One Drawer Folded

Trying to Marie Kondo my way through laundry.

Anna Burgess Yang
5 min readJan 19, 2019


Photo by Andy Fitzsimon on Unsplash

I read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in January of 2015 (thank you Goodreads for being my reference on my entire reading life since 2007). I remember thinking two things at the time:

  1. That tidying process is going to take forever and,
  2. She must not have children

I was correct on #2, though that has since changed and Marie Kondo has pictures of her very young toddlers on Instagram, folding laundry along with her.

I had it on the back of my mind for months that I would go through her tidying process, slowly but surely. There was never the time, and kids make the process seem futile, but I was determined.

Then in September of 2015, I had a stillborn baby girl. Grief hit me and stayed, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I took a few weeks off of work, but the days were completely empty. I formed this notion in my head that I could spend my days going through Marie Kondo’s tidying process, as a distraction and a way to occupy myself. But quickly found that it couldn’t be done — I was so overcome with sadness that getting out of bed was a chore.

Flash forward three years… I lost another baby girl, in February of 2016. In August of 2017, my rainbow baby was born. She is now 17 months old. Adding another human into our house, along with a now 9-year-old and 6-year-old has only escalated the chaos. It has also brought to a height my feeling of living in clutter. Baby gear has invaded every room. And however I felt when I wanted to start this process four years ago? Guess what. We’ve accumulated more stuff in that time.

Now Marie Kondo has her Netflix show, and I have watched a few episodes. While I don’t think it has the same quirk and charm as her book, visually watching people go through her steps has re-awakened in me the desire to go through the process again. But the participants in her show spend weeks and dedicate themselves to examining every inch of their houses. I don’t have weeks of free time.

So what can I manage? I’m trying. I started having my older kids spend 15 minutes before bedtime each night “tidying” their rooms. The first night I tried this, my younger son told me it…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •