A couple of days ago, my friend was telling me – with the excitement of a child the night before Christmas – that she just cleaned out her whole apartment, and she has never felt better. Then she asked if I had heard of Marie Kondo and her book The Life-Changing Art of … “Ahh yeeaah”, I replied, “good old Marie”.
The truth is that I have heard of this book so many times, I really don’t even have to read it myself. Tidy house, tidy head, I get it. I guess my mother was right all along when she told me that no one would want to be my friend if I didn’t clean my room. How did she come to the conclusion that an undone bed can mess up your life so brutally?
We carried on the cleaning conversation when my friend told me that she also cleaned out her wardrobe, which ended up being the most satisfying of all. I was totally on board. Closet purges became something of a new hot thing that promises everything from the improvement of style to life rejuvenation.
Unsurprisingly, the conversation ends with “and I threw it all away!” followed by wooed “I’m so proud of you!”. At least I try to end it this way, but usually before I can even think of the next supporting thing to say, I hear myself almost screaming: “LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A BETTER WAY OF DISPOSING YOUR CLOTHES, BECAUSE WHEN YOU THROW IT AWAY, IT ENDS UP IN A LANDFILL, AND IT POLLUTES OUR PLANET FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS AND FISH DIE, AND ALMOST ALL OF THE ITEMS YOU DONATE END UP IN AFRICA WHERE THEY DISRUPT THE LOCAL ECONOMY, AND THEN YOUR CLOTHES END UP IN A LANDFILL ANYWAY.” I blast it out so fast and with such enthusiasm, a person’s eyes widen, brows rise in confusion, and their face regrets ever talking to me.
So, let me tell you about a better way to dispose of your clothes – recycling. But don’t worry, you won’t need to take a trip from Chinatown to Flatbush for the closest recycling bin. All you will need to do is pack your stuff, print a label, and stick it to the package. Then drop it off at your local post office and say “au revoir” to all unwanted clothes and “bonjour” to a newly-changed-chic-rejuvenated life.
I trust the recycling task to Community Recycling who partners with a lot of brands, the names of which are provided on the site. Sometimes I print the label from their site, sometimes I stop by the Reformation store and pick up a couple (or a dozen) of free labels with the “Recycling for lazy people” instruction included.
I guess I should really start to carry those around with me, so instead of yelling at people, I’ll just give them a label.