Organize it

So apparently Marie Kondo is a thing.

For the remaining two of you out there who had until very recently thought a Marie Kondo was a timeshare, allow me to explain her. (For the rest of you, I don’t know, go throw out something you thought you loved but now actually agree you only kinda like.)

So Marie Kondo is a famous organizer who wants you to go through your things and throw out the things based on a criteria of … OK, I admit this is where my Marie Kondo knowledge ends. To be honest, when I started this column, I thought her name was spelled “Condo,” hence the timeshare joke. But what I get based on Facebook posts and Tweets is that Kondo wants you to pretty much throw out everything that is taking up worthless space in your life. Fair enough.

But here’s the thing – Maria Kondo is Johnny Come Lately to a game I’ve been at a long time. And sure, she was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2015, but I just learned of her very recently, so really that’s Time magazine’s fault.

Anywho, so we were moving a few years ago, and we had only a few weeks to get to our new home a few hours away before school started. Apparently, schools are super picky about actually sending your kids to the whole school year.

At the time, my kids were heading into sixth and ninth grades, which is a tough time for most any kid. Throw in the “Hey, you’ll now live in a city for a whopping whole week prior!” and it was a bit of a panicky time. So, as we were packing up the house, my wife and I made the conscious decision that the the kids had enough change going on in their lives, so let’s not make them decide what things mattered in life to them. Let’s just pack it up.

Pretty much everything in their rooms was packed up. Books. Clothes. Pine cones. (Yes, pine cones.)

And most of those boxes were stored in our garage when we moved. We were renting a house, and we decided we would merely make this a short-term stay, and only unpack what we needed. And we didn’t need pine cones.

We also didn’t need 14 casserole pans, which is I believe the number we had acquired. We brought the standard amount of plates and bowls and glasses and silverware inside. But for cooking, we brought into our kitchen a couple of skillets, a few pots, a cookie sheet or two, two casserole dishes, and maybe a colander. The rest we left in boxes in the garage when we moved.

After renting the house for two years, the owner asked if we were interested in buying in. We were. At that point, my wife and I began going through the boxes in our garage. Over two years, we had found that he had needed a grand total of zero things from our kitchen stockpile. And we certainly had no occasion for more than a dozen casseroles at once. Those kitchen boxes in the garage? Off to charitable donations.

And as we went through the half-garage full of boxes? We found that we had also not needed those over the past two years, and in fact our kids went through some of their boxes we had moved and stored for two years and had this reaction, that pretty much sums up the things you store: “Why did y’all pack a box of pine cones?”

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at

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