Why I Konverted

Marie Kondo’s best-selling improvement bible, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has been captivating readers since hitting American bookshelves in 2014. Influenced by her youth in Japan, Kondo’s “KonMari” method advocates simplifying – and not just by chucking the contents of your hall closet – by identifying which of your possessions stimulate “joy.”  Sensible yet seemingly impossible, the basic message is: keep what makes you happy; toss what doesn’t. 

That’s generally good life advice for most of us. 

Kondo’s smash hit on streamlining your closets (life?) heavily influenced me to pare down.  A former clothes addict,  I am now a proud “Konvert.”  I used to store everything.  This Missoni bag came from Italy.  This gown I wore to Obama’s first Inaugural. I know you’ve never seen me in that – I only wore it once, but I’m not getting rid of it.

Every item had a pedigree, therefore I could justify cramming it in my limited city-apartment closets.  One leather jacket for this, one leather jacket for that. I might wear that sweater; it’s cashmere.  Those shoes I’m saving for the perfect outfit/outing.

But year after year, that perfect time never came, and those shoes moved from shelf to shelf, from apartment to apartment.  My bedroom looked like a Bloomingdale’s, only Bloomingdale’s had less Vince.

I frivolously traded financial freedom for fashion.  It was time to come clean.

Collecting clothes had a real price – I was swimming in credit card debt.  Partially the result of some really fabulous travel, but bolstered by an out-of-control shopping addiction, I frivolously traded financial freedom for fashion.  It was time to come clean.

So that’s just what I did.  A trunk full of clothes went to a domestic violence shelter.  Bag after bag went into the blue boxes.  I tried my hand at local consignment (and proceeded to get ruthlessly ripped-off).

As a result, in December of 2014, édgérie on eBay was born.  Nearly two years later, I have sold more than 250 items.  Critics will argue that you never earn back the money you spent, and that’s certainly true, but misses the point.  I have reaped great rewards.  I’ve made some much-needed cash, learned a very tough lesson about Keeping Up with the Joneses, and developed a positive new hobby. While I may always buy waaaaaay too much, I’m trying not to shop, but to sell!

When asked if I ever regret parting with beloved items, the answer is an unequivocal, “no.”  I like the concept finding a second life for items with new owners. It’s sustainable and brings me “joy.” The KonMari method at work.

Share with us your story, #YIKonverted.

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(Photo: édgérie. Michelangelo Pistoletto, “Venus of the Rags,” 1967, 1974. Hirshhorn Museum.)

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