An Open Letter to a Kondo Kultist

Dear Passionate Organizer of Stuff,

I am glad you enjoy your clutter-free desk, alphabetized books, and color-coordinated to-do-lists. I am glad the teachings of Marie Kondo elucidate a path toward joy for you.

What I ask is that you leave me the fuck alone; that you do not passive-aggressively or — let’s face it — plain aggressively suggest that I clear out my desk; that you do not offer to organize my bookshelves.

The clutter on my desk and the seemingly random ordering of the books do not bother me in the least. I know this is probably hard to understand for you; sorry about that. Now leave me the fuck alone.

Why am I being so rude? Can’t I see you’re just trying to be helpful? No, because I don’t go to your office and offer to clutter your desk or disorganize your books. I leave you the fuck alone.

You imply concern about my productivity. How could I possibly even begin to work until every last bit of office stationery rests in its rightful place?

It’s easy. My mind is perfectly organized, thankyouverymuch, even if you find that unfathomable.

We all know what this is really about: You think you are superior to me and want to make sure I know that.

But I am not your inferior, so you can fuck the fuck off.  Go tidy up in hell.


The One Whose Cluttered Desk Gives You Palpitations


  1. KonMari Method explicitly instructed that one should organize one’s own stuff, literally.

  2. Next year, my office will be next door to my spouse’s. He rejoices in many piles of papers, boxes in the corners, and kid art taped all over the walls. I do not; I prefer everything tidy and rectilinear. Solution: I work in my own damn office.

    The former dean at my soon-to-be-former employer went on an office-inspecting kick and insisted everyone make them his degree of neat and tidy and, well, he’s the FORMER dean for a lot of reasons but that’s one.

  3. My mom had a little poster next to her work desk that said something to the effect of “a clean desk is a sign of a deranged mind”. Although I’m sure there are people with clean desks who are … very good people, the thought brings me comfort.

    (Disclaimer: I do have a bit of some kind of psychological need to organize bookshelves, spices, the tea shelf etc. But outside of that I prefer clutter. My office sounds like Jenny F Scientist’s husband’s except I’m not sure what happened to the kid art that used to be taped to my desk.)

  4. My outer office (where I meet with students) is immaculate (except for the shoes in a pile under a desk, but details). My inner office has papers strewn over the desk, business cards taped to the wall, and a cart of lab stuff in the corner. Make of this what you will.

  5. If you don’t organize your stuff you’ll wind up with magnetic impurities all over the place and have unusual scattering of conduction electrons. That’s why these Kondo effects are so important.

  6. You are so very polite. Your world, your way. Volunteers need to be requested not self-imposed. Anyone so compelled to assert the ‘superiority of their reformed behavior’ has a massive problem.

  7. Hearing that someone dared to say this makes me want to go all 18th-century in a response: “What impertinence! You insolent puppy!” After you called the Kondoite a puppy, a duel would ensue, and that’s just about right.

  8. people can be so stupidly illiberal. i’m very tidy but admire people who can get sh$t done without wasting their time organizing things. wish i weren’t so compulsive.

  9. If anyone ever said a single fucken word to me while in my office abt my office beyond “Wow, you must be a Yankee fan” or “Wow, you must really like pens”, I’d say, “Excuse me. Stop right there. Get the fucke out of my office right now.” (I mean, I probably wouldn’t, but I would think it!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s