Before and during our big house move over two years ago I did a lot of de-cluttering and down-sizing (down-sizing? Well, sort of….. down-sizing of the amount of belongings, if not the size of the house). I have tried to continue the plan of ‘less is more’ and ‘fewer is better’ over the ensuing couple of years and now, when something new (extra) comes into the house then (theoretically) something old (& unnecessary) has to leave.
I have made a point of maintaining a bag for the op shop constantly available and ready for filling. Every time I wear an item of clothing that I don’t feel comfortable in, or don’t like the look of, or is just something I have had far too long, (looking old and tired, like me!), it goes into the op shop bag.
The same goes for books. We gave away nearly 1000 books in the move. Sad, but true; an awful thing to do, but the three large (wall-sized) book cases we had in the previous house were replaced by about 4 shelves only in this latest home. I have joined the library (Yay, a great place!) and so books are coming and going regularly but not in danger of filling up the non-existent and minuscule shelving.
So the tidying and de-cluttering continues – with minimal success, I might say.
But yesterday I read about the tidy mind of Marie Kondo. She’s the young Japanese woman who has become amazingly popular with her book, ‘The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up’. Marie’s writing (now translated into almost every language) – and her ideas – have become a world-wide phenomenon. (Look her up on the Internet).
At first I was sceptical, when reading about her tidying methods, especially when she suggests reverently holding each item you are contemplating tidying or getting rid of and, as you gently hold it, you ask yourself, ‘does this spark joy?’
If the answer is in the affirmative, then the article is kept and cared for. If an item does not spark joy, then it is discarded – but not before being talked about, thanked and praised. (Oh, for heaven’s sake!)
However…however….I fired up my computer and researched Marie Kondo. And, you know something? I felt inspired!
This morning I started on my clothes. An hour later, I was still sorting and assessing my underwear drawer. I classified and discarded lots of articles of clothing (forgetting to thank many things – sorry, blue, lacy singlet). Then I folded, rolled and secured the various pieces and placed them (standing to attention, some fastened with rubber bands) in their correct place.
With the use of two (open) boxes placed in the drawer, these clothes are now carefully secured with their fellow similar items. Oh, wow, does this drawer look neat!
I feel a sense of accomplishment and am pleased with my progress, so far.
As suggested, I started with clothing and still have a long way to go. The T-shirts are next in line, then the jeans.
Goodness knows when I will reach the book tidying task.
Then there will be the kitchen cupboards to deal with and, heaven forbid – eventually the garden shed!
In her book, Marie begins a ‘conversation’ with ‘Dear old screwdriver….’ .
I can’t see me talking to every old tool in the shed…but we’ll see how we go.
A tidying course overseen by Marie Kondo takes six months – and costs accordingly. I will avoid any cost by attempting to do it all by myself and will not fret if it takes a few months. I imagine that I will still be thinking about it and mentally planning the tidying up chores for a long time still to come. But I do have one extremely neat drawer – and the op shop bag is very full!
Marie Kondo advises: ‘If you feel anxious all the time but are not sure why, try putting your things in order’.
Apparently her version of tidying and the resultant de-cluttering can work wonders for your psyche as well as life in general.
Perhaps give it a try – but never expect to have your things looking as excruciatingly tidy as Marie Kondo seems to manage in her demonstrations.
PS: ‘The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up’ is now available as an app.
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