All about spring cleaning my glass collection with Marie Kondo’s famous method!
“The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.
– Marie Kondo
So, unless you’re living under a rock, Marie Kondo has probably made her way into your living space in the past few years. Whether it’s hearing the term “spark joy” in every day conversations, or seeing her Netflix show based on her bestselling book, it seems like everyone has been talking about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Called the KonMari method and pioneered by Marie Kondo, this immensely popular Japanese take on decluttering and organizing your home focuses on curating a space with items that spark joy.
I read the book when it came out in 2012 and immediately did a whole house tidying following the method. With the recent release of the Netflix series, I’ve found myself inspired to revisit the practice seven years later, and to do another deep purge of my house over the course of this year.
By far the most intimidating area in my house is not the clothes for our family of six, not the overflowing garage or our neglected basement, but my office, which we call the stoner studio! It’s been close to five years since I started thestonermom.com and my collection of stoner gear keeps getting bigger. I get sent a lot of products from companies, whether it’s for reviews or just PR, and the sensible mom in me always tries to hold on to things for future use.
Add that ever-growing pile of stuff to the very real issue of keeping my cannabis responsibly stored, and you’ve got my biggest problem area when it comes to keeping a tidy home.
But, there’s no better time than the spring to whip myself back into organizational shape! Over the past few weeks I’ve applied Marie Kondo’s famous KonMari method to my stoner stuff. And the results? Kinda magical.
Applying the KonMari Method to My Glass Collection
“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”
Tidy by Category
The KonMari method says to tidy by category instead of by room. I have broken my stoner stuff up into the following categories:
- Small glass pieces like bubblers, hand pipes, and one-hitters
- Dab rigs (I tidied my dab rigs separately from my bongs because my rigs had gotten so dirty they needed a full week to soak)
In this post I’m only talking about decluttering my glass pieces like bongs pipes and rigs. In a later post I’ll share my newly organized vaporizer collection and show how I organized my stoner accessories like papers, lighters, ashtrays and more.
Decide What to Keep
“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. To throw away what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful.”
– Marie Kondo
Once I gathered together all of my glass pieces it was time to decide what to keep. The KonMari method says to hold each item and ask yourself, does this spark joy? The answer to that question determines whether or not you keep or discard an item.
Asking yourself if your bong sparks joy can seem kind of hokey, but this is the central tenet of the KonMari method. In a world of rampant consumerism, our society’s practice of acquiring and keeping everything we come across can have a real effect on our psyche. Decluttering our possessions makes us consider everything that takes up space in our home. Imagine you are starting from scratch and strive to only hold on to the things that give you real joy and happiness.
One by one I held each piece and evaluated its purpose in my collection. Some pieces were easy. My gifted Game of Thrones pipe, Snoop Dog’s Starship, my favorite China Glass bubbler and the pipe my husband bought the night we were married all immediately sparked joy. Other pieces were a little more difficult. My favorite Hemper piece from their collaboration with Silenced Hippie makes me so happy but has a small hairline crack that prevents me from ever using it. Rather than hang on to it because I love Silenced Hippie, I thanked the piece for its fantastic rips and moved it to the discard pile.
There was also a problem with having a lot of redundant pieces. One only needs so many small-sized bubblers or similarly shaped bongs, so one by one I decided which ones sparked the most happiness when I used them and got rid of as many similar pieces as I could.
I tossed anything broken, chipped, or cracked. I don’t want to re-gift pieces that may be unsafe, so into the trash they go. My final pile of pieces I’m ready to move on from have been cleaned, sanitized, and are ready to be given away to readers and friends.
Thank the Items that do not Spark Joy
“By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order.”
– Marie Kondo
Guilt can make us hold onto things we don’t love for far too long. Getting rid of stuff we’ve developed emotional attachments to is one of the hardest parts of tidying, but Marie Kondo has a great exercise for getting over the guilt of getting rid of things. When items do not spark joy, thank them for their service and then discard them. By acknowledging the role each item has played in your life, you gain closure that makes tossing things easier.
