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12 thoughts on “Press”

  1. Hello, I’m a Concordia student, writing an article on garbage. Came across your blog and, well, you can imagine… I would love to chat with you, particularly this important garbage weekend with moving day around the bin. Please contact me! kwoodwilliams@yahoo.ca
    Cheers, Katherine

  2. Hi Martin, my name is Valentine and I’m a journalist for L’Itinéraire magazine. I want to write an article about you, let me know if you’re interested.
    Thank you! Valentine

  3. I know Ville Émard is a mostly working class neighborhood.But it has several quaint old homes and they throw out old treasures in the trash.Yesterday on Émard street late in the morning outside a home there were 15 or 20 boxes thrown out.Apparently rénovations were taking place there.
    Most of the stuff in the boxes did not seem interesting.But I rescued two POPULAR MECHANICS magazines from 1960.I also found two antique ashtrays there and took home a couple of vintage French books.
    Only old houses generally throw out vintage stuff and old magazines like that.
    Also last week in Ville Émard I found porcelain ducks,a porcelain rooster and several vases in the trash in Ville Émard.I was Lucky to be able to take them to my home.
    Ville Émard does produce treasures because many of its homes are from before 1960.

    1. I like working class neighbourhoods, but I usually go to places like the Plateau / Mile End, Rosemont, St Michel, and Ahuntsic because they are easier to get to. There are good finds to be made pretty much anywhere, especially places with at least 40-50 years of history as Ville Emard does. I’ve found a few things there over the years, like a Murano fish vase I sold on eBay and some old records that are fairly valuable (mentioned in this post: https://garbagefinds.com/2014/05/11/sinful-songs/). I haven’t been there this year, however.

  4. Martin,I too love collecting and am fascinated by collectors.I am totally against mindless junking of valuable stuff such as the beautiful owl figurines you salvaged.
    Marie Kondo is pushing people to throw out stuff.Read this article .

    5 Reasons I Hate Marie Kondo (Admit It, Deep Down You Do Too)

    By Cathie Ericson | Jul 21, 2017


    Marie-Kondo-folding
    Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Image

    Unless you’ve been living in a cave—and a very cluttered cave, at that—you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo. This Japanese organizing consultant’s first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has sold over 5 million copies worldwide since its release in 2014. It’s inspired people across America to purge their closets of everything that did not, as she says, “spark joy.” Time magazine even dubbed her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Think about that for a moment—an organizer!

    So I gave her methods a try—and quickly realized that while her approach might work for some, it seems downright dumb to me.

    Maybe it’s the fact that she encourages people to talk to their old socks, thanking them for their service before tossing them in the trash. Or the fact that she wrote a follow-up best-seller outlining how to fold clothes so they’re “happy.” Whatever the reason, I’m here to say that Kondo’s approach is definitely not for everyone—and I don’t think I’m alone. Here’s why I hate Kondo (and why, deep down, you probably do too).

    1. Not everything in life can—or should—’spark joy’

    Kondo’s method has a number of components, but the main thing that she is known for is holding up every item and asking if it sparks joy. If so, the joy-sparking object stays. If not, off it goes.

    Let’s unpack that “sparking joy” thing a bit. I have a lot of T-shirts. Do they spark joy? Not really. But when I need to get dressed to go to the park on a Tuesday, they do just fine.

    Every now and then I will pull out something that I’ve had for forever and put it on. And out of the blue someone will admire it. I feel like saying, “This old thing?”—but I don’t. I smile and say thanks, and then I feel a spark of joy—because I was able to elicit a compliment for a pair of pants that I rescued from my neighbor’s Goodwill bag or a 10-year-old dress I had first worn to a 30th birthday party and was bringing back for a 40th celebration—yes, that happened. So who’s to say what sparks of joy might lie in the future?

    Final nail in the coffin for the concept of relentless purging? Mom jeans. If those can come back in style, anything can.

    2. I don’t have time to maintain this ridiculous system

    I know there must be people who have oodles of time to neatly fold and put away laundry, and some might even find it soothing. But, alas, I am not one of them. The people in my house are lucky to have clean clothes, and they are more likely to be shoved in a drawer than lovingly folded.

    Please, watch Kondo videos and tell me if you could do this while you were on a conference call or simultaneously checking homework and making dinner.

    And yet, Kondo dares to term this method “effortless.” Yowza. Throwing my yoga pants and T-shirt on a shelf so I can quickly grab them later is what I call “effortless.”

    3. I could never get the kids on board

    I can just hear the guffaws (or sobs of panic) if I asked my three boys to determine which of their action figures sparked joy, and then toss the rest. Or their baseball cards. Or, let’s face it, the rocks they collected from the front yard or the toys that came with their fast-food burger.

