On ‘tidying up’

So, I’m curious, how many of you have read the book yet? the life changing magic of tidying up is the one I mean.  I’m getting through but still cannot bring myself to throw everything I have hanging in my closet into the middle of the floor.  I’m sorry but that in itself will not bring me joy.

Clutter and I go way back.  Childhood.  I’m a clean-sweeper.  One who loves to go through a particular section and clear everything – and I do mean everything – out. Into a dumper somewhere.  Recycle it, shred it, toss it, leave it on the curb for someone else to covet.  Just not in here. Not anymore.

Unfortunately, I’ve married a hoarder of sorts.  I swore to myself before remarrying that I’d never remarry, then amended that to I’ll never marry a hoarder again.  One who’s mantra is “You never know when you might need ______________(insert useless item’s name here).  Sadly it’s been my undoing that I’m now married to another hoarder. I save all the serious, deep diving cleaning for when he’s out of town,  while the lighter tasks are accomplished during his  errand runs, gone to work, etc.  So far this has worked well.

The things I toss or leave out for others to enjoy are those that we never use.  Uncomfortable chairs, for example, of which there are several that need removal.  Paperwork is something I truly loathe as it’s necessary to keep the tatty stuff around for about 3-7 years.  Blerg.  But, keep it I do.  Grudgingly.  Though out of sight.

Another thing that is harder to release are those that came from family members that are no longer with us.  This is a problem.  They do give me joy and therefor I cannot let them go.  Yet.  Perhaps when the timing is right I’ll ask if any family members are interested in rehoming them.  Meantime, I’ll hoard them to myself.

Clothing is simple.  I’ve used the 2 year rule for many years and so far it worked out very well and painlessly, too I might add.  If I have not worn said item in the past two years, chances are better than average that it won’t be worn in the next two either, so off it goes to Goodwill if it’s in good condition or into the trash if not.  I rarely use my clothes for rags.  T-shirts are great for that and hubby’s are the best candidate, but most of my clothes are not T-shirts.

Lest you think I’m a total failure at this magical cleaning thing or quite the opposite, bear in mind it’s harder to let go of so many things, even when you know with every fibre of your being that it will never be seen again/worn again once you’ll stuck it in that drawer or closet. But maybe someone gave it to you and they’re still a strong feature of your life now.  Maybe it has sentimental significance to you, to a special someone.  That makes it very tricky.  Hang onto it as long as it gives you joy.  But when the things begin to accumulate, and you know they will, it’s time to revisit those things you coveted a bit longer.

One controversial chapter is entitled “Storage Experts are hoarders”.  Now I’m sure there are storage experts out there outraged by the stereotyping or judgemental tone of that statement.  You have to think of storage in a new light.  It’s where you store your necessary, day-to-day things you must have to get though your day.  It isn’t where you keep all those things you had back in high school, wore to the prom, loved that crazy colour lipstick, tried adding hot pink to your hair and kept the tools to do it again.  Text books that only serve as dust catchers.

That said, I’ll admit, I still have my college textbooks, though they’re in use elevating my computer monitor to a comfortable, easy to view height and raised a lamp up enough to prevent the on/off switch from being a contortionists move. So I don’t really consider them clutter.  Other clutter is leaving the home now and I’m honestly feeling better already.

Even if you don’t intend to deeply clean out the clutter in your life, the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo will help you see your home, your life, your stuff in a different light.  You’ll find that less is better than more because the space regained makes life easier to breathe through.

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