Marie Kondo is (partially) wrong.
You know who Marie Kondo is: the queen of minimalism and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Granted, there’s value in her approach to organizing piles of stuff. And she’s right about getting rid of things you will never need again. But never can be iffy.
Last year, I dived into my closets and kitchen cabinets to declutter. Since my husband was recovering from a life-threatening condition, my motivation was part Marie Kondo, part feeling the fragility of life. The memory of cleaning up my mom’s house after she died is still fresh, and I don’t want to leave my kids a mess.
Out went the things I’d never wear again and appliances I hadn’t used in years. I cleaned out my craft and sewing things, organized my yarn, and reduced my fabric stash to the bare minimum. After some deliberation, the bread maker we almost never used stayed.
I culled through the board games and jigsaw puzzles–and kept them all, even though we never use them and they weren’t inspiring any joy at that moment.
And then Covid 19 made it’s global appearance.
Thank goodness I kept the bread maker–we use it often.
We haven’t cracked open my stash of board games but they’re there should our WIFI fail us. But the jigsaw puzzles? My minimalist son brought us lunch for my birthday and carried those home with him.
One of the biggest revelations in all this:
In a pandemic, you really can’t snap a finger and get things in a jiffy.
And shopping on line can be a painful competitive sport.
I say this as a veteran Amazon shopper.
Instacart? I’m not a fan. No cut on the Insta shoppers, they’re doing their best. But it’s hard when the stores are out of half the things you want.
Soil, Seeds, and Garden Supplies? Delivery charges are hefty. And, sorry, but I’m in the crowd that says open-air garden centers observing social distancing rules ought to be open. If, as I’ve heard, famine tends to follow the plague, Victory Gardens growing fresh edibles are a good idea.
But the very worst: fabric shopping. If you sew, or if you even think about sewing, my advice is:
Keep a Good Stash
My Facebook feed has been filled with pictures of home sewers making face masks. I happen to have plenty of elastic (which, according to my sister is in short supply) but no fabric. In good times, I’d just jump in my car and run to Joann’s or M&L. My sewing comes in fits and starts, but I still like to make pillow cases and costumes, and for now, I’d like to make some face masks!
My husband vigorously disagrees, but I find fabric shopping to be one of life’s great pleasures. I can spend hours rummaging through bolts, feeling the weight of the cloth, searching for the right colors and patterns, daydreaming about being thin enough to pull off a certain look.
Except for that last part, try doing that online. Shoppers get small patches of color to choose from. Some fabrics are available curbside, some by mail. Most of the by-mail fabric is sold out. One item was available in 2 yards, 4 yards, or 20 yards. Another had to be purchased by the bolt. I ordered 2 yards of a print, only to have that portion of the order canceled a couple of hours later.
So much complaining!
Like many of the authors I know, I’ve found this a tough time for creativity. Anne R. Allen has a great post about our collective grief, and her blog partner, Ruth Harris offers advice on what to do when you can’t write.
But…but, but, but, in our family we are blessed to so far be healthy, and to be able to work at home. And if I can’t sew, I can knit, or watch Acorn, or Netflix, or Prime, and I can download books on my Kindle, like this new release from Barbara Monajem:
Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen
Here’s the description:
Lady Rosamund Phipps, daughter of an earl, has a secret. Well, more than one. Such as the fact that she’s so uninterested in sex that she married a man who promised to leave her alone and stick to his mistress. And a secret only her family knows—the mortifying compulsion to check things over and over. Society condemns people like her to asylums. But when she discovers the dead body of a footman on the stairs, everything she’s tried to hide for years may be spilled out in broad daylight.
First the anonymous caricaturist, Corvus, implicates Lady Rosamund in a series of scandalous prints. Worse, though, are the poison pen letters that indicate someone knows the shameful secret of her compulsions. She cannot do detective work on her own without seeming odder than she already is, but she has no choice if she is to unmask both Corvus and the poison pen.
I’m almost halfway into this Regency mystery, and loving the OCD heroine! I hope there will be many more Rosie stories to come. You can find Lady Rosamund at Amazon.
What about you? Have you adopted the Marie Kondo strategy? What are you doing to pass the time/keep your sanity during this unusual time? Please share in the comments.
Images: Book covers are from Amazon; spice rack is from Getstencil.com; fabric swatch is from Joann.com; fabric store photo is from Depositphotos.com
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