The Absolution & Grace of the KonMari Method

"I'm starting to feel like a KonMari crack dealer," I texted a friend this past summer.

Since I finished reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I've been unable to stop myself from talking about how it just works for me. 

People frequently react negatively to KonMari method, responding crossly when someone has mentioned they are doing it. The method is a bit extreme and, to many people, frightening. The tales of people tossing bags and bags of stuff is scary. In North American society we glorify stuff. Having stuff. Having more stuff. Buying bigger houses to put all our stuff in. Stuff is how we show we've made it. Who are we when you take all that away? 

It's scary to think about and yet it works. The KonMari method works for me for reasons I didn't understand when I started. Now? I know. 

The Absolution & Grace of the KonMari Method |

When I was growing up, we didn't have much money. My mother would not like me to say we were poor, but now as I sit in a place of relative financial privilege, I can say we lived in an economically fragile state of existence. And like many people who live below the line, we were the people who always had too much stuff

The thing about having lots of stuff when you are poor is how you can't get rid of it. Someone gives you a gift? You keep it. Even if it was given to you kind of broken. Even if it's hideous. Even if you hate it. Who are you to be ungrateful?

It may have been worse if was something you bought or you requested. To spend money on something and then not want it six months later was the worst of wastes. 

I understand it. I understood it then and I understand it now. 

Understanding doesn't make it easier to shake. It's hard to not look at the piles of clothes we sent to the thrift store, or the books I donated to the library, and not see the dollar signs. It's hard not to hear that voice in my head telling me what a waste it all was. 

With that voice comes the guilt.

The guilt is crushing. It's the same guilt keeps me from using the nice things I do like because it feels as though I may not deserve them. The guilt keeps me hanging on to things that do not give me joy. The guilt keeps me hanging on to things that reinforce that guilt every time I look at them. 

Marie Kondo and the Konmari Method have absolved me of that guilt and granted me the grace to be myself. It's given me permission to change my definition of who I am. I am constantly changing and who I am today is different than who I was a month ago and who I will be six months from now. 

As I dig through my piles of stuff, I am excavating the palimpsests of identities I have tried on and discarded. I pick the pieces that work, and discard the rest. They go to gather dust in some other person's space. Somewhere in the unearthing of all the detritus I am discovering me. 

No guilt.

If that's not grace, I don't know what is.  



When SHould Turns Into Can't |

"Should" is a small word that belies the enormity of feeling behind it. 

I feel like I'm all about the shoulds these last few months. 

All the things I should be writing. All the things I should be doing. 

The shoulds echo in my mind, repeating over and over until they turn into a cacophony of can't.

Because I should do x I can't do y until x is done. 

I find myself trapped in the shoulds, attempting to tell them to shut up as they grow louder and louder, and my silence grows deeper. 

And so I sit, my fingers poised above the keyboard, trying to shout down the self-imposed silence of should. 

Last Minute Gifts Under $25 (Canadian!) 

Gift guides are awesome. I love a good gift guide. But one of the problems I encounter with gift guides is that they aren't always Canadian-friendly. Either the products don't ship to Canada, or the shipping to Canada is totally insane, or the prices are totally wonked once you figure out the currency exchange. 

So here's a gift guide for those last minute items you need to pick up. They are all gifts I have either given to other people (not necessarily this year so don't think you are getting a sneak peek if you are on my list) or have purchased for myself. What? I give excellent gifts to myself! 

Bonus? All these gifts clock in under $25 Canadian. 

Last Minute Gifts Under $25 (Canadian!) |


1. L'Occitane Shea Butter Holiday Ornament Four-Piece Set, $14 at The Bay. My friends looooovveee L'Occtiane hand cream. It's a little bit spendy for the size of the product you get, which is what makes it a great gift. It's one of those little luxuries we don't always purchase for ourselves. 

2. Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar, $17 at Sephora. I received a sample of this with a Sephora order and had to go back and buy myself a full version. I paint my own nails (be it ever so poorly) and I was really impressed with how much longer my polish lasted with this top coat and it really does dry quickly. Though I do warn you it's very stinky while you are apply it. 

3. DAVIDsTEA Letters to Santa Gift Set, $10 at DAVIDsTEA. I'm a big fan of DAVIDsTEA and often gift their teas and mugs as gifts. I think the Letters To Santa Gift Set, which includes three seasonal teas—Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Cookie, and Santa’s Secret—is super cute. If you don't know what your person likes, try their Top Three Box. I personally buy two of those three teas regularly. 

4. Lush's The Comforter Shower Gel, $18.95 for 250ml at Lush. I bought The Comforter for myself on a whim and I love it. (I kind of like cassis everything.) If sweet, fruity fragrances are your thing, you'll love this. It's fun and light and the shockingly bright pink colour totally makes me happy, too. 

5. Fascinations Metal Earth Apollo Lunar Module 3d Model, $14.99 at Mastermind Toys. The Metal Earth models are something I've bought for several of the men in my life and they all love them. They are also something I'd personally love to receive. You can get everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Millennium Falcon. If there is a specific model you are seeking, you might want to order online. When I was out shopping for Christmas goodies I noticed some models were really hard to find in-store. 

6. Voluspa Petite Decorative Tin Candle, $10 at Chapters/Indigo. I love Voluspa candles. The have pretty containers, burn beautifully and have lovely scents. I personally love the Santiago Huckleberry scent both for myself and when gifting. I tend to stay away from floral scents while gifting because I personally find they aggravate me whereas lighter fruitier scents don't seem to. (I also stay away from vanilla but that's a personal preference, highly influenced by the awful vanilla perfumes we all wore in the 1990s.) If you prefer glass jars to metal tins, you can opt for the Voluspa small glass jar candles for $13

7. yurbuds Inspire 100 In-Ear Headphones, $24.99 at BestBuy. I am just squeaking this on in under my $25 limit. I have a pair of yurbuds and they are my absolutely favourite for running. Note that these headphones are NOT noise-cancelling, which is exactly when you need when you run outside like I do. I also need headphones to be be comfortable and not fall out and yurbuds work for me on both fronts. These are not the exact model I have—the model I have is slightly more expensive and has a built-in mic—but these are great option.  

Happy shopping!