Thoroughly Clean, Organize, and Store Remaining Items
“A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.”
– Marie Kondo
Once I figured out what was staying in my newly curated stoner space, it was time to deep clean everything! To do so I bought several bottles of rubbing alcohol and set out to work. I soaked every single bowl, banger, and down stem in a bag overnight, and each pipe, bong, and dab rig was thoroughly soaked and scrubbed.
The dab rigs were by far the hardest thing to clean. I filled each one to the brim with rubbing alcohol and let them soak for several days before cleaning. After such a thorough soaking most of the build up of concentrates came out with a generous rinse of hot water. Additional scrubbing with pipe cleaners got rid of any last residue.
Organizing my new, smaller collection of glass was of course a lot easier than before. Now all of my bongs fit nicely in one cabinet, and I only keep one piece upstairs for evening use.
My Tips on Organizing a Stoner Stash
Being a stoner means doing a certain amount of stoner engineering, and because of that we end up hoarding things that may one day be of use. We’ve all felt the pain of breaking our only bong or running out of rolling papers late at night, and we’ve learned that a thoughtful stash of essentials eliminates those major inconveniences. However, there is a difference between being prepared and hoarding, so it’s important to regularly assess your collection of accessories so there is always room for more and you’re only hanging on to the things that you truly love and need.
- Absolutely get high while organizing. You may find yourself having a bong rip or two to “evaluate” each piece when deciding what to keep. Prepare a pot of coffee, put on some motivating background entertainment, and smoke or vape a sativa dominant strain like Green Crack or Durban Poison for optimal organizational powers.
- Clean and organize seasonally! Something in me reacts very strongly to seasonal cues, and I find myself using the changing seasons as a built-in reminder to purge my belongings and perform a deep clean. Regular purging and cleaning of my stoner stash makes for more enjoyable sessions and helps me stay on top of what I need.
- Cancel your subscriptions when you’ve got too much stuff! Stoner subscription services are a great way to round out your glass collection, but if your stash is starting to look like mine, it’s time to turn it off! You can always reactivate a subscription when you’re back in the mood for a regular influx of stuff.
- Keep a defined space for your stoner gear and purge when space gets tight. Physical limitations are the easiest way to keep an uncluttered stash.
- Clean your gear often! I rinse my bongs out after each use and regularly clean my vaporizers. Clean tools make for better stoner sessions, and more effective medicating.
- Trays are your friend and are great for storing the basics. In her Netflix series Marie Kondo is often pulling out small boxes to organize items within drawers and cabinets. The tray is another version of using defined space for storage, only for stoners they double as rolling trays and sesh trays. I keep a large rolling tray in an upstairs drawer that holds a debowler ashtray, plenty of lighters and hemp wick, sesh candle, Sploofy, dab pad, and everything else I need for a sesh. I also use separate trays for storing my pipes and one-hitters, lighters, and dab tools.
- Discard chipped and cracked stems and bowls the moment they break. Stoners tend to hold on to things that “sort of” work, all because of the fear of one day being stuck without a bowl. The truth is, broken glass is never safe to store, so toss it immediately. Instead visit your favorite local or online headshop and order a backup bowl and stem for your main bongs, as well as a small pipe as a backup bong. These small essentials are inexpensive so there’s really no excuse not to have them. Your backups should always be in perfect order, not broken relics of bongs past.
Now Go Forth and Organize!
The satisfaction and mental clarity that comes with a well-organized living space is priceless, and our cannabis spaces deserve to be just as intentional and thought-out as our closets or kitchens. I encourage you to take some time to have a good session where you get nice and stoned and focus on decluttering and cleaning out your stoner collection. Having a functional and clean cannabis practice is good for you, and it helps you do your part in de-stigmatizing cannabis culture.