Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm Doing It

While waiting for my camera cable to arrive, I have not been idle.  Yes, teaching yoga (two new classes in Williamsburg starting at the end of the month!) (And teaching transgender prisoners at the Manhattan Detention Center starting tomorrow!).  Yes, teaching spinning (intermediate drop spindle in Greenpoint this Saturday!).  But also this:

Some friends were talking about it and it sounded so...liberating.  Own less stuff.  Not only that, but only own the stuff that brings you joy.  Who doesn't want to be surrounded by joy?  

I began last week and, as the author suggests, I started with my clothes.  I took all the clothes that weren't in the laundry and piled them in the middle of the living room floor.  One by one, I held each item and asked myself, "Does it bring me joy?"  Really, it was quite easy to decide after that.  I bagged up half of my wardrobe and sent it off to experience a new life with someone for whom I hope it does bring joy.  Then I re-folded the remaining items according to Marie Kondo's instructions and found that I have an entirely empty drawer in my bureau now.  The lightness of that feels lovely.  In fact, it is this lightness that I think is the goal of the whole undertaking.  Without knowing it, all that extra stuff (that doesn't bring joy) brings heaviness into our lives.  We carry it without even realizing it.  Only after it leaves do you notice the weight that you have been bearing.

Next up:  books.  This was more difficult because I have books that I would not describe as bringing me joy exactly but feel important.  So I just went with that feeling.  I eliminated an entire bookcase.  I gave the children's books to the local PTA and I set the rest outside on the sidewalk.  All but about ten were taken before it started to rain.  Again with the lightness!  It feels wonderful.

Marie says to slowly progress towards those categories that are more difficult because our attachment to those items is strongest.  Kitchen items are probably next but I am also looking at my yarn/wool stash.  I know there is a lot of dead weight there.

I think it is a very good system of decluttering but it is not for the feint of heart.  And it is not for the short of time.  I have had to set aside a day for each category.  There is a lot of work involved with gathering everything into one place, going through it, getting rid of the the rejects in a responsible way (the author says "throw it out" a lot but I hope she doesn't really mean that!).  Then there is reorganizing the remaining items.  It all takes time and energy.  

She claims that no one goes back to their old ways once they do this.  I can see why.  It feels good to live with your favorite things.  It also helps me to better understand what I actually need so I can buy or make new things that I will really use.  It is as if by having fewer things to care for, I can actually care for the things that I have.  And that brings me joy.

1 comment:

Jan Morrison said...

My pal Marion told me about this book. I remember listening to Shelagh Rogers on CBC having an organizer go through her stuff with her. Shelagh had an ole fur stole that she never wore. "Okay, chuck it." says the organizer. "I can't. My great aunt gave it to me." says Shelagh. "Will you forget her?" asks the woman. Big break through by Shelagh and at least one listener.