Friday, 18 January 2019

Marmite, Marie, Mottainai

"It's a Marmite thing" we say, when we want to convey that you are either utterly for or totally against something, and there is no middle ground. My picture illustrates my personal view of this great product. But sometimes, on some issues, there is a middle path, selecting the best points from both sides. For instance,  Marie Kondo and her KonMari home organisation methods.
With the release of her TV Series on Netflix, discussion has re-ignited about her theories. I'm aware of friends and family members who have followed her example and seriously reduced their possessions, and happily folded their teeshirts... 
I know others who have watched and laughed as she thanks the socks for being useful, prior to dropping them in a bin bag. When I touched Bob on the shoulder and said "Kerching!", he was relieved to know he still sparks joy and I'm keeping him.
Bob got quite annoyed with this picture "The word is fewer not less!"  expostulated my beloved grammarian [is Terry Pratchett collection alone probably exceeds 30] The KonMari method does have some merits, but I'm not completely sold on her ideas. 
Three years down the line, are these families still in blissful Minimalist heaven, or has the tee-shirt mountain grown again, and are there fresh surplus gadgets in the kitchen? 
As some reviews are suggesting, maybe this is a quick fix for some people - but doesn't really deal with the root cause: the need to accumulate stuff. Furthermore, as they celebrate the growing pile of binbags, have they thought about their contribution to landfill? If a tee-shirt is too torn&worn to go to a CS, could it be repurposed into cleaning cloths? 
Cue another Japanese concept - mottainai - this term is usually translated what a waste! or don't be wasteful! 
I've been reading up on mottainai and will be saying more about it tomorrow. Watch this space. 


  1. Just 30 Books! Impossible.
    I shall look forward to reading about mottainai which sounds more sensible

  2. It concerns me that I can't find any statistics on the amount of stuff given to charity shops which actually gets sold. I know some unsold stuff can get recycled but CS donation is too easily seen as a remedy for over purchasing.

  3. I read her book (borrowed from the library), but I haven't watched her new show as I don't have Netflix. Like you, I think there is some sense in what she says, but I am not a convert. I am a fan of "reuse, repurpose, recycle", to the extent possible, myself.

  4. Of course Marmite is the one - but there are millions of Aussies who swear by Vegemite

  5. This concept makes me cross- charity shops chuck things out if they don't sell (unless they can give to rag or waste trades) and overwhelming them with so much at once is unfair. I am always careful with what I give to charity shops - would I buy it? If so, I'll give it!
    BTW, I quite like Marmite but I'm not that fussed so I break the rule!


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