Let's Get Started
The tiny book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by tiny Marie Kondo, has become a worldwide phenomenon. I don't know about you, but ever since I read it (actually, before I finished it), I started attacking my “stuff!” Under the soft battle cry of this absent decluttering admiral, I picked apart my wardrobe, tossed books out the window, and examined my medicine cabinet and nail polishes with a fine tooth comb. But...
How many of us have fully Kondo'd?
We might get through clothes and books on sheer force of will and excitement, maybe muddle our way through kimono. Then do a bit more, maybe a bit less. But, then we get lost.
Be Your Own Guide
As someone who's gotten through both books, and has gotten stumped many times by how to apply what she's saying, I have to say that each of us has to be our own guide. I'm at Sentimental, but it took awhile to get there.
I can't tell you how many times I Googled things like, "How to declutter old diaries," or "How to declutter when depressed," or "What if I have a long light colored dress, does that go with long things or light things?" At most I found some vague musings. I wanted someone to tell me the answer, but I gotta say, once you get past clothes and books, it's a hot mess!
Which is probably why most people stop there. I had to come up with my own rules and philosophies when her books failed me.
I'm At The Big Nose
I'm not going to tell you that I've fully Kondo'd and reign down on you a litany of perfectionism. I am at the Sentimental section of Kondo'ing, so basically I'm at The Nose of El Capitan (for any of you rock climbers out there). So, I'm about 75% of the way up, and now at the most difficult leg of the journey.
I'm determined to finish this, and I want to share with you all the ways I got here and you can too. Let's climb this Big Nose together!
How I Met Marie
When I first came across this book I was living in Portland, wandering the halls of Powell's bookstore. It was on their shelf of recommendations. I was drawn to three things:
- The cover (because it's pretty).
- The size (it can fit in my purse).
- The word Magic! (Who doesn't want a little of that?)
I moved to Portland to dip my toe into the realm of freelance writing. I'd just finished my MFA and was working as an administrative assistant for a major retail company. Wanting something more creative, I quit this, rather cushy, job and focused fully on writing. This meant I moved home, lived on unemployment, worked on writing, and applied for job after job with no response.
That's when I lowered the bar and began applying for writing internships. Anywhere!
At this point, I was basically a nomad. It was summer. I housesat for friends, saved my money, and dove headlong into visualizations and positivity and the Law of Attraction. This worked...to an extent. But, ultimately, crashed and burned. Hard.
After about six months of flying high on the buzz of a new town, new people, the thrill of "working" at a magazine and using my credentials to meet anyone I wanted, all of that burst like the glistening bubble that it was.
Which is when I found myself at the end of my internship, with no job prospects, and the most debilitating broken heart I'd ever experienced. Not from the end of my internship, but a boy I met through my "new life."
The Not-So-Cool-Kid In Town
As a magazine writer, I suddenly felt cool - as opposed to the socially awkward oddball I actually am. I felt worth something. Desirable even. And I pinned a lot of my energy and life goals onto a guy I was infatuated with.
He who was all too pleased to spend time with me too, but who I now think was just looking for a way to pass the time, and better yet, have someone write a good review about his band. Other than that, I was nothing more than just some girl to throw away.
Never being too lucky with relationships, I thought I was making everything happen: job, career, love. I was doing everything "they" say you're supposed to: think positive, be positive, focus on you, play to your strengths, blah blah blah. And then....it didn't work. I was a failure.
So, I found myself in the worst state of depression I'd ever been in my entire life, wandering around like a zombie.
Decluttering Like A Zombie
I still struggle with depression, but I keep coming back to decluttering because it just feels good!
It certainly gave me something to focus on other than my newfound zombie-ism. This blog isn't about this point in my life, but we all start somewhere. We have ups and downs, and when it comes to decluttering, particularly Marie Kondo's approach, it makes a difference where your head space is.
This book spoke to me because here was something I could do. Here was something I could take control of. My stuff!
And I could do it all from my bedroom, which is where I wanted to remain for pretty much the rest of my life anyway.
If I Can Do It...
I think Marie's method is the best out there (which probably sounds ironic since I also say it's confusing) but in the grand scheme, I think it's the best. Some of the details however are a little hazy.
That's why I've started this blog! Maybe it's because I isolated myself while dealing with depression that I had tunnel vision about decluttering everything I own, or maybe I'm just tenacious. But if I can do this, I'm sure you can too.
Incoming: Fog Lifting
If you've tried and failed in the past to declutter, I understand the frustration. Like I said. I can see why there are so many videos and blogs of people decluttering their clothes. Maybe books. Past that, it's like you're trying to find your way out of a foggy forest.
I've been there, and I will share with you the tips and tricks I learned along the way. I'm also not perfect and may do some things that aren't quite as perfect as Marie, but hey, they work for me. Maybe they will work for you.
After all, it's your home. You're the one that has to live in it. Let's make it the home of your dreams. May as well, right? I'm so happy to guide you on this journey. Let's get started!
Photo credit: Danielle Klenak