What We Inherit: Marie Kondo and the Security of Stuff

Asian Americana


Parents are preparing to remodel my childhood home. They want to add a room to the house. So that my mom's mom my paw-paw can stay with them. She's been in and out of the hospital and at ninety three. The family doesn't think she can live on her own anymore. The first and last time we remodeled our house was sixteen years ago. And I'm pretty sure that's the last time or house was D- cluttered at any in-depth way since then. My mom has made several attempts to clean the house. But it's never really worked now that my mom's busy taking care Paul. I thought I should fly home to help. Assess the situation okay. So this is the most this what we're looking at right now. Is the most thing that gives me the most headache when I come home. What are we looking at mom and are standing in the living room looking? Glass Window that spans. The back wall and overlooks an enclosed patio inside there are cardboard boxes plastic bins plants. An old fish tank and a bunch of other stuff large clear plastic sheets cover the boxes and another sheet for some reason is taped to the ceiling. How many would you say that? There's in patio. Oh some of the some empty boxes but how do you? Why did you because I don't have time to go? Charging the go on the cops can so they put it in here? Just get away from my side and it's also kind of an eyesore eyesore. I mean is is so I I would have WANNA clean up a couple of time. I tried to let them know is paper cannot just toss it. I had to look at by details a lot over the sweat a lot. Even when there's a task at hand like cleaning our house my mom always has to multitask. Since I'm only visiting California for short while I thought we would be able to spend the weekend decluttering instead. Mom had other plans money doing. I'm pure and the ginger could make some Sephora Papa and knife family. Whenever anyone sick we make soup. It's something that my papa always does. But since she sick herself it's my mom's job to make and deliver it to her. Which is why I guess. Mini cleaned up pasta sauce jars. That mom's saved over the years are finally coming in handy. Mom is the Middle Child. She's the third five she and three of her siblings emigrated from China to Hong Kong to Sacramento California with Paul when my mom was just eleven when I was growing up. That's all I really knew like a lot of other children of immigrants. I knew a lot about my mom's immigration story while also knowing nothing everything she told us was very matter of fact. Papa sacrificed a lot and worked in sweatshops. So you and your brother have to study hard. Mommy had to take care of her younger siblings. So you and your brother are lucky. You don't have those responsibilities. Are FAMILY HAD LITTLE MONEY. So we had to save everything. And even after my mom escaped the Clutch SA- poverty moved out of Papa's house and started a family of her own. She held tight to this rule. Anything that came into our house rarely left so we did toss something out. I mean not top. We put in a box and then we put it in the uncle Terry and he says garage okay so so you didn't technically throw away anything we when you were modeled. We was in a hurry so he everything that box. We originally remodeled the house. When I was ten I guess I was so young that I never realized what my mom's main cleaning technique was putting things in boxes and shoving them into my aunt and uncle's garaged. Okay what happened to the VOX? After year we moved to think that in so some of the box be opened up. Nba Use it and some of the box. Do in the in the patio thing. Yeah so can you. The patio is filled with boxes from our first remodel. But also things for my dad's parents my union and yeah from when they passed away many years ago aside from the patio. Our House as a whole is just so full of things even before we planned this newer model to add a room for Papa. My Dad and I had been trying desperately to help my mom. Clean her closet. We thought we could start small before tackling the whole house after Marie condos the life. Changing magic of tidying up was released and translated into English in two thousand fourteen. My Dad bought a copy for mom a Christmas present. Murray condos hopeful osophy is that if an object to spark join you. You should get rid of it. I thought that there was no way that all the things in my parents house could possibly spark that much joy. I was hopeful that reading this book with somehow enable both of my parents to turn into something worthy of hgtv show but simply put it. Hasn't okay well. So so dad bought you this book. The Mary Condo Book for Christmas copiers. We use did you. Did you read it? Sure did I did. Did you learn anything from it? You Go Clo- make it nicely and I love this. I kept it and I found out. I love a lot of close i. That's why we did make it like that but the problem is one. I had too many close to the way they set out after two. We have our mess up again. That the purpose of that is you have to keep it up every day. And I don't have time to do that. I don't but I don't have done it before. That's when they don't have like five pair of jeans ten pair you know or they have won. T shirt I had twenty one t shirt male one of my friends too gene. Naturally he could do it I have. I do have to go over my plant pans now. I have pobably thirty pair or more clearly. The MARIKANA book didn't drastically changed my mom's cleaning habits and because I live on the other side of the country for my parents. I can't be there to help clean every step of the way so I thought that having my mom watch Marie condos new Netflix. Show tidying up with. Murray condo would provide her with some tips aerial Bernstein a professor and journalist whose parents fled to Cuba then to the US refugees from Eastern Europe also thought that when she told her mother about the show You know we watched episode or two of the show together and then we went to try to do some of the Actual tightening and it's just really hard for her You know it's just very difficult to to think about getting rid of things You know my mom is living in the US now for for fifty years so it's not necessarily that she's not used to American culture. But I think that I think that just about legacy of having to to give things up almost sixteen when she came to the US. And I think that's for her. They're still idea that giving up something that's very integral unimportant. Throughout my mom childhood anything that could possibly get a second or third or tenth use did but I never really contended with the idea that this history this life of immigration impacted my own childhood as a kid I really resented how're cabinets overflowed with tupperware or how. We had an entire room in our house dedicated to storing stuff that I thought was junk photo albums. My Dad's records and broken record player kitchen gadgets. I was always embarrassed that we couldn't just get rid of things like other families. Why you think it's so hard for you with stuff like everything I buy like it. So that's why why would I taught away the thing that I you know. I like okay. Let's talk about some of the things that you allowed things. You have a lot of your tupperware though. Oh my mom has an obsession with tupperware. It's mildly unhealthy. When I was in elementary school she's to sell Tupperware to friends and coworkers but mostly to herself so she could get rewards points and get even more tupperware. Oh I love tougher billy. I do why because I don't know because I am over my end. Shoo Shoo Shoo introduced me to upper. Because you make a lot of cookie Dune a holiday and she put it inside a separate and she just eat it you know and give it to friend and so I think from there on I found out you know. That's good to use tupperware. This is the first time my mom has mentioned the story to me. Despite knowing tidbits about mom's immigration she never talked about her early life in California and any emotional sense. But it's something I've always wondered about. Why do you think that we have so much stuff? Because it'll be good furniture and those they last a long time and then Miko Shah Gobi. -CATION BE BY A souvenir and which I haven't done lately. Yeah Yeah but but all those good we cannot just toss it and you not quite sure what my mom means by good. No one in the house uses those things anymore but saying something is good has been excuse for not getting rid of a lot of our

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