It has been a disappointing few weeks with the Stuff. While I managed to take two trash bags of clothes to the Once Again Shop, that wasn’t real progress. I also dealt with other items that should have been returned or passed on, but these were of no consequence. I have reasons for the setback, well, excuses really. We hosted musicians for the local music festival; were away for six days; celebrated an anniversary; and had a lot to do to catch-up upon return.
Some consolation comes from friend Rae in Virginia who says that she too is having difficulty getting on with her plan to go through the house and deal with the Stuff. She has enlisted her son for some of the culling and heavy lifting. Nonetheless, she has been distracted by being grandma to a new baby at times and helping his parents ready their new home by painting for days on end.
But, there may be hope. One thing I received as a result of our visit to Virginia was the family copy of Marie Kondo’s best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Both daughters have done their read and acted on the advice. They are so much better at sorting and disposing than I am. In my defense, I would say that they did not inherit their grandmothers’ goods in toto, and they left a few of their own with us to work out over time.
I had read the book reviews and style articles about Ms Kondo’s philosophy of decluttering. I was quite skeptical, largely because of the very personal relationship she espouses for us with our possessions. “Does it bring you joy?” she asks. If not, why keep it. Well, I thought, there are probably many more things in my house that are just there to serve a function rather than to give me joy, so I dismissed her advice.
But what about the Stuff that is not purely functional? My/our attachments to what was, what I/we want to remember, what you and I may hope can come round again? I am prepared to start the examination process. KonMari’s method requires that I go at it full bore, although it can be broken into categories. It means dedicating time and emotional capital, but I think it can be done. Not today or this weekend. The calendar is full, but next week holds time that offers no excuse. I mean to start picking the Stuff off.
I’ll let you know how it is going.