Tomorrow is the KonMari Clothing Cleanout day. (Does that blow your alliterative skirt up?) I have arranged to have the entire day so I can begin and finish the project in one go. I'm both excited and trepidatious. I have a box of Hefty yard bags, a stack of post-its, and a sharpie. I have my favorite fall flavored coffee at the ready and my favorite mug washed and waiting. I have chosen an outfit that is both comfortable to work in but makes me feel powerful. And yes, those things are all important pieces to the process.
First let me say I adore Marie Kondo. Never met the woman, certain I never will. Still though. Her little sky blue and cream colored book with the bright red title represents for me what the security blanket represents to Linus van Pelt or the Cheeto to my Jared. (a sweet story for another post) She is a woman after my own heart. She articulates my own philosophy in a way that is forward thinking and yet gives proper respect to the past and the clutter it has collected. I don't agree with every single statement in the book but I don't have to. Beauty of a book. Pick the parts that fall in line with your own sensibilities and leave the rest in the book.
I don't, for example, talk or bow to my house. And I don't feel compelled to treat my socks and tights with respect so they can rest during their holiday time (when I'm not wearing them). That passage makes me think of silly things like a pair of socks in side by side first class pods on Delta, headed for Cancun, with little sombreros on. I do however thoroughly believe and celebrate that it's only when you've put your house in order that your meaningful belongings come to life and become useful physically (by being visible and immediately available) as well as emotionally (by giving joy and having removed the stress and frustration that comes along with ancillary clutter).
Nowwwww, right here, let me admit this. I do have one or two categories that I am still working diligently on and that continue to want to become collections again and again, but it's all a work in progress. Books were a difficult category but when I finally bullied through and got rid of all but what I am currently reading and books I consistently refer to, it allowed me to more thoroughly and intensely enjoy the book I was reading in the moment. True story. Who would've thunk it? And do I miss the books I got rid of? Not one little bit. Can't imagine now why I was holding to them so tightly.
Yep I said two categories. Shoes are the other. We're not going there today. Let us bow our heads for a moment to pray for my weakness and lack of motivation to improve in that area. In fact, I want desperately still to backslide in epic manners where footwear is concerned. The end.
Have you ever seen the movie The Conspiracy Theory? Mel Gibson is a - well, a conspiracy theorist, duh, and everyone believes he's a tad touched. Moving on (because the connection people make between conspiracy theorists and the tetched sends me on a rant worthy of an entire post) throughout the movie, whenever his character feels insecure or paranoid or scared, he buys a copy of Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up is my Catcher in the Rye. It's feng shui on steroids. Exponentially decluttering to the nth.
I've read it countless times. Frankly, it's a quick little read. But I go back and reread a section or a concept or even just the table of contents. Frequently and as a source of meditation and reflection sometimes. It's reassuring and empowering to know there are others who share my outlook and have even felt confident enough about their philosophy on the subject to write a book and publish it and expect people will buy it and consider it and take action on the concepts. I mean just listen to these chapter titles:
Storage Experts are hoarders
Make tidying a special event, not a chore
An attachment to the past, or anxiety about the future?
Never pile things. Vertical storage is the key.
It's NOT JUST MEEEEEEE! HOOrah. I am NOT. I repeat not. An Anomaly. That floats my boat, dear friends. This woman has earned an honorary membership to My Tribe. (Aren't we just so sure she's going to celebrate THAT. Ha.)
Is it a coinkidink that the timing of my clothing decluttering project coincides with a horrific flooding tragedy in neighboring South Carolina? I reckon not. I choose to believe not. Perhaps the clothing and clothing related items that end up in my "don't spark joy" pile will be the very ones that DO spark joy for someone who has just lost their home and everything they own due to Hurricane Joaquin and the ensuing flooding. I'll keep you posted on it.
Each step I take toward the DOC (decluttering of Caren) makes my future feel brighter. Why? How does that work? Here's my hunch. I am hovering within four years of my youngest child finishing high school.
Let us pause for a moment of prayer.
Amen. While I enjoy every second of parenthood, and not just the good ones, and sometimes feel panicked that my baby kicking himself out of the nest is imminent, at the same time I look forward to what's to come. I'm the Proverbs 31:25 woman who can smile at times to come. It's my favorite bible verse of all. "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she can laugh at what's to come." It's my mantra, my chant, my goal. A loved one who uhhh will remain unnamed but with whom I live and have for 35 years dreads the future and has anxiety surrounding it, doesn't even want to talk or think about it - owing in my opinion to feelings of The Third Act being tantamount to The End or Being Old or Senior Living or some such. Not me baby. I'm gaining momentum as I head towards it. Like a battering ram. A BOSS battering ram.
I say bring it. I will bring to it only what sparks joy, not only as it pertains to worldly goods and relationships, but my faith and personal walk with my Savior. And since those are the star on the top of Joy Sparkers, it's gonna be a hell of a party.
With my well worn little hardback copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up still within reach, in my bag. Which I empty every day okayyyy every couple of days gahh.