Most blogs die a lingering death when the author loses interest. And so it goes with this blog which was my savior for a vey long time. But I feel the need to Muse a bit here because... Well... Just because. I'm prompted to blog about a new book I finished last night... It's the "Japanese tidying up" book by Marie Kondo. That's not its proper title, but it distills the essence of it down and if you google the author you'll find it. It was a short read, really. I finished most of it while soaking in the tub.
Cleaning has always been my nemesis. It's a well known fact in my family of origin that I am the messy one. For decades, the tidy, peaceful space has been elusive. The quest for "cleanliness" has been as fraught with disaster as any quest for the Holy Grail. After reading this diminutive book, I realized why.
I had been pursuing the wrong goal and going about it all wrong. The common wisdom says "start with one room" and "do a little every day". The KonMari Method outlined in Ms. Kondo's book starts from an entirely different premise. Instead of starting with a place, you start with a category. You corral all the items of that category in one location and from there you determine whether or not it "sparks joy" when you hold it in your hands. If it doesn't, thank it for its service and dispose of it. It sounds a little out there, but truly, it works.
The above photo shows the entirety of my clean clothes in a pile in the floor. We won't talk about what's in the dirty clothes. When I started, I felt overwhelmed looking at it. "This doesn't include the dirty stuff!", my mind cried. And I really doubted whether or not I could make it work. After all, I had been programmed to believe I could NEVER be a tidy person. But I plugged along while working on a client project (machine embroidery) and the breaks I took to swap out the stuff in the machine made it seem like not so daunting a task.
At the end of it all, I was left with this.
That's right. ONE laundry basket to fold and put away. What became of the huge pile? Some of it went to a trash bag to toss. And some of it went to Goodwill. 4 garbage bags FULL, actually. It felt GOOD. I'm a big fan of Goodwill anyway, and we'd already donated what felt like tons of stuff in the last few weeks, so I did it really believe I had all that much left to give. Hah! Never say never, I guess.
I still have shoes and handbags to sort through. But that's ok. Some will be super easy since I've already donated their matching outfits, lol. #TidyHo
We have decided to erase the word "clean" as a verb from our vocabulary. It brings up a host of negative emotions while the word "tidy" is, according to my 12 year old, a "brighter" word. Tidy conjures up a peaceful space, a restful space that needs minimal intervention. "Clean" only brings To mind endless drudgery and a nagging sense of inadequacy.
As I navigate this new territory of tidying, I will be updating periodically, sometimes here, sometimes facebook, sometimes Twitter and sometimes Instagram. I need the accountability.
Keep Calm and Tidy On