I mentioned previously that one of the activities that Marie Kondo recommends in her course and with her clients is to really focus on the reason that you're tidying up and why it's important to you. She says you really need to visual the life you want and what your space will look like in order to do things properly and it make sense. If you don't have a specific goal how will you know if the actions you're taking are going to produce the results you want?
There is an exchange in "Alice in Wonderland" that I think makes the point well:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
This is exactly the point that Kondo is making here and which several other authors and coaches have expounded upon in their works.
I love the next bit because it says so much about my life so far:
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Isn't that just how I've been living up to this point? "I'm not sure exactly where I want to go so I'll just walk around until I end up somewhere and hopefully a street sign will strike me and I'll decide that's where I want to be."
I don't want to live that way anymore because it is exhausting and not rewarding with the exception of the occasional moment of stumbling into something every once in a while (a clock with a dead battery is still correct occasionally). I know that's been a prominent theme in my journaling these last few weeks.
So, why did I decide to tidy up and what do I want to get out of it and why do I want those things out of it? Or something.
I have a large bedroom and a spacious walk-in closet and yet I don't seem to have a lot of room. I have lots of containers to help with organizing my belongings not to mention several bookshelves, desks, and a massive chest of drawers. I've been allowed to keep things in the loft as well. Further, I have the cabinet space for two sinks but with only one sink so that I have that entire section of counter that can be used for lotions and potions etcetera. On top of that, I have a medicine cabinet and an over-the-door organizer hanging down. There are two of those on my closet door. There are crates and boxes and giant plastic tubs (I think one of them is 50 gallons). I have stuff in the loft closet as well.
Somehow, with all that space and all those containers, my stuff is nowhere near contained. It's spilling over everything. It's piled and toppling in every corner of space I own. Including out from under my bed.
It's too much. It's just too much.
I didn't think I felt this way as a kid, teen, or younger adult. Choas suited me fine and I knew where everything was because "I had a system". Maybe that was a lie, maybe it wasn't. I can't say with any surety.
What I can say is that I have gotten to the point where I absolutely cannot breathe in my own space anymore unless I'm sleeping and I can't promise that it's not disturbing that too.
I want to come home and just be able to relax without moving a pile of clothes to another portion of the room or precariously balance my books on the edge of an already too full bookcase and hope nothing falls down. I want to be able to rearrange the furniture in my room and maybe get rid of a piece so that I have more floor space for doing Wii Zumba or wrapping presents in front of the TV at Christmas. I want to know what I have and where to find it.
I think a lot of the shopping I've done has been out of the idea that shopping makes me happy and that having stuff makes me happier. I'm sure there is, to an extent, truth to this. There are sometimes that looking for a new pair of shoes or a great outfit or a power lipstick is fun and exciting. There are times that having these things and using them have brought me joy. The thing is a lot of these things are just taking up space now. I don't use them but I don't throw them out when I buy something new because "what if I need it". But if I don't use it at least once a year, how can I possibly justify keeping it?
I've mentioned it before, but I also get caught up in the idea that a particular person gave it to me and I don't want to dishonor our friendship or their memory or some other similar bullshit by getting rid of whatever thing it is. Mementos are great and I should have some. I should keep most pictures and a few other small things, but I think that's the key here: few other small things.
I feel like if I can tidy my space that I will be able to tidy my mind. I used to think that was an absurd idea and maybe that isn't how I used to function as a person, but now I know in my bones that if I'm going to change my life I'm going to need to change my environment. I don't need a new place, I just need to make my space like new. I have a lot of habits I'm changing and breaking and replacing but in order to continue, I have to have a space clear of junk. I have to be reminded that it isn't stuff that makes me happy. I have to have a safe, relaxing space to recharge. I have to let go of the things that are holding me back literally and figuratively.
So again, what does that look like? Anything visible in the room will be something I use several times a week at least or is there because it's visually pleasing. My bookshelves will be tidy. I will be able to get rid of at least one piece of furniture. All my clothes will be hung up or in the dresser. I will have a reasonable number of shoes that are all at least semi-functional - as in they would be worn at least twice a year. There will be nothing piled on the floor with the possible exception of dirty clothes in a hamper or bag. I will have room to do Zumba. I will have a designated space for writing or otherwise being creative and it will be comfortable and inviting space with only those things which are creative aids, inspiration, or for comfort. My room will be fairly easy to dust and vacuum. I will have a fan I like to help me keep the room cooler. I will have things on the wall I enjoy and that are empowering. I will feel good about being in the room and find it peaceful and enjoyable.
I think that about covers it. Wish me luck.