Marie Kondo and the Art of T-Shirt Folding
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, as a comic book geek, I definitely have a mountain of comic book, beer, and various other pop culture related t shirts. I think it’s become the standard uniform for anyone that engages in the kind of activities that I do, and despite being a grown man pushing 40, I still won’t pass up the opportunity to add a high quality tee to my collection.
I will say though, I have become more of a connoisseur in my older years, as not just any geek related t shirt will do. It’s not like I’m running down to Wal Mart and getting your generic “S” for Superman logo shirt or the Cap Shield shirt or any others that every dude in the tri-county area might be sporting at your local Buffalo Wild Wings on any given Saturday. No, no. I wear my 70s style Power Man & Iron Fist shirt or my Mike Allred “The Atomics” shirt if I’m sporing comics wear.
I don’t own just any Star Wars shirt, but a incredibly great MST3k Star Wars Mash up, with Crow and Tom Servo not being the droids they are looking for, in the famous Mos Eisely Shakedown.
I don’t run around in any Miller Lite Beer T shirt, but an assortment of some of the best Ts from some great Microbrews I’ve visited over the years like Fetch Brewing, the Frothy Beard, and Troegs.
And of course nearly all of my T Shirts are that beautiful cotton poly blend to ensure the high quality softness and wear-ability.
In other words, I’m a T shirt snob and damn proud of it.
So of course, my T shirt collection has been something that I’ve carefully cultivated over the years and is a source of immense pride and happiness for me. The only issue for me is because there are some shirts that are so special that I’ll only wear them at certain occasions, I’ve had to add to my collection with a variety of tees that I can wear as God intended as actual undershirts instead of some statement of my individuality. So this coupled with the fact that I’m still to this day carefully adding to my real tee collection, means that the totality of the t shirts I own is well…somewhat…massive. So much so up until recently, it took up nearly three drawers full of my entire dresser.
That is until Marie Kondo planted her little devious seeds in my wife, Nicole Larson’s brain.
Ah yes, this is the little minx and her Netflix show that got my wife into a tizzy about decluttering around my house. Hugging old lawn ornaments and saying “Thank you for reminding me that our house is tacky around Christmas time” before throwing them in the trash.
Yeah, it sounds like I’m being gibe about the whole movement so I thought I’d actually bring my wife on to this blog for a few moments with a Q&A so I can really ask some serious probing questions on the Marie Kondo from someone that’s been paying attention a lot more than I have:
So Nicole, what’s so special about this Marie Kondo person anyways? I’ve seen this dog and pony show for years with self help experts promising to order your life? What makes her so different?
Well, a few things that really stand out. First, she’s not proposing that you just find ways to cram all of your stuff somewhere by “organizing” it, using fancy dividers and shoe racks and multi-shirt hangers and shelves etc. She also has a different approach to the order in which you declutter–focusing on categories. She recommends sorting clothing, books, papers, kimono (aka all your other shit that doesn’t fit into the other categories/bathroom/kitchen) and sentimental items in that order. And of course the mainstay of her approach–taking each and every item in your hands and asking yourself if that item sparks joy. Then and only then does the item go in your KEEP pile.
So why did you decide to target my t shirt has the first place to try out this new epiphany in terms of organizing? Why didn’t you start with your t shirt drawer or that closet of yours which I swear houses a small village of pygmies in it’s depths.
Well, clearly my closet and clothes draws were too overwhelming to be my first experiment in MarieKondoing. I feel confident that I’m not alone in saying that it is 100% harder to declutter a woman’s closet. One has to deal with the “this sparks joy but doesn’t fit right now, but it might fit later” and the “this doesn’t spark joy but I gained 10 pounds over the holiday so these are the only jeans that will fit over my “curves” at the present so I’ll have to keep them.” Women also have the dilemma of needed matching shoes and accessories for outfits so you can see this is a vicious process of “well I have to keep this because I kept that.” Besides, I regularly make you trade out your T-shirts, so we didn’t really have to declutter them and I had to fold them anyway.
So did any of my t shirts spark joy? I noticed you didn’t throw out any of mine?
Umm…not for me of course. But I know they do for you. And I was just more interested in her folding method. Such pretty little packages, all standing up on their own like a row of books. It is a gorgeous sight!
