The tidying continues.
Today we tackled the shed, the laundry room and the middle bedroom. This means that we emptied it all out and piled up items based on category.
For those of you who are familiar with the KonMari method of decluttering, we are still in the discard mode and have just finished the first category, “clothes.” We have had to also get rid of large pieces that were clogging up the shed and discarded a large wardrobe from the kids’ room. Other than that, we are discarding by category order as Marie Kondo suggests.
We did a first run through of clothes and books and are going through them again because we found more tucked away in the shed – a box of books and a bin full of shoes of all sizes.
When we first started this tidying project, I thought we would be finished in a couple of weeks. Marie Kondo suggests to set aside 6 months. While I don’t think we will take 6 months to tidy the whole house, I now realize that we will need more than a few weeks because everyone has to touch and reflect on each of item they own. This means that we have to wait for our eldest to return to go through the rest of the things that she didn’t have time to discard. This also means that I have to sit with each child and help them decide whether or not to let go.
Today I got a little bent out of shape when I saw my children reading books, playing lego, and just hanging out. I expected them to deal with their stuff and neglected to see my own pile that needed to be sorted and discarded.
I remembered a passage from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing:
To quietly work away at disposing of your own excess is actually the best way of dealing with a family that doesn’t tidy.
I started to focus more on my things instead of dwelling and stressing about what other people should be doing. The more I worried about myself and my own process, the less stressed I became. The more I dealt with my own pile and felt lighter after I discarded, the more patient I became with other people’s piles and the more I was willing to sit and help them when they were ready. And of course, they were ready when I was more patient.
That’s all we can do – shine a light onto our own darkness, clean up our own cobwebs, discard and edit our own excess. Once we start trying to fix or change other people, we get into trouble. We get caught up in our expectations and get disappointed with outcomes that don’t fit what we want. We can only let go of our own baggage.
Tonight I feel good. Although we haven’t finished discarding, the more I let go, I have become more patient and peaceful. We have a long way to go but my mind set is definitely shifting. My relationship to my home and my things have changed. And now I have found a way of not stressing over everyone else’s lack of enthusiasm for tidying up.
I need to tidy up my own mess before I point out and judge everyone else’s mess. I never expected that this journey would turn into a spiritual one and teach me so much about myself. It’s ignited a lot of questions and I am constantly shining a light in places that I have buried and have forgotten within.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.