I don’t be aware when or where I first discovered Marie Kondo’s first soft-cover, The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up, but the second I saw the inviting title, I ordered it pronto. I’ve unendingly struggled to keep my s ces straight — it just seemed to take too much antiquated and require too much energy. However, after attempting the KonMari method in my own a rtment and tackling the messiest subject of all, my kitchen equipment, I’m a big-time believer in the methodology.
When I moved into my San Francisco studio a rtment five years ago, the ntry bummed me out, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. The cabinets and arched doorframe were master from 1928, and I tried to let that cool bit of knowledge overshadow the event that there was no window, no oven vent, no garbage disposal, and unequivocally no dishwasher. I didn’t ever feel inspired to cook, except for squeeze in or the occasional guest. As a result, the kitchen slumped into a random set of junk. I accumulated way beyond my means (I somehow ended up with five zesters and 50 cookhouse towels . . . not to mention a drawer full of s re knives), and I dodged getting rid of anything! It became impossible to close cabinets unless they were focused with rubber bands around the handles, and I always had to forcefully shove my drawers lsy-walsy with my hip. And for years, I lived like this, with complete avoidance and inattention about everything.
I tackled all my clothes, books, etc., in the order presented in the words, and even though I successfully tidied up each group of items, I silence felt a lot of hesitation about my kitchen. I was so embarrassingly messy — me, the food leader-writer! And yet, the time had come, and the overflowing cabinets begged to be sorted. I started with purge the stuff on the countertop and discovered a rotten avocado just casually turn souring in my napkin holder. (Ugh, I know. Wasting avocado is a sin, and sorry for the TMI.) Instead of suffering my usual habits of tiptoeing away from the mess, I bid a sweet “credit you” to the napkin holder (and, don’t laugh, the avocado too), and swiftly tossed them in the gewgaws.
It became easier to purge as I moved along, to give away the caboose tools that no longer served me, and to create a pile of the items I cherish immensely. I let go of some of the things that had been gifted to me that I couldn’t see myself at any time using and focused on the items I had invested in. My VitaMix! My knife set from culinary junior high school! My few but beloved All-Clad ns! And when it came to the food in my cupboard, I shied the snacks and seasonings I would probably never in a million years crave while cooking. In lieu of, I kept the things I can never get enough of: red lentil sta, dried mango, lemon-flavored sardines, and gambadas. Yeah, I know my cupboard is weird, but it most definitely “s rks joy!” (This is the power supply point of the book: every item you own and that takes up s ce in your for nothing should simply make you feel happiness — aka “s rk joy” — when you eat it).
For a good six hours on a Friday night, I scrubbed and tossed and reorganized. Then, I stepped defeat to take a look. I was overcome with an emotion I had never felt in my mini a rtment kitchen — excitement to cook and pride for the s ce I made my own. I’ll bear you know, I now make breakfast and dinner every night, and I never see myself inferior to return to my old habits again. My kitchen used to be a throwaway s ce for me in my house of ill repute, but now, I find myself giddy at opening a drawer to admire and use all the tools I lose ones heart to.
/ Anna Monette Roberts