Sir, open your wallet. Ok, ma'am, open your purse or clutch. What's in it? Please don't say buzz off. Humour me. Please! Ok, I'll tell you what's in mine.
1. Currency notes: 16 nos.
2. Coins: 6 nos.
3. Photos: Passport-sized (1) and stamp-sized (2 nos).
4. An old five-rupee note. The green one with the tractor, remember? A Bimal Jalan note. He was Reserve Bank of India governor from November 2000-November 2004.
5. An old ATM receipt with a phone number. It says Vaidyanathan. Who?
6. Cards: 5 nos. Debit card + The Week ID card + Press Club card + two loyalty cards, one of them from a store that I have visited just once!
7. Bill from the Subway across the road, for yesterday's BMT.
What all can I throw away? Item 7, for sure. And, that unused loyalty card. I don't even know who Vaidyanathan is. So, Item 5. The Bimal Jalan note can go into my currency collection. The list already looks considerably shorter. What would happen if I were to open the top drawer of my office desk? Trust me, we would be here all night.
All of you are weighed down by the amount of stuff we have accumulated over the years. What wouldn't we give for a clutter-free existence? My friend, self-help gurus are making millions, thanks to people like us.
Kondo is the new magic word. Kondo, not condo. It's a surname that has become synonymous with de-cluttering. Marie Kondo, a Japanese “organising consultant and author”, has written three books which have sold around two million copies worldwide. Her largest selling book was the one translated into English, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Ten Speed Press, 2014).
Kondo fans have coined multiple words to describe the 'Kondo-universe'. Followers of Kondo call themselves Konverts. The most popular word in usage is the verb Kondoed. As in, I Kondoed my flat. I didn't, just giving you an example. Hyper-Kondoing is called Kondomania.
Kondo 101: Pick up every object in your house. Ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it does, keep it. If it does not, Kondo it. Kondo says that you must Kondo her book, too, after it serves its purpose. Think of your house cleaning as a festival. How long should the festival be? Six months, not more.
Another guru is Mara Cilley aka The Flylady. Look her up on www.flylady.net. One of her fast-working techniques is to link your calendar and your de-cluttering efforts. Throw away one thing on June 1, two things on June 2 and so on. How many things would you have trashed by June 30?
Men, please be careful. Lest your wife Kondo you. I Kondoed my wife's bag the other day and preached the Kondo gospel to her. Then, she asked me: The dishcloth in the kitchen brings her no joy, but she can't do without it. What should she do? Frankly, I am stumped.
P.S.: Can those of you who Kondoed your wallets/homes/cars please let us know how it went for you?