Lighten Up by Agnes R. Howard

View

Lighten Up

Agnes R. Howard Says, Marie Kondo Does Not Spark My Joy

Japanese de-cluttering expert Marie Kondo, avatar of the neatly packed suitcase and the well-folded shirt, refreshes Americans’ resolutions for a better life with her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. In the show, the heroine knocks on doors of personages drowning in stuff and helps them to banish it. By mid-January, thrift shops were reporting themselves drowned in donations inspired by Kondo’s clean-outs. Yet despite her whimsy and cheer, Kondo has never appealed to me. I am not immune to the charms of the organized life, but living fruitfully with a loose hand on worldly goods calls for a different sort of approach.

To be fair, in the show Kondo is respectful of the neatness-needy persons she assists. She doesn’t just fling everything in the trash. She recognizes the complex status of possessions as carriers of emotion and memory. And she is right that some things deserve to be cherished, mostly because of the associations they carry with beloved people or pivotal experiences.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Agnes R. Howard is adjunct assistant professor of humanities in Christ College, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, and author of Showing: What Pregnancy Tells Us about Being Human (Eerdmans, 2020).

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on culture from the online archives

34.1—January/February 2021

Fighting for Love

What the World Needs Now It Hardly Knows by Anthony Esolen

22.3—April 2009

Wasted by Watching

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by J. Daryl Charles

32.4—July/August 2019

Malaise in Malaysia

Will Islamicization Become Its New Future by Peter Riddell


more from the online archives

14.1—January/February 2001

The Christian Heart of Fatherhood

The Place of Marriage, Authority & Service in the Recovery of Fatherhood by John M. Haas

32.4—July/August 2019

Image- Bearers for God

Does Biblical Language for Man Matter? by Stephen F. Noll

33.4—July/August 2020

No Option

Clear Out the Rubble & Rebuild! by Anthony Esolen

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00