I could of swore she loved my classic Austin City Limits Logo shirt…Anyways, long story short, what does all this Marie Kondo have to do with my t shirt collection? Well, you’ve heard of the unstoppable force and the unmovable object, right? Like who would win if the Juggernaut ran smack into the Blob? Trust me when I say that when my wife gets fired up about something, like the Marie Kondo stuff, she gives the Juggernaut a run for his money!
Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I found her folding all of my t shirts one day, the Kondo way, with all of the logos facing out, all crisp and clean and small, side by side by side. And then once she put them in my dresser drawer, I just had to take a picture!
Yes, even I have to admit, that’s a beautiful sight to behold. For someone that loves his t shirt collection as much as I do, to see them presented with such loving care, it’s just so wonderful. I’m apt to say in situations like this if there was a bible written about me, upon seeing this t shirt drawer in all its glory, there would be a chapter/verse that would simply say:
So you’d think I’d be overjoyed that my t shirt collection is so magnificently displayed for the world to see…umm…when they open my dresser drawer. But you see there’s a Twilight Zone twist in this tale which turns this blessing into a curse. The issue is it’s too immaculately folded, too pristine, too perfect that I don’t want to touch any of the t shirts in that drawer lest the whole fung shui balance be disrupted for all time!
That and despite my wife showing me repeatedly how to fold the shirts like this, I still don’t get it, so there’s no way I could personally recreate this masterpiece. Damnable limited fine motor skills destroyed by years of chugging beers until the wee hours!
As a result, since those t shirts were folded nearly a month ago, I haven’t touched any of them. Haven’t worn them. Haven’t displayed them. Only once and a while I’ll open the drawer like a treasure chest out of some sort of old timey cartoon to bask in it’s golden light, but even now I can’t do that, because it’s becoming to painful of a reminder of what I’ve lost. These t shirts are like so many unattainable ex girlfriends that broke my heart in years past. The memory is too bitter sweet that why would you want to revisit it! GASP! The Drama! The as the French would say “Ennui!”
So now, I’ve been forced to live like a t shirt outcast deep within the wastelands, subsisting on a meager diet of whatever t shirts happened to be in the wash at the time of the event that will now forever be known as “THE GREAT FOLDING”. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to make it through a week, so it had to be supplemented with the dreaded “Bed time” t shirts. These are shirts that either became too worn out, too out of style, or too “just not ready for primetime” to be considered for normal everyday wear, so they were delegated to only be worn when it was dark and I was sleeping to hide my shame.
So here I am, without a dresser drawer for my current collection of t-shirts living like Mad Max outside the Thunderdrome. All thrown together in a heap, Batmans, and Ant-Mans, and Cap’n Crunches. And that thread bare Steelers shirt, god help me if anyone sees me strut my stuff in that! People will think I’m a hobo from New Kensington. The Shame of it all!
But alas, now I must live with my closet t shirt pile and make good with whatever I can find. I feel the snickers and the jests from those that feel I have thrown in the towel and just wear whatever t shirt will cover my incredibly fit and firm backside. Oh, if they could only see my true t shirt drawer in all its glory! Like a shimmering jewel, Lo, I ask you to bask in its greatness!
And worst of all, now my wife has repeatedly pointed out that because I don’t have to wear any of those t shirts any more and am making good with the shirts I have, that really means I don’t need them. As Marie Kondo would say, they should be hugged and thanked for providing me joy and then let go to return to the wild, like fragile butterflies on the wind.
I SAY NAY TO THAT, SIR!
These shirts give me too much joy. Even if I can’t wear them. Like Rapunzel, I shall keep them locked away in their wooden tower just below the underwears, in hopes that someday, a Prince will come.
Yes, a prince in the form of some other crazy “decluttering” “get your house in order” “throw out your junk and add to the landfills” fad captures the hearts and minds of this easily distractable populace of ours, and my wife will will have to take all my t shirts out to fold them into triangles like the American Flag given to military widow. Thus, I can finally rescue them to once again cover them in Barbecue sauce, man sweat, and moderately priced Scotch. Oh I hope that day comes soon…