazon box arrives every month full of Playtex and clear blue sticks.(Subscribe and save! Whee! Never be embarrassed at the checkout lane again!!!) But obviously I couldn’t just purge everything I didn’t get excited about, or my children would seriously stink and I wouldn’t have any more hand towels.
In a modification I think KonMari would be proud of (at least the current version of her with a kid and responsibilities) I decided to think about what kind of a life these things let me live and how I was excited about that. And then toss everything that doesn’t make that life happen.
I love that my children play together at bath time, and have so much pure joy just by playing with a cup and water and some stupid plastic fish. I love that I am blessed enough that we have a gorgeous house and I can afford clean, dry towels to wrap my babies in. I love that God made me a woman and gifted me with fertility, but, you know, not right now. I love that when my kids get colds they trade them back and forth six times so we need to keep eight bottles of baby ibuprofen on hand at all times…oh wait. Nevermind. I love that I can give them medicine to keep them happier while they’re sick. (And by happier I mean sleeping.)
I love all of that. And so all that boring, utilitarian stuff that doesn’t sell happy, sunkissed books on Amazon got to stay.
(The moldy tub toys went. As well as the aloe vera gel that expired in 2011. And the vaseline from a place I’d never heard of that my husband excitedly informed me was in Iowa! From when I was on my co-op! In 2005? When I was 17? Uh. Nope. Gone.)
Tons of other stuff too obviously, because I tossed bags and bags and bag of…I don’t even know but by the time I was finished the closet was only like half full and I had the delightful task of reorganzing everything for our life.
I have a tendency to just shove stuff wherever it fits. Which leads to things like the bath towels being buried underneath hand towels (because we use those so often?) and the kids’ humidifiers being on the bottom shelf in the way back so you literally have to lay on the ground to get them out which means every time Squeaks or Buddy coughs I cross my fingers and hope it doesn’t happen again because I really don’t want to get the humidifer out. I mean I don’t want them to be sick. Yeah. That one.
I had enough space to put those things on higher shelves where we could easily get to them when I needed it. And, interestingly, the one thing I swore I was not going to do? The one thing Marie Kondo says to do? Keep all your stuff out of the bathtub and wipe it off and put it away after you shower?
Yeah. Of course I did that. And you know what? It works. It works so much better. I wipe down the shower every day and when I have to actually clean it it’s so much easier because I don’t have to move everything and make it such a production. I have everything together. I know when I’m running low on something so I don’t have to hop across the bathroom dripping wet to get more shaving cream. And it takes a grand total of like maaaaybe five extra seconds to wipe the two bottles I use every day on my towel and put them away.
*sigh* You’ve beaten me again, KonMari.
This part took me probably six hours. Honestly, longer than the clothes. Probably because I had to consider what the whole family NEEDED and not just what made me feel pretty. And then the organizing it to work with our life was more difficult than just putting your clothes back in the closet. But so, so worth it. Even if it didn’t get it’s own cute little section in Marie Kondo’s cute little book.
Next time, I move on to the children’s rooms. And give up on my hope for humanity.