Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with keeping my house clean–like, to an embarrassing degree. My mom was a lot of things, but “tidy” wasn’t one of them, so I grew up with a lack of, frankly, any housekeeping skills whatsoever. Both of my parents have hoarder tendencies, my husband is [REDACTED TO ENSURE THE LENGTH OF MY MARRAIGE], and my kids are…doing their part to ensure that I never have a moment of free time.

Like everyone else that dreams of having a neat and beautiful space, I was completely fixated on Marie Kondo when her special premiered on Netflix last year. I had read her book a whole year before that, but the special renewed my interest in having a home that “sparked joy,” rather than a home that made me want to set sparks to it. With vigor, and the kind of determination that arises when you are pregnant and convinced that this house will be perfect before this baby arrives, I decided to KonMari my house.


I’ll confess something to you: I don’t know how many times I’ve actually tried to do this. If you’re not familiar, the process involves five categories, done in a particular order (clothes, books, papers, komono or miscellaneous, and sentimental).


I keep getting confronted whenever it’s time to move on from that. I can do the clothes, I can start the books. The papers are a big HELL NO, and then I never, ever move on.

Since the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results, I asked for help to break the cycle.

I was lucky enough to have the perfect solution, Michelle Shinagawa, already in my circle. Michelle is a Reiki Master, a chakra therapist, spiritual counselor, and–most mystically–a bonified, legitimate, CERTIFIED KONMARI ORGANIZER–all of which was necessary to tackle the mess that is my house. Aside from her impressive credentials, she is the sweetest, least judgmental person, and completely undaunted by emotional or physical mess. We started by talking through my previous struggles to organize and declutter my home, and incorporated some release work to prepare myself, my husband, and the space for the transformation that was going to take place.

With that done, we got to business tackling category one–clothes–for hopefully the last time.