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Archive for the tag “clutter”

How the Marie Kondo Movment Is Making Us Rethink Our Stuff

bed bedroom ceiling fan chair

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I think I saw the memes and gifs on social media before I even realized that best-selling author and decluttering/organization expert Marie Kondo dropped a series on NetFlix.

I remember hearing about Kondo, the bubbly clutter-buster from Japan, and eventually buying her equally well-edited, straight to the point book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

We overindulgent, down for instant gratification, multiple-trips-to-target-taking Americans were in desperate need of some help. We’ve been buying things we don’t need for a really long time, to address other deeper things. Also, having “stuff” is a big marker of success in these parts, across socioeconomic status.

Armed with her translator, Marie floats into various homes in each episode helping families figure out how to get rid of all of the stuff and find the joy that’s been hiding in their homes and in themselves all along. Her title is right, discovering that is pretty magical and certainly life-changing.

I did engage in this process a few times in preparation for my move earlier this year.

The rules were simple. Start with your clothes. Dump everything out and sort through them, keeping only items that spark joy.

I love that Marie was wise enough to create a criteria of elimination by joy, because sometimes that’s a hard and elusive thing for us. We know pleasure, we know happy, but I think she strategically instructed people to think about how deep and lasting joy is. But when we pick up an item and actually ask if it sparks joy, for a lot of the things we own, instantly know it doesn’t, and so, we have to force ourselves to follow the criteria and let it go. She is a genius for wording it this way.

It’s a real challenge. And for that reason, you’ll see a lot of tears and a lot of a ha revelations going on with each of the families as they break mental contracts they made with the stuff they won’t let go of because, “It was such a good deal.” Or, “This was really expensive.”

Another word that I think Marie expertly uses is tidy. It’s not a word we use often in America. We love the word clean and we will dabble with the word neat, but tidy, to me is more specific and suggests like joy, it is a regular practice. Anyone I’ve heard use the word tidy, tended to be older women, with immaculate homes, and clothing, who were highly disciplined, and followed their cleaning routines religiously and were highly likely to have hard candy in their purses to share with you at church.

Tidy always seemed aspirational to me and highly disciplined. And on the show Marie had guests whose homes were clean, they just had a lot of crap in it. In the one episode Marie complimented a guest for having a really clean home, and the woman admits she hides a lot of things or stuffs them in closets, counters, and drawers.

With some elbow grease, a few tears, and several trips to the Goodwill, we can be tidy and we can have some joy, and save a few bucks reminding ourselves that we really don’t need it.

 

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You’re Too…Local

I am a serial long distance dater.

So much so, I told a friend/pseudo suitor, he was in fact, “too local.”

I haven’t had a same city relationship probably since 2003.

I haven’t had a same state/timezone relationship since 2006.

Even the men I’ve decided to date casually or spend time with, they have always lived far away.

The local men never last.

I think I’ve figured out why.

Being a long distance lover, you live for those weekend getaways. There’s an excitement attached to hopping on a plane and leaving your mundane world behind for the arms of your lover/love.

You get gorgeous, you shave where you are supposed to.

You smell good, you can’t wait to see them, they can’t wait to see you. You’ve planned your best outfits.

You normally have great dates planned, fabulous dinners, taking in the sites of a city that’s not your own.

Then you part ways, until the next time.

Usually because of the expense of flying, even the most spontaneous of visits are planned at least three days out. Which is enough time to get oneself together, do any cleaning, etc.

Even though I’m trying to have better habits when it comes to cleaning or getting rid of clutter in my house, I’m not as prepared for unexpected company as I’d like to be and it makes me a bit ashamed and uncomfortable. Even when I’ve cleaned from top to bottom I have some kind of disorder/insecurity that makes me think my visitors still won’t think it’s clean enough, even though I know it’s clean.

I never want any man I’m interested in to think I can’t keep home, but because I don’t have a lot of company very often, sometimes I’m not as vigilant on keeping everything perfect.  So I have to be in control of visits if I’m dealing with a local man. He can’t come over unannounced and not unless I think my house is right.

Meanwhile, there’s a part of me that’s like, I don’t live in filth and anyone who likes me should understand I work everyday and drive a total of nearly two hours each day for my commute. I’m not Suzie Homemaker. Take me and my home as I am.

I’m eclectic, I have lots of books and magazines, most of which are in shelves but can end up in various parts of my house. I sometimes have inspiration boards and tee-shirt stuff everywhere in my living room.

So am I scared of commitment? No, just scared of someone being all up in my space and face and suddenly realizing I’m not really as wonderful and put together as they thought (and as I advertised). Keeping up appearances is tiring and I need someone to see through all of that and think I’m the best thing since sliced bread.

That was my biggest fear when I was engaged. I was scared, he’d eventually declare false advertisement. Bear in mind, I think I was the most real I had ever been in a relationship with him. He saw me sick, he saw me in grief, he knows I can eat like a linebacker and blow up a bathroom.

But according to married folks, everyone is going to declare false advertisement at some point anyway. Everyone is going to say what they signed up for isn’t what they thought they signed up for.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Local fellas….eh, I still don’t know about yall. You’re just too close… Can’t let yall catch me slippin.

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