    To kids, everything sparks joy. Given that Kondo gave birth to her first child in early 2016, this reality is probably sinking in as I write this. According to interviews, she admits, “since my child was born, we have a lot more things.” Apparently, though, her daughter is “still not at the age where she’s scattering things about.” Just you wait!

    Furthermore, I can quickly see this becoming a valid excuse for getting rid of those items they don’t really want, like shirts with collars, or raincoats.

    “Sorry, Mom, this tie didn’t spark joy. It’s outta here.”

    4. Someday someone is going to need it

    I have an art cupboard filled with colored pencils, crayons, paints, stamps, stickers, etc. My kids have never been too into crafts, but I bought the requisite googly eyes, glue sticks, and so on—all that stuff that prepared moms have on hand.

    And there they sit in the cupboard, until someone announces they have a project due the next day. I bet you anything Kondo would have to make a midnight run to the 24-hour Office Depot. Not me. Joy is sparked when I can reveal the contents of my art cupboard to the little slacker who gave me no warning.

    5. What really sparks joy? Not wasting money

    I’m not saying your closets and cupboards should remain overflowing, but neither should they be so bare you’re one day left in a lurch. Consider how little joy you’ll feel, in fact, when you wake up next week and have only four T-shirts—and they’re all in the laundry?

    Cathie Ericson is a journalist who writes about real estate, finance, and health. She lives in Portland, OR. Follow @CathieEricson

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  5. Martin,I love your blog and eagerly anticipate your posts.I live in Laval and am tired of the ant-clutter movement and its fanatics.
    I urge you and your readers to buy,read and keep the book `’The JOY of LEAVING Your Shit All Over The Place:THE ART OF BEING MESSY(2016)-Book by Jennifer McCartney.This author has often written for THE NEW YORK TIMES and this book literally cheers me up.So true what she says,even though some of it is tongue-in cheek.
    Your readers can also buy this book as a gift from Amazon or Indigo bookstore.I wish you a happy Xmas and happy Holiday season.Hope you will have a lot of fun and that you will make more good finds in the remaining weeks of December.Looking forward to your next blog post.

  6. One of the authors interviewed on CBC radio spoke out against decluttering.He lives in Oxford and is an economist.I bought his beautifully written book and read it.I urge sensible people to buy and read the book MESSY:THE POWER OF DISORDER TO TRANSFORM OUR LIVES (2016) written by economist TIM HARFORD.

  7. Hi,Martin,you are so interesting and your blog so good.I was walking to St.Michel metro yesterday from an assignment and came across DVD movies in the trash.I found DVDs of the movies `Trainspotting’,Antoine Fisher
    and Brokeback Mountain among others.I checked them at home and even saw one film at home.They were all in perfect condition.Another example of our wasteful society.Please check out Ville St.Michel on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

    1. I am disappointed that they recently changed the garbage day in much of St Michel from Monday to Thursday. There’s not a lot of competition for the Monday spot, so I was doing the St Michel route quite often for a while (other nearby Monday morning trash days include the Mile End, downtown / Golden Square Mile, parts of Cote des Neiges, and NDG West of Grand Blvd). Thursday though is more competitive, with part of Westmount, Outremont, and Cote St Luc eating up a lot of my time. All of those boroughs are much richer so it’s hard to pass them up.

  8. For the next seven days,it will be very cold and often very windy.Temperatures of between -15 to 25 degrees are likely for most of the days,with the high not climbing above minus 13.I try to scavenge in the winter sometimes,but I almost got frostbite while rumming through a pile of boxes and trash bags on the curb on garbage day.If you find it is cold to forage among interesting-looking trash bags,please take them into your car,go through them Inside and then chuck the nonvaluable stuff out on the curb again.
    I am terrified of frostbite.

    1. Yes, thankfully the car is good at keeping me warm. I also tend to sort through bags in the car when it’s this cold, or just throw them in for later sorting if they look potentially interesting. When the weather’s like this though (with the recent snowstorm) I take more days off as well, people are less likely to throw out quality stuff and getting around is really annoying. Better to focus on indoor work like listing things on eBay or blogging.

  9. I read your blog and admire you.I read the articles about Marie Kondo posted on your blog last year and agree with them largely.I find Marie Kondo very greedy,obsessive and unrealistic.I hope most people discredit her.
    Read this great article from The Toronto Star posted last year.

    Marie Kondo’s new store proves she only wants to declutter your wallet

    Oh, Marie, after guilting thousands into throwing out 70 per cent of their possessions you have the gall to enter retail? asks Vinay Menon.

