Have you ever read the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo? It’s really a very interesting book that’s all about really forming a relationship with everything you choose to surround yourself with in your home. I first heard about this book a few months ago and I didn’t think too much of it. Just added the book to the list of things I wanted to read without thinking too much about whether this would actually make a difference in my life. I’ve always wanted to be a tidy person, please note that I say “wanted” rather than actually saying that I am a tidy person. I go through phases where all I want to do is clean and I feel excessively cluttered in my home. Living a studio can really do that to you when you really have very minimal spaces and not a lot of places to hide things. During grad school, it was really easy to hit the extremes. When school got busy, I would destroy my apartment to the extent that it was like “Hurricane Winny” ransacked the apartment and then disappeared. But during grad school, I perfected the procrastination method of deep cleaning and purging my apartment on a regular basis. I’ve always been okay with purging certain items that are easily replaceable like clothes and shoes but there are other things that haven’t been touched in years and but have moved with me to my last 4 apartments.
My friend Sam texted me a few weeks ago telling me about this book and when we went to dinner she really explained it to me in terms of the concept of surrounding yourself with material items that bring you joy. And I decided that this book needed to move to the top of my life of books to read, so I bought it, read it and felt immediately inspired. I decided to Konmari my apartment.
Remember when I said that I was good at getting rid of shoes and clothes? Apparently I lied. When I pulled out every item of clothing I owned and all the shoes I still have, I was overwhelmed and overcome with a sense of dread. Where did all of this stuff hide and how did I have so much crap in my life? It was about a 4 hour process to really get through all of my clothes and shoes. I ended up with a trunk full of bags (4 full garbage bags, two bags of shoes) plus some other items from other categories that I knew I needed to part with.
I realized I was holding onto things for the sake of holding onto things. Not because I needed them and not because they made me happy but just because I liked having the stuff. I had shoes that I haven’t worn in years or have only seen the light of day once and I never really liked or could figure out how to wear. I was holding onto clothing that I wore 5 or 6 years ago and felt nostalgic about. I even found band t-shirts from an internship I had back in college that I had never actually worn. Now, my closet, my dresser and my shoes are so organized and when I look what what I have every day, I feel uplifted. I feel happy with the items that made the cut, I know that I will wear the items that made a cut. It’s only been a few weeks since I did this and I feel like it will be a perpetually ongoing process but it will not be as overwhelming as that first time. Also, I feel like I’m more purposeful about the items that I’m purchasing. I want to purchase things that will bring a happiness into my life when I wear it or touch it. Plus, I really like seeing the empty space in my closet and how organized everything is. I’m still in the process of finishing the rest of my home but I’m already very inspired by the results. It’s like a new beginning.