So a friend posted a link to a New York Times article on Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Several years ago I read a decluttering book based on Feng Shui (hate away, it was great) and it changed my relationship with much of my “stuff”. Not all of my stuff, but a great deal of it. As such, I was drawn to this one, hit the Kindle buy nearly immediately and started to read. Normally I would plow through the “how to declutter” book, pick a few neat ideas I’d not read before (which are getting fewer and fewer) and move on.
Not with this book. It’s a little odd, slightly eccentric, has a distinct cultural cant to it and is positively engaging, indeed downright charming. Reviews tell me that there will be parts that don’t translate to the American lifestyle, but I rather expected that – I also don’t feel a need to race to “the good stuff”. It tells me that it will take 6 months to tidy my space and effect a permanent change, I’m giving it all of 2015 since my space includes three people, three dogs, a cranky cat and attics full of things from not only my previous marriage, but previous owners. I also firmly believe in recycling, donating and selling rather than just discarding where possible, so that will likely extend things.
The first action reads more like the start of a philosophical journey than a cleaning marathon, but I expected that as well. The idea is to create a joyful space in which to live rather than a spot to store accumulated stuff. So the beginning is to visualize my ideal lifestyle and, out of that will come the desire and motivation to create an environment that supports it. Gosh, what a concept. 😉
I work at home, so I figured outlining a perfect day would kind of cover it – one workday, one weekend day. I also decided that I needed to include things that I don’t do now, but would dearly like to be able to do. This is supported by the client story used as an example in the book. A perfect workday would start by waking up from a good night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast, exercising, taking a shower and getting dressed, making the bed and managing the critters before going to my home office.
I would then spend the first work hour getting my day in order (I do this already and it rocks), clearing email, prioritizing and planning while sipping morning coffee. After three productive hours of work, downstairs for a good lunch and a little reading. Three more productive hours and then an hour of taking a course or reading something work related to end the day.
The evening would be filled with a delicious dinner, a walk with the dogs (or downtown) followed by relaxing with da fambly, catching up with friends online and so on before grabbing a good book and a hot cup of tea and going to bed. Weekends would be similar but part of the day would be spent on the yard or house with the other part dedicated to something out and about – a class, errands, events, writing and so on.
I can tell you that right now, while this is a glimmer on the horizon after several years of focused decluttering, life is more a chaotic march forward to stay ahead culminating in a collapse after staring at a to-do list than a joyous adventure. So there you have it, Marie – let’s see what we can do about it. 🙂