I’ve been slimming down. Well, perhaps that’s an overstatement, but I have been watching what I eat and I’ve lost a few pounds. I still have a long way to go to get to “slim” and frankly, I don’t know that I’ll ever reach that status, but I am making positive changes.
The decisions that I’ve been making have been based on what works for me, and they are becoming a little bit easier to make. Yes, I still have some bad habits, after all they are deeply ingrained, but I’m making progress. I like looking in my refrigerator and seeing things that I know are good for me.
I like having a pantry with items that provide me with strength, not empty calories.
I feel empowered by the control I have over my environment.
Except that I don’t really feel that I have control over my environment at all. The other day I looked around my house, and nearly every flat surface had stuff on it that didn’t belong. I knew it was time to clean it up, in a big way. Imagine how glad I was when the online library I use informed me that The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo was available. People have been buzzing about this book, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
First of all, it was a really quick read. The tone is conversational and it’s easy to follow. There is a lot of content about her own history of learning to “tidy” and her way of thinking about the objects a person has. She believes that our things all want to serve us, but we often have so much that we don’t take care of what we have, or even use it. We should make choices about what to keep and what to discard based on one simple question, “Does this item spark joy?” Just reading that question brought to mind many items that do not spark joy, and even cause irritation. Why am I hanging on to those things?
Her method for “tidying” follows a specific order, and since she’s the expert and I have no desire to argue the point, I decided to try it out on the first item on the list: shirts. The idea is to take them all out of their hiding places (drawers, closet, wherever you keep them) then pick up the items one by one. Each one should “guide” your decision, either it sparks joy or it doesn’t.
I suppose I have a lot of shirts. I have t-shirts and tanks that I fold on shelves, I have blouses that hang, I have long-sleeved t-shirts folded on a different shelf, and I have a few jackets, sweaters, and sweatshirts. So far I’ve only gone through the t-shirts and tanks. I kept about half. I feel lighter already. Tomorrow I tackle the long-sleeved t-shirts. Who knows, I may even finish the tops tomorrow.
When I walked into my closet tonight to get my pajamas, I felt the difference. The t-shirts I kept were happier because they weren’t squished and they had more of a chance to be worn. The whole closet is starting to look and feel a little lighter and better. I can relate!
Just like my weight loss, it will take time to go through the steps necessary to make long-term changes, but it can be done. I’m looking forward to living with less, and enjoying my space more. As Flylady always says, “You can’t organize clutter.” Amen to that!
September 13, 2015 at 6:12 am
I wish I could start my closet project too… it looks like a dumpster and I so agree you feel lighter and more free when you see all your clothes well sorted and not pressed and stuffed in the cases :o(
September 13, 2015 at 8:21 am
I started with just one type of item. Maybe it works because it’s not as overwhelming that way. I know you can do it! Good luck!
September 13, 2015 at 9:07 am
I just moved me, my hubs, our two home businesses, my 19-year son, a Basset Hound, a Shih Tzu, and a cat from a 1900 sqft house with a 1/4 acre lot to a less than 900 sqft manufactured home on a 1/10th acre lot. I’m totally living this…but haven’t made it to my shirts…YET!!!! Stuff is the enemy of joy 🙂
September 13, 2015 at 9:40 am
Oh dear! Now that’s a challenge! We moved last year, and I thought I got rid of a lot then (first when listing the old house, then again when packing it up) but nope, there’s still way too much stuff! I’m cheering you on as you simplify your life by paring down! xoxo
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