I am reading through the Marie Kondo book called the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s been…interesting. I find myself having to hush my inner voice that says “This woman is obsessive compulsive!” and “She definitely does NOT have children or probably a significant other” She describes how she comes home each day, follows a very specific routine of putting everything in it’s place, everything she has in her purse is taken out and put away and she thanks it for doing it’s job that day.
Yes, I realize she is from a different culture. As an American, I think I would feel silly (and probably get some strange looks from my husband) if I spoke to my clothes and the things in my purse every day. (Although I did hear my son saying “Bye house” when we walked out the door the other day). While the idea of putting everything in a specific space does have some appeal (one morning my husband woke me up about 10 minutes to 6 AM to help him find his keys) and I do have a routine of keeping specific items in a certain pocket in my purse or putting my keys in a specific spot, but talking to my clothes? No, probably isn’t going to happen. But that’s OK.
Now, how has this book helped me? It has inspired me. The core concept of her book is to only keep items that give you joy and discard the rest. Let’s just say this is a struggle because I’m not the only person in my house. Marie Kondo addresses this briefly by saying to only worry about your own stuff. That seems to make sense, until you realize that even if you narrow your own stuff down to just the things that bring you joy, some of the items owned by the other people in your home may still cause mental clutter. I’m still trying to figure out how to address that.
What have I managed to do so far?
I’ve sorted through my clothes (which I’d say was less than most people have anyway) and only kept those things that I find joy in wearing. (I think I need to buy new clothes soon)
I’ve re-folded all the clothes in my dresser so that they follow her way of folding and now I can see all my clothes (did the same for hub’s drawer) and now I’m finding that when I used to hate folding clothes, I’m treating it as a mini meditation. Last night I folded clothes before bed while the boy was falling asleep. It was a quiet activity to do and I didn’t need a lot of light, then I could put things away and go to sleep with a clear “laundry conscience” which is my new favorite word (I just made up).
I’ve tackled the kitchen cupboards. This is a big one because we don’t own a lot of kitchen stuff, but we have a TON of cupboard space so the empty cupboards became a sort of dumping ground for our stuff. Well, no more! I was going to just tackle ONE cupboard, but once I did one, I just kept going and went through all of them. No big deal, I also scrubbed the kitchen counters, sorted through the drawers (except for one junk drawer I still need to tackle). I haven’t gone through the lower cabinets yet. That’s where we store some appliances and things, I don’t think I’ll have a problem sorting through them either. Truth is we just don’t cook super fancy meals that require special tools, so why keep all that clutter around?
I also sorted through my Quilt Book cabinet upstairs. I was able to donate a lot of books to my local library. I get so excited thinking about all the people who will be able to learn about sewing by checking out those books from our library. I wanted to try the “touch everything and only keep what brings you joy” technique in my sewing area, but it needs to be reserved for a time when I can devote a full day to it.
My husband thinks I’m on some crazy decluttering spree right now, and maybe I am. In remembering my word for the year, which is Passion, I’m sort of throwing myself into the process of cleaning up. I guess everyone thinks about cleaning things up in January, maybe in preparation for Spring Cleaning. The weather here in Houston is so Spring like that perhaps it’s spurring these feelings early. I know I could halfheartedly try to declutter a specific area, but it will immediately rebound to clutter again (which is something Marie Kondo addresses in her book). I want to avoid that. I think that methodically going through everything in the house is going to really help me understand what we have and why we have it.
A lot of people don’t do a whole house clean up unless they have a major life event like a new baby or a big move. We don’t have plans for either in our future but why not do the clean up anyway? Why start the year as a continuation of the things that were weighing us down last year?
More thoughts on this in another post. I’ve probably bothered you long enough.