    Opinion Nov 21, 2019 by Vinay Menon  Toronto Star|


    Marie Kondo, who catapulted into the global spotlight by telling people to get rid of their stuff, has just opened an online store so you can buy new stuff.

    I know. It’s like hearing David Suzuki is the new pitchman for ExxonMobil.

    If you’re unfamiliar with Kondo, she is the creepily adorable “organizational expert” from Japan who, as far as I can tell, was sent to Earth by Satan with strict marching orders: shame the hoarding riff-raff and messy rubes into ditching their crap.

    This is her shtick. Get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.”

    But the sinister catch arrived this week: so you can buy her new crap.

    Oh, Marie. That tiny, impossibly elegant head of yours should bow down in shame. After infiltrating the West via books such as “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and the Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” — after guilting thousands into throwing out like 70 per cent of their possessions — you have the gall to enter retail?

    What’s next? Is Miley Cyrus going to hawk a holiday chastity belt?

    Is Justin Bieber going to launch a line of tattoo-removal franchises?

    On Wednesday morning, I was browsing Kondo’s online emporium and my side hurt from laughing. This website is literally full of the things she tells people to trash. From the “Brass Tool Holder” to the “Crumb Brush,” from the “Small Bubble Bud Vase” to the “Ceramic Chopstick Rest,” this is the domestic paraphernalia we keep in drawers and maybe, just maybe, break out once every leap year.

    There is not one object for sale anyone needs.
    I don’t want to call this travel-sized, decluttering guru an avaricious lunatic. But she’s an avaricious lunatic. There is no other explanation. She might as well donate a truckload of hypocrisy to the Salvation Army this holiday season. Kondo became a household name by poking her snooty nose into our homes and preaching cleanliness and simplicity. She made a fortune by implicitly railing against materialism and consumerism, by embracing minimalism, by encouraging us to only keep things that “spark joy” and have “deep value.”

    But what she’s doing now has nothing to do with joy or value — it’s pure greed.

    The craziest part of Kondo’s new, Goop-lite store is the insane prices.

    Really, Marie? “Leather Room Shoes” that — spoiler alert — are slippers, for $206? Twelve bucks for a “Shiatsu Stick” — a stick? Then there is the $150 “Brass Mirror” that looks like it came from the Flintstones. Or the $200 “Tea Container,” that is a generic tin. And $98 for a “Balance Gem Water Bottle,” allegedly made in the German Alps, which features an “icy blue pod of sodalite, chalcedony and clear quartz — a blend designed to bring mind, body and spirit into harmony”?

    You know what else brings harmony?

    Not getting ripped off by opportunistic phonies.

    A ladle for $96? A “Flower Bouquet Tote” — I don’t even know what that is — for $42? “Cotton Rounds” for 20 bucks? An “Everlasting Love Romance Mist” for $27? I’m assuming this one comes with a disclaimer, which stipulates the “everlasting” promise is null and void when your partner asks, “Thirty bucks for … air conditioner?”

    The pricey junk Kondo is pushing for a quick buck doesn’t even seem of this millennium. A Small Kaleido Tray? Huh? A Steam Donabe With Tray? What? A Tuning Fork & Clear Quartz Crystal? Excuse me?

    Hey, Marie, what need do I have for a tuning fork after you guilted me into throwing away my ukulele? Why do I need expensive trays? So I can display my neurotically rolled socks and underwear? So I can carry an itemized list of all the things you passively-aggressively hectored me into discarding? And if I were to drop $72 on a “trivet,” do you realize I’d have no money left for food?

    Is this what you want, Marie? To watch my family starve to death with style?

    You know what’s weird? I watched her Netflix series and, as God is my witness, I can’t remember most of it. It’s almost as if this decluttering guru figured out a way to magically put my long-term memory in storage. In the fuzzy macro, all I recall is that she was big on getting rid of everything — and small on the ecological impact.

    You ever notice how Kondo hardly ever broaches recycling or donation? You see how she takes a shockingly classist approach to material wealth? You ever realize her method to living your “best life” has more to do with her life?

    With this new store, Marie Kondo just exposed herself as a laughable fraud.

    She doesn’t give a damn about your clutter. It’s your wallet she fancies.

    Vinay Menon is the Star’s pop culture columnist based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @vinaymenon

    Vinay Menon is the Star’s pop culture columnist based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @vinaymenon

    Vinay Menon

    by Vinay Menon

    Vinay Menon is an arts and life columnist and feature writer for the Toronto Star.
    Email: vmenon@thestar.ca

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