This Is How Marie Kondo Would Help Carrie Bradshaw Go Through Sentimental Items

published Jan 7, 2022
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Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Warning! This post contains some spoilers for the most recent episode of “And Just Like That…,” so proceed at your own risk.

If you’ve been watching HBO’s revival of “Sex and the City” and are all caught up, you’re well aware of and familiar with Carrie’s current heartbreak: moving forward after Big’s passing. And speaking of moving, on top of the emotional and mental exhaustion she’s already experiencing, Carrie is trying to figure out where she’s going to live next — and what to do with all the physical baggage that is coming with her.

In the latest episode of “And Just Like That…,” Carrie and Charlotte visit Carrie’s storage unit where her and Big’s former life remains in boxes. As they start opening each one to figure out what Carrie wants to keep or toss/donate, Charlotte makes a comment about following Marie Kondo’s advice and only taking things that spark joy, to which Carrie responds, “maybe we should just try to find things that don’t spark sadness.” Shortly after, Carrie finds just that — a box filled with Big’s old records, and the grief of the situation washes over her.

As an expert of dealing with sentimental items, how would Kondo help Carrie go through this extremely difficult process? Kondo dealt with a similar situation in her Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” where she helps Margie start a new chapter by assisting with the tidying process of her home — including all of her late husband Rick’s belongings that remain untouched.

Similar to Carrie going through Big’s boxes, Margie feels emotional about tackling Rick’s every day items because they have all turned sentimental, and she doesn’t want to regret getting rid of something important. But with Kondo’s five-step KonMari Method, sentimental tidying tips, and calm demeanor, she helps Margie create a new chapter by making space for new memories — and based on the similar scenarios, this is what Kondo might say to Carrie to help her with the process:

Focus on your items first.

While it’s inevitable that Carrie will discover Big’s stuff during the unboxing process, Kondo strongly advises working on your own items before diving into someone else’s. The KonMari Method is made up of five categories — clothes, books, papers, kimono, and sentimental — and there’s a reason the sentimental category is last. It’s often the toughest to get through keep-or-toss decisions, since the items hold heavier value.

However, by focusing on yourself while getting through the first four categories, Kondo explains that you’ll become more aware of what sparks joy for you by the time you get to sentimental category. While it will never be easy, the hope is that practice makes it a bit more manageable and it becomes clear what items spark joy and which ones do not.

Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

But if you’re getting too distracted by sentimental items, shift your process.

In the “Tidying Up” episode, after Margie goes through all her clothes, Kondo tells her to leave Rick’s clothes for the sentimental category. However, Margie finds that as she’s starting to tackle books, the need to get past Rick’s clothes is consuming her — and that’s okay. Everyone’s tidying journey is different, and if you know how the process needs to change in order for it to work best for you, that’s what you have to go with.

Kondo does warn that if you go through sentimental items too early, you can get stuck because you haven’t developed your ability to determine what items spark joy yet. But for Carrie, if going through Big’s records first and playing them while she unpacks everything else reminds her of how happy she was for the last 15 years (and it does), that’s all that matters.

Store sentimental items in a place that sparks joy.

After deciding what sentimental items are sticking around, Kondo explains that it’s important to make sure the box containing the valuables also sparks joy. Kondo suggests creating a treasure box — a place that feels just as special as the items you’re placing in it. It gives them a home that will produce nothing but positive feelings.

As far as organizing the sentimental items go, Kondo suggests storing items upright in whatever container you choose. And for accessories, make sure to get a smaller box for them so they don’t get lost among the other items. That way, when Carrie wants to revisit Big’s favorite cologne or cigar that smells like him, she knows exactly where to find it.

Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

And when it gets to be overwhelming, just breathe.

At one point, Margie gets extremely overwhelmed at the tidying tasks that lay before her. And it makes all the sense in the world: not only is looking at a room that’s filled with wall-to-wall items anxiety-inducing, but mix nostalgia and sentimentalism into the equation and you’ve got an emotional task ahead of you. But Kondo says it best: when you get that overwhelming sensation, just breath and remind yourself to take one step at a time. This might come in handy as Carrie looks out at the sea of boxes in her new (slash old) apartment.

And Just Like That…” airs Thursdays on HBO Max