books · idea

Konmari and my husband (and a bit of book review)

“Japan has the highest level of civilization on our planet!”

That was my friend’s joke on how clean every part of Japan: street, river, (most of) public bathrooms, public transportations, train and bus stations, schools, you name it! Several days ago, Japanese went viral again with their immaculacy. Japan football’s supporter collected their own trash in the football stadion after Japan beat Colombia in the world cup. They even brought large trash bags on their own! Japanese have never failed me with their respectful attitude toward cleanliness. Hence, I’m not surprised that there’s even a cleaning and tidying “guru” from Japan.

Konmari is such a “hip” method of tidying and organizing home. Introduced by Marie Kondo of Japan, this method went viral in instagram or other social media (well, at least in my accounts). We can find lots of Kondo’s organizing principals on youtube, pinterest, or other blogs. Here is a short review video about Konmari method by Marie Kondo (with a nice Japanese-English interpreter). And here is her book: the life-changing magic of tidying up.

Image result for marie kondo book

Basically, there are 3 principals of Konmari:

  • Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible
  • Sort things by category, not location
  • Choose things to keep by asking ourselves: “Does it spark joy?”

Here is a great checklist on how to tidying using Konmari, step by step.

And, here are several interesting notes I take from this book.

  • To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. (page 61)
  • The point in deciding specific places to keep things is to designate a spot for every thing. (page 131)
  • Storage methods should be as simple as possible. (page 137)
  • Clutter has only 2 possible causes: too much effort is required to put things away or it’s unclear where things belong. (page 142)
  • Piling things is the worst organizing method. The things in the pile virtually disappear because we forget that they even exist. Hence, store things vertically. (page 145)
  • When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only 2: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. (page 181)

Ok. So then, what’s the relation of Konmari with my husband?

The more I read this book, the more I found that my husband has implemented this Konmari in his life before knowing anything about this method. Apparently, my husband is a long-lost sibling of Marie Kondo in term of organizing and tidying! He has special areas for each of his stuff. He always thinks twice before buying something: “can I use this in long-term?”. He unpacks his bag every evening after he comes home. He takes pity on his stuff and becomes sad when any of his worn out. Those traits are exactly what Kondo’s written in her book!

While for me, organizing and tidying home are my worst housewifery skill. Well, apparently, I have my personal tidying guru :))

 

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idea · Inspiring people

Atul Gawande and his lessons

I’ve just listened to a nice podcast from freakonomics radio, featuring Atul Gawande. He discusses the complexity of healthcare system and how he attempts to tackle various problems in healthcare and medical practice using as simple as possible strategy. Interested in his talk, I’m searching who is this Atul Gawande. Turns out, he is a cancer surgeon, a public-health researcher, and a best-seller book writer. What a person! (and how silly I am for knowing this late).

 

Anyway, then I watched his TED-talks above, which is very interesting for me. I’ll just write some of the lessons I got from that video as a reminder for myself.

  • I love how he brings a small cheatsheet for his presentation. I believe he’s a good speaker and storyteller, but look at how he’s still prepared for his points of the presentation.
  • Coaching is important to become the best version of you. I personally relate to this topic. I currently start learning a pretty new subject for myself, and true, it was so difficult without a mentor or coach who can give me a feedback for what I’m learning.
  • Execution of a planning. A good planning is not enough without a good execution. In the video, Gawande shows how a good execution of baby-birth checklist dramatically reduces the birth-complication. However, to conduct a good execution means to beat one’s resistance to a change. I think this is more difficult than making a good planning.
  • When I first visit a doctor in the US, I was overwhelmed by the checklist the doctor needed to do when examined such simple flu-like symptoms. After watched Gawande’s video, I started to understand that such systematic procedure is there to avoid any misdiagnose, even for an ‘easy’ illness. I wonder, this kind of checklist might be suitable to apply in Indonesia drugstore, whether or not to give an OWA (obat wajib apotek) for the patient (or is it something similar has been used, yet?)

Looking forward to reading his books and contemplating more of Gawande’s idea.